Council Bluffs has a plethora of historical museums and stops - take a day and immerse yourself in this railroad town's past.
Western Historic Trails Center
Follow the footsteps of early pioneers like William Clark or George Shannon of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. The center marks a crossing point for not just Lewis & Clark, but for early travelers on the Oregon, Mormon and California Trails. Enter the Lied Historical Building on the Path of Names to enjoy educational exhibits, maps, films and sculptures.
Ben Marks Gambling House & Bordello
Ben Marks is an infamous name in Council Bluffs - the "entrepreneur" owned and operated gambling houses, bordellos and nightclubs along the Union Pacific Railroad. On the tour, you'll hear from Marks' wife Mary about her "girls" and how she managed a bordello and gambling house.
This stop is only available on Group Tours.
RailsWest Railroad Museum
Explore the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Passenger depot, historic railcars and view a working scale model railroad display. The depot was originally built in 1899 and served passengers until 1970.
Dixie Quick's Restaurant
Enjoy southern cooking at this local lunch spot specializing in food with Cajun, Tex-Mex and Southwest influence. Favorite dishes include potato pickle soup, the cactus scramble and homemade corn bread.
Historic Squirrel Cage Jail
This three-story Lazy Susan-style jail is one of the only remaining jails of its kind. Learn why it was built, how it worked and how prisoners made escape attempts. The jail even has an isolation cell so small you can't sit down in it. If you dare, step in and close the door!
Read our blog about our visit to the Squirrel Cage Jail.
Historic Dodge House
This 14-room mansion, built in 1869 by General Grenville M. Dodge, stands on a high terrace overlooking the Missouri Valley. General Dodge was called "the greatest railroad builder of all time" and was one of the most influential Americans of his time, providing counsel to many powerful people, including Abraham Lincoln.
Top off the day with supper from a hometown favorite, Pizza King. They might say "pizza" in the name, but they have everything from seafood to steaks.
Have a group you'd like to take on a guided
"Catch Our Spirit" tour?
Download the tour plan for details and contact Diane Hestness, Group Travel Director, at 800.228.6878, ext. 130.
View all Council Bluffs Group Tours.
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