8 Must-See Locations Around Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel

Hotel Lobby and Adventureland Front with Prairie Meadows Logo in Center

Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel is the ultimate racino in the Altoona, Iowa, area. And unlike most racinos, you can find just as much table and slot gaming as you can racing. With that said, it’s one of the finest gaming venues in the state.

But if you’re looking to stretch your legs and see what else Altoona holds along with its nearby areas, look no further. Today’s post covers a few of those must-see locations around Prairie Meadows Racino.

From amusement parks to awesome shopping outlets and entertainment destinations, you will find at least a couple of hot spots on this list alone.

Ready for a quick tour around the area? Let’s get started.

1 – Adventureland

Enter Adventureland. And they will show you all that’s real in this must-see hotspot. With nearly 700 reviews on TripAdvisor, you know Adventureland has and will continue to withstand the test of time as one of the State of Iowa’s finest amusement parks.

You’ll also find a waterpark in Adventureland, so you’re looking at a good 100+ rides and attractions in the venue. They hold some of the most exciting roller coasters in America, among other attractions. And if you’re a roller coaster enthusiast, heading to Adventureland is an absolute must.

You may take more than a few hours away from the racing and gaming at Prairie Meadows, given the number of attractions here. So if you’re up for an adventure of your lifetime, be sure to set aside a day to explore one of the greatest in the state.

The beauty of this ride ahead will bring you a thrill like none other.

2 – Brightside Aleworks

Come and see the bright side of the area’s finest ales at Brightside Aleworks. And while you’ll find a few local crafts at the casino, they’re nothing like you will find over at Brightside. So, take an afternoon and head over to this second must-see attraction on the list and try the best.

Reviewers rave about the Black is Beautiful Cran Orange Wheat Beers. And just looking at the title here should show you what you can expect when you head over to Brightside. You’re looking at a fine place to also enjoy Happy Hour.

Bottles of Liquor at a Bar

They have also commended the knowledgeable bartenders. If you want a legit experience in trying the best local crafts, be sure to add Brightside Aleworks to the top of your list.

3 – Outlets of Des Moines

If you won some money at the races and/or the slots and tables, you may be up to spend some of your winnings. Look no further than the Outlets of Des Moines, and you’ll have a lot of goods in which to choose.

And Outlets of Des Moines has stood the test of time. Locals state that it remains one of their favorite places to shop and that they’d still rather opt for old-fashioned shopping as opposed to surfing online.

Hey, it’ll always have its advantages even in the online shopping world in which we live.

So, if you hit it big at Prairie Meadows, head over and commemorate your trip to the area in style. Or if you’re looking to just explore the area and the outlets that it offers, it also makes for a fantastic getaway for a few hours if you’re looking for a mental break at the casino.

4 – Cinemark Altoona XD

Looking for some prime entertainment that you may not find at Prairie Meadows?

Head over to Cinemark Altoona XD and you’ll find something cool. On Adventureland Drive, it’s not too far from the amusement park. When you’re done with the thrills in Adventureland, perhaps it’s appropriate to follow up at Cinemark Altoona XD. It’s a popular place, and many of the locals have left rave reviews on TripAdvisor.

They praise the comfortable seats (some of which recline), plus the food and drink selection is something that keeps them coming back again and again.

It’s also a family-friendly venue, as with most movie theaters. So, if you’re on babysitting duty or if you’re looking for a fun place to take the entire family, Cinemark Altoona XD should grace the top of your list.

They offer pricing that’s typical of your local movie theater, a nice facility, a clean exterior, and of course, a plethora of fun entertainment.

5 – Terrace Hills Golf Course

If you’re looking to keep playing your favorite games but need a break from wagering at the races, tables, and slots, then bring your golf clubs. Terrace Hills Golf Course is calling your name!

Golf Course in Atlantic City

Rather obscure, it only has four reviews on TripAdvisor at the time of writing. But they’re all positive, so it’s an automatic plus. It’s a family-owned course with reasonable pricing; locals have come to know and love this 18-hole course.

It’s not by any means a championship-level course, with only a couple of water hazards and few bunkers. But with that in mind, it’s perfect for any novice golfer to practice their game.

If you’re new to the game or if you’re an experienced golfer cool with playing a handicap against newer players, Terrace Hills Golf Course is yet another must-see location near Prairie Meadows.

Reviewers have also commended the friendly staff. And they praise the course’s overall maintenance. You’re looking at a well-maintained, clean, and fun course fit for the whole family, regardless of your skill level.

It’s a great way to learn the game of golf, improve your game, and take a nice, mental break from the casino gaming. Add in the epic scenery that this course provides, and you’re looking at quite the experience.

6 – Thomas Mitchell County Park

Thomas Mitchell County Park doesn’t hold the same flair as your state parks. But really, who cares? When you need a break from Prairie Meadows and want to connect with nature, Thomas Mitchell County Park is the place to go.

Another rather obscure gem in the Heartland, Thomas Mitchell County Park is the ideal place if you’re looking for a fast hike or to spend just an hour or so in the middle of nature. Reviewers recommend the DeVotie Trail and Loop.

They also have marked the trails. So, if you’re coming in from out of town, you won’t have to worry about getting lost. Reviewers have also commended the campgrounds. If you’re the type of person who would rather camp outside as opposed to lodging indoors, be sure to bring your camping gear.

Come on out for a hike, connect with nature, and if you’re up for it, sleep under the stars out in the Heartland. This is especially nice if you’re looking to add recreation to your trip to Prairie Meadows and the Altoona area.

7 – Reclaimed Rails Brewing Company

Reclaimed Rails Brewing Company is yet another awesome place to frequent if you’re looking for local cocktails that even Prairie Meadows can’t provide.

It is another good place to spend Happy Hour if you’re looking to explore the area. Some reviewers have even commented on the presence of bike trails near the brewery—marking yet another fine reason to visit the Reclaimed Rails Brewing Company.

Reviewers have raved over the vanilla and banana cream beers. So, if you’re looking for variety that comes with a local flair, set some time aside to visit Reclaimed Rails Brewing Company.

It’s more than a great place to spend happy hour; it’s also a fine way to explore some of the area’s backwoods if you’re up for taking the bike trails.

8 – Raccoon River Excursions

It’s a river tubing outfitter. So, if you’re looking for a fun time on the area’s natural waters, head on over to Raccoon River Excursions and you’re all set for a good time. You’ll find the attraction on the Raccoon River over in Dallas County.

JW Marriott Las Vegas Pool

It’s a great way to explore the area from another angle. Plus, it’s an activity the entire family can enjoy if they’re cool with floating on the river for a few hours.

Oh, about that. You’re looking at a suggested duration of at least three and up to five hours. So, only consider coming to Raccoon River Excursions if you’re okay with taking more than just a couple of hours off from gambling at Prairie Meadows.

But if you’re up for a bit of a thrill on the water, then make it a must to visit Raccoon River Excursions and head out to the river for an adventure you have probably never experienced before.


Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel is one of the finest reasons to head over to the Altoona, Iowa, area. But it’s just a sliver of a larger slice of pie if you’re looking to turn your trip to the area into a fine vacation destination—especially if you brought your family along.

And remember, the above activities are just a handful of what you will find when you head over to the Altoona area. There are over a dozen family-friendly activities that you can engage in when you need a break from the thrills at Prairie Meadows.

Have you been to Prairie Meadows? If so, tell us about your experience. Also, let us know if you visited any of the attractions listed above. We’re looking forward to reading your stories.