Top Attractions for…

No two visitors are exactly alike, so why should their Council Bluffs bucket lists be carbon copies? We’ve compiled the city’s top draws for every type of traveler persona. Whether your posse is into gaming, annual festivals, historic wonders, or eye-popping nature, you’ll find more than enough to fill an epic Council Bluffs itinerary:

Arts and Culture Connoisseurs – Theatre buffs, museum nerds, and showstoppers will feel right at home amid C.B.’s flourishing arts landscape. The city supports a rich network of galleries, performing arts venues, and vibrant annual celebrations.

Outdoor Adventurers – You don’t have to journey too far from downtown to immerse yourself in unspoiled, wild terrain. With its winding trails, lush botanical gardens, and majestic overlooks, this Iowa gem offers plenty of opportunities to experience the region’s natural splendor.

Gamblers and High Rollers

They don’t call Council Bluffs the “Las Vegas of the Midwest” for nothin’! This city earned its glitzy alias thanks to a world-class gaming scene that rivals Sin City itself. three premiere casino resorts call C.B. home, where you can try your luck at the slots, table games, and more surrounded by luxury resort amenities:

Ameristar Casino Resort Spa – This sleek hotel towers over the Missouri, offering stellar views along with its 38,500 sq ft casino packed with 1,600 slot machines and 27 table games. Take a break from the gaming floors and indulge in their luxe pool, steakhouse, golf course, and spa.

Horseshoe Casino – Game on at this award-winning resort casino with over 63,000 sq ft of reel-spinning and table action. Embrace your high roller fantasies with their World Series of Poker rec room, lavish gambling salons, and Jack Binion’s iconic steakhouse.

Harrah’s Casino & Hotel – Small but swanky, Harrah’s serves up bountiful gaming thrills from its prime location in the Stoney Creek Entertainment Complex. Challenge lady luck at their 456 slots and tables before refueling at the bar or grabbing some zzz’s in their modern hotel.

Foodies and Epicures

You don’t have to be a pro chef or culinary scholar to appreciate the mouthwatering fare across Council Bluffs. This city goes far beyond frozen meat and potatoes with an inspired, globally-influenced food scene that has something to thrill every palate and diet:

6 Plates Wine Bistro – Transport your tastebuds to the Mediterranean coasts of Italy, Greece, and beyond through this bistro’s thoughtful menu of shareable small plates made with seasonal, local ingredients.

Barley’s Flatbread Pizzeria – Whether you’re craving an Authentic Neapolitan experience or an innovative Midwest twist on the classic pie, these doughy delights baked in a woodfired oven are a surefire hit.

Paul Revere’s Pizza – Family-owned for over 30 years, this local legend serves up old-school East Coast ‘za crafted with fuss-free simplicity. Their famous garlic knots are an absolute must-try! Stonic Food Truck – For out-of-the-box, “hey that’s weird but I like it” eats, this mobile kitchen slays the game with creative global-inspired fusions like adobo tacos and chicken tikka caesar wraps.

Families and Kid Crews

Keeping the kiddos engaged and stimulated on vacay is no joke. Fortunately Council Bluffs delivers quality fun for youngsters of all ages with interactive museums, adorable animal encounters, and daring thrills for the brave:

Union Pacific Railroad Museum – All aboard! This treasure trove of locomotives, rail cars, and fun exhibits provide an immersive journey into railroad history and its critical role in America’s expansion. Kiddos can even hop in the conductor’s seat!

Squirrel Cage Jail & Crime Museum – Equal parts creepy and intriguing, this historic jailhouse museum explores the legacy of the area’s more nefarious past with real artifacts and displays.

Classic Car Playground – For tots who already dream of the open road, this charmingly retro-themed play area lets them run wild climbing, sliding, and exploring recognizable roadside attractions built for small sizes.

Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park – Miles of scenic trails, picturesque riverfront views, and splash pads have families flocking to this massive urban green space for active adventures.

Annual Festivals and Events

Every town worth its salt celebrates with iconic annual shindigs, and Council Bluffs proudly keeps the party going all year round. Mark your calendars for these raucous, high-spirited fests:

Puffs N’ Paws – Each spring, CB pays tribute to its locomotive legacy by gathering the nation’s finest vintage trains for this public spectacle of steaming and puffing. Bring your furry best friend to socialize at the Bark Park while enjoying live entertainment, food, and more.

Loessfest – Wander through an open-air gallery of arts and crafts from 150+ vendors as CB honors its native Loess Hills soil at this annual artisan festival. Stick around as the sun sets for fireworks, hot air balloon glows, and more awe-inspiring festivities.

Westfair Antique & Flea Market – Embark on a modern day treasure hunt at Council Bluffs’ largest outdoor market hauling in over 500 vendors selling quirky vintage heirlooms, farm relics, and collectibles every Memorial Day weekend.

River Town NASCAR Weekend – Put the pedal to the metal at this can’t-miss annual auto racing event held at the country’s fastest 1-mile dirt track, Knoxville Raceway. Get revved up for burnouts, crashes, and turbo speeds along the Iowa frontier.

