Iowa's Hidden Gems

Experience Charming Backroads and Friendly Folks

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Multiple Dates
6 days | 5 nights • 13 meals
Starting at $1,677

CTD President Steve Uelner exclaimed in Western Iowa, “Our travelers are going to love this trip! There are so many hidden gems that most Iowans don’t even know exist”. Meet innovative Iowans like Bruce Arant and Robby Pederson, take festive steps back in time to the 50’s and 60’s, and be dazzled at Brown’s Family Theater–just a few of the highlights of this unique trip. This is our seventh trip to Iowa, and Steve says it just may be his favorite!

Meet your fellow travelers at our welcome dinner in Council Bluffs. D

Inspiration kicks off our tour as we visit self-taught American author and illustrator Bruce Arant. His work has delighted kids and adults of all ages through over 20 custom-published books that have garnered him multiple awards and honors. One hundred years after the Steamboat Bertrand sunk in the Missouri River, half of its cargo was recovered—you’ll be in awe as we experience the recovery and enjoy lunch at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge. After a delicious lunch we will head to one of Our Iowa’s Prettiest Farms. The afternoon will be capped off by learning about the life and career of Donna Reed, most notable for her work in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, with a guided tour of the Donna Reed Museum in Denison. We’ll get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at items rarely shown to the public! B, L, D

We take a nostalgic trip down memory lane at an old time wooden floored skate palace in Ida Grove (yes, you can even take a trip around the rink if you’d like). Then, you’re in for a treat with a delicious lunch and award-winning theater show at The Brown’s Theater in Le Mars. Tonight is spent in Okoboji. B, L

This morning, we take a ride back to the 1960’s with an “evening” stroll through the immaculately restored streets of Spencer and Arnold’s Park Okoboji Classic Cars. Next, we relax with time in Arnold's Park. After a delicious lunch, we will head towards Sac City and visit their historic village and museum. As well as getting a chance to see the World’s Largest Popcorn Ball! We will then head towards Jefferson, Iowa where we will stay for the night. B, L

Start out today at Robby Pederson’s 1875 furniture making shop, located in a century-old lumber building. Robby builds historically accurate furniture using only the tools, techniques, and finishes found in Iowa back in 1875. We’ll take a ride up top of Jefferson’s Carillon Tower (and listen to its beautiful bells), and stroll through its courthouse on the town square. Next up, a behind the scenes visit to the vintage, yet state-of-the-art, Templeton Rye distillery. After lunch we will tour another one of Our Iowa’s Prettiest Farms to cap off our great day. B, L, D

You’ll be immersed into the life of Glenn Miller with a walk through his birthplace home and museum. Founded by seed salesman Earl May in 1925, KMA radio station continues its long tradition of agricultural reports and the famous “Elephant Shop”…the station’s General Manager welcomes us. We also walk into the tiny Everly Brothers childhood home before visiting one of the most iconic churches in Iowa. We’ll stop at a local ice cream stomping ground before making our way back to Council Bluffs for a fond farewell. B, L

Quality Accommodations
Night 1: Hampton Inn, Council Bluffs
Night 2: Cobblestone Inn & Suites, Denison
Night 3: Arrowhead Resort, Okoboji
Night 4: Cobblestone Inn & Suites, Jefferson
Night 5: Red Coach Inn and Suites, Red Oak

Jul 31-Aug 5, 2023
Sep 18-23, 2023
Sep 25-30, 2023 Sold Out
Oct 9-14, 2023

Price Per Person:
Double $1,677
Single $1,995

Pre-/Post Tour Hotel:

Council Bluffs, IA

Free airport shuttle or hotel parking
Welcome Dinner and meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Fees and tips for included attractions and meals
Luggage handling of one suitcase per person at hotels
Free bottled water on coach
24-hour emergency call service

Arrival Time
Our Welcome Dinner on Day 1 is at our hotel, Hampton Inn Council Bluffs, starting at 6:30 pm. We recommend scheduling your flight to arrive by 4:00 pm.

Departure Time
Schedule your flight home to depart the Eppley Airfield in Omaha, NE any time after 6:00 pm on Day 6.

Airport Transportation / Vehicle Parking
CTD is offering complimentary shuttle service to/from Eppley Airfield in Omaha, NE. If you are driving to the starting location, they also offer complimentary parking for the duration of the tour.

Walking Distance
Moderate walking is required to fully enjoy this tour. Some walking will also be on uneven paths. While walking canes are allowed, we are unable to accommodate travelers using other mobility devices, including walkers and wheelchairs.

Average Temps
July/September – high of 85°, low of 65°
October – high of 60°, low of 55°

Time Zone

Hotel Amenities
Each hotel has a hair dryer, iron, ironing boards, swimming pool (except Cobblestone Denison and Corning Hotel), and Wi-Fi.

Additional Information
A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour, including information sent upon receipt of your reservation.

Dress on tour is casual. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, visors, and comfortable walking shoes will add to your enjoyment of this tour.

Travel Protection Available?
Yes, see

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