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Council Bluffs, IA
Travel Guide

This city, which played a major role in emigrant trails and railroad expansion, is home to museums, casinos and a diverse countryside.

Council Bluffs, a quaint city on Missouri River’s east bank, played a key role in 19th-century emigrant trails and rail transportation. Legalized gambling later became an important factor in the area’s economy and tourism. Delve into Council Bluff’s past and see the intriguing blend of landscape, including wetlands, savannas and forests.

Go to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum for information about the city’s role in the expansion of transportation across the U.S. Learn about the construction of the transcontinental railroad, completed in 1869. Visit the Lincoln Monument, a statue that honors the former president’s trip to the area.

The Squirrel Cage Jail & Museum is another institution that reveals the area’s fascinating past. Marvel at the 19th-century building’s “squirrel cage” design. The 10 cells rotated so that only one at a time was accessible to the jailer.

After legalization of gambling, casinos sprang up around the city. Try your luck at the Ameristar Casino Hotel, based in a three-story boat on the Missouri River. Stay for a show after trying some of the 1,000 slot machines at Harrah’s Hotel & Casino and dine at the Horseshoe Casino after hitting the jackpot.

To enjoy the diverse scenery outside the city, drive 15 miles (24.1 kilometers) north to the Hitchcock Nature Center. Explore green sloping fields and prairies in the Loess Hills. The park, which stretches across 1,268 acres (513.1 hectares), preserves the region’s flora and fauna. See the Historic General Dodge House from the 1900s. It contains the original fixtures installed by a civil war veteran.

Try typical Iowan cuisine, such as the pork tenderloin sandwich and the “Walking Taco,” a blend of crushed chips and a taco-seasoned hamburger.

The area has extreme variations in temperature from summer to winter. The city is quite hot between June and August and freezing cold with snow from November through March.

The larger city of Omaha, Nebraska sits just on the other side of the Missouri River. The nearest large transportation hub is Eppley Airfield, a 10-minute taxi ride from Council Bluffs.

Intriguing emigrant history, diverse scenery and casinos lure travelers to Council Bluffs on the Missouri River.

Western Inn
Western Inn
2.5 out of 5
1842 Madison Ave., Council Bluffs, IA
The price is $69 per night from Jul 1 to Jul 1
Situated in the suburbs, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of RailsWest Railroad Museum, Caring For Our Communities In Southwest Iowa, and Methodist Jennie Edmundson ...
3.9/5Good! (965 reviews)
"everything was great including the bar located right next door."

Reviewed on Jun 10, 2021

Western Inn
My Place Hotel-Council Bluffs/Omaha East, IA
My Place Hotel-Council Bluffs/Omaha East, IA
2.5 out of 5
2281 South 35th Street, Council Bluffs, IA
The price is $76 per night from Jul 12 to Jul 12
Situated in Council Bluffs, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Horseshoe Council Bluffs and 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Harrah's Council Bluffs Casino. CHI Health Center ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (780 reviews)
"It was very clean and the staff was very friendly"

Reviewed on Jun 14, 2021

My Place Hotel-Council Bluffs/Omaha East, IA
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Council Bluffs/Omaha
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Council Bluffs/Omaha
2 out of 5
2141 S 35th Street, Council Bluffs, IA
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $76 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 4
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Mid-America Center and Horseshoe Council Bluffs. Harrah's Council Bluffs Casino and CHI Health ...
3.9/5Good! (962 reviews)
"Every thing was nice"

Reviewed on Jun 14, 2021

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Council Bluffs/Omaha
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Freshly Updated Apartment A Stone's Throw From Downtown Omaha
Freshly Updated Apartment A Stone's Throw From Downtown Omaha
Council Bluffs, IA
The price is $203 per night from Jun 30 to Jun 30
Located in the heart of Council Bluffs, this apartment building is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of CHI Health Center ...
5/5Exceptional! (3 reviews)
Fantastic getaway close to Omaha
"This VRBO was immaculate and very well decorated. A path is right in the backyard and the owners are great hosts. You will enjoy your stay"

Reviewed on May 17, 2021

Freshly Updated Apartment A Stone's Throw From Downtown Omaha
Romantic Storybook Cottage
Romantic Storybook Cottage
Omaha, NE
Located in Central Omaha, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Memorial Park and University of Nebraska-Omaha. University of Nebraska Medical Center and ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (18 reviews)
Not what we had expected
"We were discouraged by a few things at this property. For one, the kitchen is extremely small and hard to find space to cook in. Also, the floor was very dirty, and sheets and beds were old and worn. Finally, the exterior of the house (not yard) is beautiful, and some of the interior decor, but overall, ..."

Reviewed on Jul 1, 2020

Romantic Storybook Cottage
Exceptional 1bd/1ba + Balcony - Downtown Omaha
Exceptional 1bd/1ba + Balcony - Downtown Omaha
Omaha, NE
Located in Downtown Omaha, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of The Durham Museum, CHI Health Center Omaha, and Orpheum Theater. Henry Doorly Zoo ...
Exceptional 1bd/1ba + Balcony - Downtown Omaha
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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