9 Scenic Attractions Near Lakeside Hotel and Casino

Lakeside Hotel & Casino With Covered Bridge in Background

Lakeside Hotel and Casino has its fair share of awesome casino games and other activities. But the small resort casino is just a slice to a much larger pie in the Osceola, Iowa, area.

So, if you’re looking to explore the region, you’ll find nine cool attractions that will turn your casino trip into an all-out vacation.

Below, we will discuss a few nature parks, along with three wineries and even a watch tower. Plus, you’ll find everything listed below within a 25-mile radius of Osceola, so there’s no need to venture too far in either direction.

Ready to discover all the goods you can embark on in and around Osceola, Iowa, and Lakeside Hotel and Casino? Let’s get right to it.

1 – West Lake

You’ll find the first attraction right in Lakeside Hotel and Casino’s backyard, hence the name “Lakeside.” If you’re looking to start your trip small, an afternoon or even a day on West Lake is worth making plans for.

It’s a fine place for recreation. And if outdoor and recreational activities excite you, be sure to keep a trip to West Lake atop this list. Of course, we will discuss other cool outdoor attractions near Lakeside Casino and Hotel, but if you want proximity, West Lake is the finest option.

You can head over, go fishing, relax and catch the sunset, or take a walk or even a hike. They also have public boat launches. So, if you’re looking to go all out with fishing, it’s a great place to kick off your tour of the area once you’ve had enough casino gaming at Lakeside.

TripAdvisor reviewers have raved about the well-kept grounds, multiple fishing spots (including the pier), and the nearby Pilot Travel Center. Oh, and if you have a thing for catching stunning views of the sunset, West Lake is one place you need to be.

2 – East Lake County Park

From West Lake to East Lake, East Lake County Park is another solid option to embark in the area. Filled with identical activities you’ll get at West Lake and then some more, East Lake is the place to be if you’re looking to venture away from Lakeside Hotel and Casino.

So, what will you find? East Lake holds a playground for kids. It’s a great place to frequent if you brought the entire family to the area.

View of East Lake County Park

They also have observational towers, allowing you to catch stunning views of Central Iowa’s natural scenery.

If you’re here in the fall and early spring, you’re in for an exciting treat as the mist rises from the treetops in the morning. It provides more than its fair share of mysticism if you’re out here on an overcast morning.

3 – Imes Covered Bridge

In nearby St. Charles, the Imes Covered Bridge is a historical location that has remained in the area for over 100 years.

Despite its age, the covered bridge remains well-maintained and to this day it attracts tourists from all over the country.

One interesting note that a reviewer on TripAvisor left is that this is not the bridge’s original location. So, that’s a bit of a history lesson to you if you’re frequenting this bridge.

And if you remain in the Madison County area and have a thing for covered bridges, luck is on your side even if it ditched you at the slots and tables in the casino. The Imes Covered Bridge is one of six bridges in the county, so you may just have a side tour to embark on.

4 – Madison County Winery

Since you already made it to St. Charles to see the bridge, another hot place to frequent is the Madison County Winery. Yeah, if you’re into quaint settings, can you think of anything better than a trip to an old covered bridge and a winery?

That’s scarce. But hey, perhaps lightning strikes twice in a single place after all? In fact, multiple reviewers on TripAdvisor have claimed to have stopped at the winery after they toured the bridges.

So, what will you find at the Madison County Winery? Here, you’ll come across a scenic and friendly atmosphere outdoors. You’ll glimpse the vineyards, open skies, and of course, the deciduous tree line leading to the Iowan wilderness. You couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere.

Bartender Making a Flaming Drink

And finally, you have an outstanding selection of wines. Try a few premium, local cocktails and be sure to grab a bottle or two to bring home that you can remember your trip to the area by. If you’re up for trying some new wine and making friends with the locals, Madison County Winery is for you.

5 – Two Saints Winery

Now if you have a thing for wineries, Madison County Winery isn’t the only place to get excited about.

Head over to Two Saints Winery, which provides yet another solid option in the area. Whether you’re in the mood for red or white wine, reviewers have raved about both types.

They also host complimentary wine tastings in an outdoor setting. Right on the countryside, you’re treating your eyes to a breathtaking view of Central Iowa while your taste buds brace themselves for the time of their lives.

So, if you’re looking to continue a tour that involves fresh wine, epic scenery, and more, head over to Two Saints Winery after you’ve visited Mason County Winery.

6 – Little River Lake Recreation Area

Yes, we’re looking at the great outdoors often, and the trend continues with a trip to Little River Lake Recreation Area.

So, what makes a trip to Little River Lake Recreation Area different from West and East Lake?

For one, you’re taking a step back in time if you’re looking to rent a cabin for the night. Sure, it’s more than a few miles away from Lakeside Hotel and Casino, but it’s more than worth the stay if you’re in for an old-time experience.

They don’t have TV, Wi-Fi, or even indoor plumbing here. Instead, you’ll find what you need in bathhouses. But it gives you an idea of what to expect if you take a trip and stay out this way. Some of us will love it. Others won’t.

But hey, you won’t know until you try. Reviewers have also raved about the many fishing areas you’ll find in the area. If you’re an avid fisher, this is yet another place to consider paying a visit.

7 – Lake Ahquabi State Park

This is yet another fine attraction if you’d like to camp out during your trip to Lakeside. Yeah, it’s about 20 miles away from the venue. But there’s nothing but forested horizon as far as your eyes can see unless you consider the campgrounds.

Or if you spent a few days at Lakeside but now you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature, a trip to Lake Ahquabi is another good option. Plus, it comes with all of your favorite recreation activities. Including fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and so much more.

Best yet, it’s open all year. Regardless of whether you’re in town for summer or winter-related activities, you’ll find it all at Lake Ahquabi State Park.

8 – Clark Tower

You’ll find Clark Tower in Winterset, and it’s a phenomenal place to frequent if you’re looking for arguably the greatest views of the surrounding area. As a historical site, it looks like something plucked from Medieval Europe. That’s definitely not the typical structure you’d find in the Heartland.

But wait, it gets better. The minute you cross the threshold into Clark Tower, the more medieval-like the structure becomes. So, whether you’re here for the view or if you’re just a medievalist looking to climb something reminiscent of a castle turret, it’s worth going out of your way to visit.

View of Clark Tower

And if you want to add to the medieval setting, reviewers on TripAdvisor have praised the forested drive that it takes to get there. Passing through deciduous forest in the fall, the only thing separating you from the 21st century and 15th-century Europe are the locations and the vehicle in which you’re traveling.

9 – La Vida Loca Winery

And we’ll end the scenic tour near with a trip to yet another winery. Yes, another one. As with Madison County and Two Saints, La Vida Loca Winery is in an open area featuring sunsets beyond the deciduous forest, open fields, vineyards, and blue skies in the summer.

It’s quite the outlet to just sit and absorb the scenic views while sampling your next favorite batches of local wines. They pack this place wall to wall in the summer, and it’s a great venue to visit if you’re looking to make a few friends in the area.


Lakeside Hotel and Casino finds itself in the middle of breathtaking Central Iowa scenery. It’s a fine place to visit if the outdoors and wineries are your primary destinations and you’re looking for a casino fix or a day out of the sun.

But beyond the casino, and even in its backyard, you have several exciting area attractions to look forward to visiting. Create that vacation itinerary and embark on a scenic tour that only Central Iowa can offer.

Have you been to Lakeside Hotel and Casino? If so, let us know if you visited West Lake or any of the other local area attractions. We can’t wait to read your stories.