A turn-of-the-century tearoom nestled among shops where it's Christmas every day of the year! Featured in the July 1996 Better Homes and Gardens Crafts Showcase, the tea room and shops are filled with unique gift items, collectibles, jewelry, and clothes. Just across the street from the Hotel Pattee!
Fully operating period farms take the visitor from a 17th century Ioway Indian settlement to the technological farm of the future. Begin or end your visit with a walk down the main street of Walnut Hill, an 1875 Iowa town. Experience Iowa's farming history just 30 minutes from Perry.
One of the oldest state parks in Iowa, the Ledges is noteworthy for its limestone canyon. Hiking trails, picnic and camping areas are plentiful, and it is a quick 30 minutes from Perry. Nearby is the Iowa Arboretum, home to hundreds of trees, shrubs, and flowers native to the area. A tour and slide show of the grounds are available, and there are four self-guided hiking trails.
Thousands of children have grown up in the Perry Public Library, much the heart of this small town. Quiet places to read, a wonderful children's section, and cultural activities are all part of the library. Hotel Pattee guests may check out books as well as videos to play on their room videocassette players. Events vary seasonally; please call the library at 465-3569 for a current schedule.
Perry and Boone grew up around the railroad. Pattee visitors are invited to travel the short distance to Boone and board a restored train for a ride through the countryside. On weekends the train is powered by an authentic steam engine shipped from China to Iowa. While in Boone, visitors may also tour Mamie Doud Eisenhower's birthplace. Nearby Larson's Scenic Valley Ranch offers year-round horseback riding, winter horse-drawn sleigh rides, hay rides, pack trips, and parties.
Recently remodeled to remember the glamour of the movie palaces of the 1930s, Perry's three-screen theater features first run movies at very reasonable prices. Popcorn is free on Wednesday nights. The theatre is at 1312 Second Street. Call 465-2605 for today's schedule.
Home to some of Iowa's finest covered bridges, Madison County also played host to Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep in one of the decade's most popular movies. Visit the bridges, Francesca's home, the town square, and, while you're in town, stop by the John Wayne Birthplace Home and Museum.
One of the state's leading universities, ISU offers visitors a wide range of activities including concerts, lectures, and tours of on-campus facilities such as the Farm House Museum, a 14-room house built in 1910. The university is in Ames, an easy drive from Perry.
There's a stream running through this real old-fashioned park, named, like the hotel, after David J. Pattee. Located two blocks from the Hotel Pattee, the park provides a band shell, picnic shelters, including one that is screened, children's play areas, and several softball diamonds.
Built in the last century, this historic courthouse presides over a charming town square in Adel, the county seat for Dallas County, where Perry is located. Visitors can stop in Adel to tour the courthouse and do a little shopping on their way to see the bridges of Madison County.
"Our state fair is a great state fair...". Star of the movie and stage play, "State Fair", Iowa's annual event runs for 10 days every August. Nearly a million people visit this classic fair, which is only a 40-minute drive from Perry in Des Moines.
Located just 30 minutes west of Perry, near Coon Rapids, Whiterock Conservancy is a 5,400-acre land base open to the public year-round. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, or horseback riding on over 30 miles of trails, or canoeing along a scenic 8-mile section of the Middle Raccoon River. Named after the unique outcroppings of sandstone found along the river banks, Whiterock offers a place to relax and explore Iowa’s natural history. For more information on guided nature hikes, paid hunts, or upcoming events, visit www.whiterockconservancy.org
Just like the original five-and-dime, Ben Franklin has everything you could ever imagine anyone would need. This store carries essentials for its small town customers, and it is essential for visitors to stop in for a real taste of small town life. Around the corner and down two blocks from the Hotel Pattee.
Perry's modern recreation center is set in Wiese Park. It houses an Olympic-sized swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, basketball and racquetball courts, exercise room, and 250-seat theater. The park has trails for walking or jogging, green space, a picnic shelter, and children's play area. Passes are available for a nominal fee for the Hotel Pattee's overnight guests. Children under six years of age must be accompanied by a parent, grandparent, or friend or sibling aged 14 or older.
Memories and memorabilia from Perry and Dallas County are found in this museum. An historic one-room schoolhouse sits nearby, native prairie has been restored by conservationists, and trees from around the world dot the lawn. Call 465-3577 for more details.