History Buffs and Sightseers

From its rugged frontier origins to its modern legacy as a cosmopolitan hub, Council Bluffs has spun quite the storied tale. Immerse yourself in its rich heritage brought to life through these hallowed landmarks and intriguing attractions:

Historic General Dodge House – This preserved Victorian manse was built in 1869 by famed civil engineer Grenville M. Dodge, a pivotal pioneer who surveyed railroad routes across the west. Take a guided tour to marvel at the pristinely kept interiors, vintage furnishings, and priceless artworks.

Union Pacific Railroad Museum – More than just trains and whistles, this gem charts the critical role the railways played in the tremendous growth of the American West and Council Bluffs itself.

Playland Park – What began as a carousel maker’s utopic vision in 1927 evolved into this nostalgic old-fashioned wonderland, keeping its vintage rides, carousels, and carnival games alive for the delight of all generations.

Haymarket Historic District – Stroll back in time while wandering the charming brick streets of downtown Council Bluffs’ original commercial district, brimming with specialty shops, dining, and photogenic historic architecture.

Nature Lovers and Outdoorsy Folk

Craving an escape from the city grind to reconnect with Mother Nature? Just minutes from downtown Council Bluffs await a bounty of leafy, lush, and serenely beautiful outdoor havens:

Hitchcock Nature Center – With over 8 miles of hiking trails weaving through hardwood forests, wetlands, restored prairies, and past historic homesteads, this 1000+ acre preserve is a nature nerd’s paradise.

Lake Manawa State Park – This popular day-use park centers around a tranquil 775-acre lake offering ample opportunities for fishing, boating, paddling, and picnicking along the shore. Keep an eye out for abundant bird life among the marshes!

Lauritzen Gardens – A living botanical oasis in full bloom, these lush ornamental gardens cascade over 100 acres and represent 7 unique horticultural areas from around the globe. Don’t miss the arboretum’s 25-foot treehouse!

Iowa West Field – There’s nothing like a crisp breeze and cold beverage while cheering on The Bluejays at this outdoor baseball stadium and family entertainment complex overflowing with community spirit.

How to Get Around Council Bluffs

Once you’ve built the perfect Council Bluffs bucket list, the next crucial step is mapping out smooth transit between the sights. While the city offers public transport options and popular rideshare services, larger groups travelling together will definitely want to consider an easier, more reliable method – a private charter bus! With a compact yet spacious minibus or full-size motorcoach from Party Bus Council Bluffs, your whole crew can roll up to each attraction together without the hassle of separating, getting lost, or struggling to find parking. We’ll provide a professional team to handle all the logistics so you can sit back and savor the ride. Best of all, our coaches come equipped with plush seating, TVs, WiFi, and other premium amenities to keep the party going on wheels! Call 712-318-5524 to learn how easy it is to rent your very own private bus in Council Bluffs.

Public Transportation

Operated by SWITA (Southwest Iowa Transit Agency), Council Bluffs’ public transit system runs several bus routes throughout the city and surrounding metro areas. City routes operate from 6am-6pm Monday through Friday, while regional routes provide service to neighboring cities like Omaha every Saturday. While affordable at just $1 for a single ride, SWITA buses can be infrequent with limited routes and coverage. This makes public transit a less convenient option for visitors travelling in groups who want to maximize their time exploring the top attractions. You’ll likely need to call a rideshare or taxi to bridge gaps not served by the buses. That said, Council Bluffs is relatively compact and easily walkable near its central downtown districts. Consider hopping on SWITA as a compliment to other methods to save some cab fare while bouncing between nearby venues and restaurants within a condensed area.

Taxis and Rideshares

Council Bluffs is decently serviced by major rideshare platforms like Uber and Lyft along with the standard taxi operators. This can be a solid go-to for independent travelers looking to get around town without the limitations of public transit routes and schedules. However, rideshares and cabs quickly become logistically nightmarish (not to mention expensive) when you’re coordinating for a larger group. Can you imagine having 15 different Lyfts arrive at staggered times to shuffle everyone from place to place? What a headache! Unless your crew is down to split up and risk separation, shared rides are best avoided. Besides, since when has being stuffed in the back of a random vehicle felt more premium than a private bus?

Charter Buses

When you need reliable, all-inclusive transit for your whole Council Bluffs crew, there’s no better solution than a charter bus rental from the local pros at Party Bus Council Bluffs. We’ll pair you with the perfect private coach, from an 18-passenger minibus to a luxury motorcoach built for 56, to comfortably accommodate your exact headcount. But it’s more than just a sweet ride – personal buses allow you to kick back and relish the journey itself. Whether you’re headed to the next casino or cruising the festivals, plush seating and excellent onboard amenities like WiFi, TVs, luggage storage, and coolers allow you to travel in total comfort while your professional team handles all the navigation. Just call 712-318-5524 and leave the transportation to us!

Ready to Get Started?

There’s so much awesomeness packed into this Midwestern gem, which means a top-notch transit strategy is essential to maximize your Council Bluffs adventure. While the city offers basic buses and rideshares to get around, larger travel crews will find private charter bus rental to be an absolute game-changer when it comes to convenience, comfort, and cost-efficiency. At Party Bus Council Bluffs, we pride ourselves on giving visitors a true taste of unrivaled Council Bluffs luxury from start to finish. With spacious rides, premium onboard amenities, and dedicated team to whisk you between highlights, our charter bus services ensure you travel like celebrity VIPs while keeping your whole group together every step of the way. What are you waiting for? Call 712-318-5524 today and let’s get your Council Bluffs memory book started off right!