The city of Altoona Iowa was incorporated in 1876. The small city has its own
history, but it is inextricably
linked to the capital and largest city of Des
Moines, which is only five miles away. If you're looking for cheap
hotels to stay in during a Des Moines vacation, you'll find a number of
good choices here. This suburb is also within a twenty-minute drive of the Des
Moines International Airport, the largest of Iowa
The main Altoona attractions are centered around entertainment, and as you are in a suburb of Des Moines, you also have easy access to that city's attractions. These include a respected zoo, beautiful botanic garden, and museums. There are more than 850 dining venues and restaurants and more than a hundred miles of hiking and cycling trails. If golfing is your game, you'll find a few dozen courses in the metropolitan area, including several that provide things to do in Altoona right in the vicinity of town. The Altoona Iowa Terrace Hills Golf Course is a public course with 18 holes.
Probably the most popular of the attractions in Altoona is Adventureland Park. This is a huge amusement park, divided like the Disney resorts into several themed areas. These include an Old West town, a German-themed Bavaria, a Country Fair, and River City, inspired by the blues jazz culture of New Orleans. The park-like grounds cover more than 180 acres, and this is not just one of the Altoona attractions but also one of the state's resorts. It boasts one of the largest Altoona hotels (almost 200 rooms), and its own campground with camping sites for tents and recreational vehicle hook ups. Similar to the Disney resorts around the world, it can take days to fully enjoy the park. Among all the things to do in Altoona this provides the most complete vacation experience, with free shuttle service between the park, campground, and hotel.
Even the residents of Des Moines consider Adventureland one of the best attractions in Altoona and often come just for the entertainment and special events. The prestigious Royal Hanneford Circus, the second largest traveling circus in the United States, appears here from May to September. Even if you're just passing through Altoona Iowa this is a worthwhile stop to enjoy the Big Top circus with trick horseback riding, wild tigers, tumblers, acrobats, trapeze and high wire acts, and of course elephants and clowns.
Altoona Iowa also boasts one of the few casinos
in the state that are not located in riverboats on the Missouri River or Mississippi
River. Prairie Meadows is also a race track, offering thoroughbred, quarter
horse, and harness racing. The casino boasts almost 2,000 slot machines as well
as table games, including pai gow poker, roulette, Texas hold 'em, and other
If you're looking for Altoona attractions a little further afield than the
city, you'll find some excellent destinations nearby. Only a few miles away
is Saylorville, one of the many recreational lakes
in the state. Here you can enjoy camping, boating, fishing,
wildlife watching, and more. There is also a marina at the lake, providing boat
ramps, and there are miles of hiking trails.
Another of the attractions in Altoona is its central location. It's located almost exactly in the center of the state, and on the major east to west highway. This makes Iowa City and Davenport to the east, and the wildlife refuges around Council Bluffs to the west, easily accessible. There is also an interchange for the main north-south highway. Once you've run out of things to do in Altoona you can easily continue on to explore the rest of the state.