For a small city in North Central Iowa, Mason City sure has a lot of notable former residents and attractions. In fact, the only remaining hotel in the world designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright lies in Mason City. This iconic city is also the hometown of “The Music Man” composer Meredith Wildon. Mason City is also the final location of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and “The Big Bopper” Richardson’s concert.
A jet charter airport in Mason City takes visitors to a city rich with historical and cultural significance. The many museums in town delve into a variety of historical topics. Visit Cannonball 457 to check out a 1912 steam locomotive or the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum to see a large collection of Bil Baird puppets.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s impact on the area is impossible to ignore. Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired murals are located throughout the downtown district. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Historic Park Inn Hotel & National City Bank is a boutique hotel housed in the former local bank.
Mason City’s many parks welcome visitors with walking paths, playgrounds, and calm rivers. The 440-acre Lime Creek Nature Center rests on the limestone bluffs of the Winnebago River. The conservation education center hosts displays about North Iowa’s flora and fauna. Winnebago River and Willow Creek rivers both run through East Park, and you will often catch anglers trying to catch a Northern Pike or Walleye.
If you need to cool off after an afternoon on the river, stop by Candy Kitchen Ice Cream Parlor for a sweet treat, or Fat Hill Brewing for a beer flight that features Iowa ingredients like Cedar Falls hops.