This community will charm visitors of all ages. From hot air ballooning at the National Balloon Classic to tastings at a local winery, Indianola is both vibrant and relaxing. Eager to get exploring? Here are a few Indianola hot spots to get you started:
- National Balloon Museum
- Des Moines Metro Opera
- Pickard Park
- Summerset Winery
- Buxton Park Arboretum
- Lake Aquabi State Park
This national nonprofit is dedicated to educating the public on ballooning at its history through collections and exhibitions. More than 10,000 visitors attend the museum every year to comb through over 200 years of ballooning archives. The National Balloon Museum calls Indianola home because of the area's prime flying conditions. Indianola also played host to the Balloon Federation of America's National Hot Air Balloon Championships before it took on its current nine-day national event, the National Balloon Classic. The museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and guided tours are available to those who call ahead.
The state's largest performing arts organization can be found in Indianola at the Pote Theater at the Blank Center for the Performing Arts. This local gem annually produces over 100 performances around the region and performs three operas in repertory for 15 mainstage performances during the May-June summer festival season. It has gained national recognition and has been featured in the Kansas City Star, The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Its original productions are inspired by composition styles from five different centuries and performed by talent chosen from a pool of 1,000+ national applicants. In addition to performances, you can catch lectures, art shows, concerts, and film screenings provided by the Des Moines Metro Opera.
In 1976 the Clarence Pickard family donated this park to the city. It's the largest park in Indianola and home to a handful of the first terraces and water diversion projects completed by the Warren County Soil Conservation Service. Its amenities and rolling hillsides of native prairie grasses are perfect for cross country meets, horseshoe tournaments, softball tournaments, picnics, hiking, camping and pick-up basketball games. Fun fact: it also has an 18-hole disc golf course that annually hosts a National Tour with top professional and amateur disc golfers!
Whether you're a connoisseur or novice in the world of wine, you'll surely enjoy your experience at Summerset Winery as their expert staff strives to find the right Iowa wine for your palette. This family-owned and operated business has been cultivating the vineyards since 1989 and is now one of the largest wineries in Iowa. Its patio overlooking the vineyards is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a glass of one of their award-winning wines paired with snacks from local businesses. And with three different types of wine tastings, board games, yard games, a bocci ball court, and live music on Sundays, Summerset Winery has enough excitement to have you returning regularly.
Located in the center of Indianola next to Simpson College, Buxton Park Arboretum is known for its formal gardens, butterfly garden, ornamental fountain, wind sculptures, public art, gazebo, and children's garden. Go for a walk, take photos, or bring the family to enjoy the beauty of the arboretum.
Explore the great outdoors in a relaxing space. "Ahquabi" is a Sauk and Fox word meaning "resting place," and is fitting for the many activities and recreation that Lake Aquabi State Park offers. Go boating, fishing, hiking, camping, kayaking, canoeing, and picnicking in this scenic area.