Diamond Jo Worth Casino is known for its immense casino gaming. But the area of Northwood, Iowa, plus the surrounding vicinity also has a few slick vacation spots to turn your time at the casino into a full-on vacation getaway.
As with many small towns, you won’t find big-city pizazz. But you will find uniqueness that will take you from Northwood to surrounding towns like Clear Lake, Carpenter, and others. One location in particular is one you probably heard of, but may have come way before your time.
As a bit of a spoiler, that location is listed at #4 on this list of vacation spots surrounding Diamond Jo Worth Casino.
But first, let’s see all the goods you will find in this popular Iowa gambling location.
Gracing the top of the list is Fort Severson. At this historic location in nearby Carpenter, Iowa, you will take a step back in time. This is a privately-owned location, so keep that in mind when you visit Fort Severson.
But it’s also a cool place to take a self-guided tour that, as mentioned, will take you back to the days of the original settlers in Iowa. You’ll also find an old water hand pump at the site, plus a spacious building to take a tour of.
Fort Severson epitomizes those hidden gems in small town America. And it’s something known mainly to locals. The fort is also a great place to visit when you’re looking to take just an hour or so off from the gaming at Diamond Jo Worth Casino.
Or, if you’re already in town, it’s a place that won’t take too much of your time.
Myre-Big Island State Park
You’ll go north of the border into Minnesota if you’re looking for a valuable connection with nature at Myre-Big Island State Park. Established in 1947, you’re looking at over 1,500 acres of nature when you creep onto the park’s grounds.
It’s a fantastic place for recreation. So, whether it’s your main attraction and Diamond Jo Worth Casino is just one small part of the larger puzzle or vice versa, you can get a complete outdoorsy vacation experience in Southern Minnesota.
Recreational activities on the water include boating, canoe rentals, and even a boat tour of Albert Lea Lake. They also have several campsites, which are perfect if you’re looking to lodge overnight in an outdoor setting.
Of course, they have several fishing options. And the most common fish include carp, black bullhead, northern pike, and others.
If you’re a fan of the trails, they also have 16 miles’ worth of hiking trails along with seven miles of mountain biking, eight miles of cross-country skiing, and another seven miles of snowmobiling trails. So, if you’re into winter recreation, you’re in a lot of luck.
Pelican Breeze Cruises
If you’re heading over to Albert Lea Lake, the Pelican Breeze Cruises are the way to go. Pelican Breeze Cruises offers an in-depth tour of the lake plus an educational experience you’ll never forget. Think of it as a museum tour on the water.
Along with the educational experience, reviewers on TripAdvisor commend the tour for its relaxing atmosphere. Plus, you have plenty of space to move around if you’d like to get yourself a visual on the area.
They’ll teach you about the plants and animals native to the area, their significance, and even a quick history of the lake and the park itself. And yes, brace yourself to see flocks of pelicans.
Plane Crash Site of Buddy Holly
Okay, if you’ve ever listened to Don McLean’s song “American Pie,” you’ll have an idea of what you will find at the Plane Crash Site of Buddy Holly. The crash occurred on February 3rd, 1959, and it involved Holly, Ritchie Valens, and “The Big Bopper” J.P. Richardson.
You will find the crash site in nearby Clearwater Lake, Iowa, and it’s arguably the most popular tourist destination not just in the area, but in the state itself.
Although it’s a small memorial, it’s easy to miss because of its location in the middle of a cornfield. And if you didn’t know of the significance of Holly, Valens, and Richardson, it’s easy to miss. However, given the stir it has caused to this day, a trip to the crash site is a must.
It’s a little out of the way. But to view the significant impact these three singers made, it’s a lasting reminder why they refer to February 3rd, 1959 as “The Day the Music Died.”
Lime Creek Nature Center
America’s Heartland is practically synonymous with nature. So, it’s no surprise why so many attractions near Diamond Jo Worth Casino are nature-based. This is yet another fantastic location to connect with nature is the Lime Creek Nature Center.
You will find it in Cerro Gordo County. And if you’re a hiker, you’re in luck. Open from 6 AM until 10:20 PM, you’re looking at a fantastic hiking spot to burn those calories if you indulged in too much food during your time playing casino games at Diamond Jo Worth Casino.
It’s also a family-friendly spot. So, if you’ve come to the area with your family and they’re not old enough to embark in the casino, it’s a good place to go. From exhibits that include birdhouses to indoor beehives and others, the place also has a lot of fantastic visuals.
If you’re looking for a few trails to hike plus an educational experience, take time to head over to the Lime Creek Nature Center. You won’t be disappointed.
Per the 2010 census, Clear Lake held a population of 7,777 people. Considering that this post is about things to do near a casino is just an eerie coincidence. Anyway, eeriness aside, we’re talking more about the lake in which they named the town after as opposed to the town. But the town is definitely worth the visit.
Anyway, the lake itself covers a surface area of over 3,684 acres. Its average depth is 12 feet with a max depth of 30, so it’s not the deepest lake out there. As with the Myre-Big State Park, it’s also a popular place to fish.
Named “The Best Iowa Lake Town” by The Des Moines Register and “A Top Vacation Spot” by Midwest Living, you will believe it when you see the 13.6 miles of shoreline Clear Lake boasts.
It’s also a pristine boating destination. Home to the Clear Lake Yacht Club, you may see some yacht racing when you venture to Clear Lake—especially if you’re coming around on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
You’ll also find several sweet landmarks in the area. Notable landmarks include Woodford Island, Lone Tree Point, Farmers Beach, and McIntosh Woods. And with such an expansive shoreline, you’ll also find many lakeside communities.
So, be sure to make a few stops at the communities around the lake and see what’s happening when you venture over.
Top of Iowa Welcome Center and Rest Area
This attraction is nothing more than a visitors center. But it’s a great place to gain a few cool insights on the area when you’re looking to recharge from gambling at Diamond Jo Worth Casino.
Here, you’ll find a gift shop, an ice cream booth, a pie booth, plus an informative staff and brochures on things to do in the area. Surely, you’ll find Diamond Jo Worth Casino on the list. Plus a few attractions listed here.
But it’s also a great place to see what’s happening in all the surrounding towns, especially the ones that you will find surrounding Clear Lake. So, if you plan on heading that way, be sure to pick up some information.
Reviewers on TripAdvisor have often stated the welcome center has entire displays dedicated toward the Clear Lake Region; it should give you a solid idea as to just how much you will find if you’re even looking to go beyond the scope of today’s post.
They also have information on hotels and you’ll find each of them a short distance away. This makes it a great stop if you end up coming to Northwood or Diamond Jo Worth Casino on a whim.
Explore the Attractions Near Diamond Jo Worth Casino
Diamond Jo Worth Casino is one of your top attractions in Worth County, Iowa. But even given its small town status with a few hot vacation spots, there is still enough to eke out a weekend getaway.
If you’re in the area for leisure, a casino experience, or even on business or at a conference, use today’s post as a guide to go out and explore the area. And remember, head over to the welcome center for an even greater list of things to do.
Have you been to Diamond Jo Worth Casino and the Northwood, Iowa, area? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments. We’re looking forward to reading about your experiences.