What to do and see in Mason City, United States: The Best Places and Tips

January 12, 2018 Augustus Redeker

Mason City is a city in and the county seat of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States. The population was 28,079 in the 2010 census, a decline from 29,172 in the 2000 census. The Mason City Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Cerro Gordo and Worth counties. It is commonly referred to as the "River City", as the city grew up centered on the Winnebago River.
Restaurants in Mason City

1. Stockman House Museum

530 1st St NE, Mason City, IA 50401-3534 +1 641-423-1923
Excellent
81%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 140 reviews

Stockman House Museum

This is the only Prairie Style Frank Lloyd Wright House open to the public in Iowa. We have regularly scheduled tours seven days a week from May thru October. Tour by appointment available November thru April.

Reviewed By KansasExplorer5115 - Lawrence, Kansas

That was the feeling I had entering this Frank Lloyd Wright home...peace. It is so beautifully restored and preserved, and Wright's attention to detail are so apparent in this Prairie Style home, that it creates such a balanced atmosphere. I enjoyed this tour, guided by a docent, very much. Check ahead for hours since they are limited, and start at the next door architectural center to see a few exhibits, enjoy a purchase at the gift shop and watch a short informational video. Then, sign up for a tour time and follow your docent to the rooms of the home. The architectural center is handicapped accessible, but unfortunately the home is not. Mason City has done a wonderful job protecting and displaying this treasured home in their city.

2. Historic Park Inn Hotel

15 W State St, Mason City, IA 50401-3228 +1 641-423-0689
Excellent
83%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 151 reviews

Historic Park Inn Hotel

Reviewed By RLandDL - West of Mpls., MN

We stayed in the hotel for a night in a lovely room. The bed was really comfortable, and our room was spacious with a king sized bed. The room had cool photographs on the walls of some of the houses Wright designed, and the colors of bedding and furnishings were done in colors he used in many of his homes. It was a perfect stay.

3. Music Man Square

308 S Pennsylvania Ave, Mason City, IA 50401-3913 +1 641-424-2852
Excellent
60%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 141 reviews

Music Man Square

Reviewed By traveltheworld012 - Rochester, Minnesota

We love the Music Man. Have seen the play done in various venues, have seen the movie a few times, but have never been to Mason City until now. Getting oriented to find this location is a bit strange. We started from the shopping mall and using GPS on our phones found it located behind the Community Theater. It is right next to the boyhood home of Meredith Wilson as well. After finally locating and walking to it, we found that it is only open from 1-5 PM. We looked in the glass doors and saw that there is a main street inside the building made to look like River City in the musical. As we were looking in, a lady came to the the door and told us that it is $10 to see all three (the Main Street, museum and boyhood home of Meredith Wilson). We didn't want to wait until 1 PM and only wanted to see the Main Street portion, not all three. So we left. Too bad it looked interesting.

4. Charles H. MacNider Art Museum

303 2nd St SE, Mason City, IA 50401-3925 +1 641-421-3666
Excellent
64%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 78 reviews

Charles H. MacNider Art Museum

The Charles H. MacNider Museum is a non-profit, municipally owned institution conceived in 1964 and opened by 1966 in Mason City, Iowa. Everything the Museum does is educational or aesthetic in nature centering around working with objects of art. The museum exhibits and interprets a permanent collection of American art; temporary exhibitions of art; provides art classes for all ages; offers enriching arts programs; and maintains an art library.

Reviewed By traveltheworld012 - Rochester, Minnesota

After walking by the Music Man Square we headed for the foot bridge but unexpectedly found this lovely museum. Right in a residential area and next to the city library it is a beauty of a building from the outside. Once inside you realize it...MoreThank you for the wonderful review! Our location is perfect for sharing Music Man Square visitors on their way to visit the footbridge - we are so glad you were able to stop in!

5. Meredith Willson Boyhood Home

Mason City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mason City, IA 50401 +1 800-423-5724
Excellent
59%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 58 reviews

Meredith Willson Boyhood Home

Willson, composer of "The Music Man," grew up in this Mason City house.

Reviewed By traveltheworld012 - Rochester, Minnesota

When seeking out the Music Man Square, unknowingly discovered that this is where Meredith Wilson's boyhood home is as well. I must say that I know very little about this man other than the Music Man musical play and the movie. I have seen several versions of the play and the movie a few times. I really enjoy touring historic homes and admire fine architecture. However, in order to see the home inside, we would have to pay the admission for 3 different venues (museum, Main Street and the home). Along with that it doesn't open until 1 PM. So maybe next visit now that we know it is here.

6. Lime Creek Nature Center

3501 Lime Creek Rd, Mason City, IA 50401-9256 +1 641-423-5309
Excellent
77%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 34 reviews

Lime Creek Nature Center

Reviewed By Teresita_Herndon_VA - Arlington Heights, Illinois

This center has a variety of trails from paved to grass (just watch out for the snakes in the grass). We enjoyed walking around the area and were pleasantly surprised by the butterfly garden and the incredible view of numerous birds feasting on the feeders outside the glassed-in rear side of the center. They have comfy chairs and staff who can point out the lesser-known species to the less-astute observers. We could have spent hours there! The center also has an educational component that was very nicely done; would be great for kids to learn about nature in a fun and beautiful setting.

7. East Park

E State Street, Mason City, IA 50401
Excellent
58%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 14 reviews

East Park

Reviewed By Donavon Mr F - Lebanon

This is a very nice park. As you drive through it, there are places to stop and view sections that local gardeners maintain. These sections have a variety of plants, beautiful flowers and some have wood carvings. They have a train locomotive that you can check out. It would be a great place for family reunions or weddings. A interesting place to visit if you like the outdoors.

8. Rock Crest - Rock Glen Historical District

Off U.S. Route 18, along Willow Creek, Mason City, IA 50401
Excellent
67%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 12 reviews

Rock Crest - Rock Glen Historical District

Reviewed By bLiselotte - Palatine, Illinois

If you are a fan of Prairie School architecture pick up a walking tour guide at Stockman house, or the Art museum. Then start walking and appreciating what a lucky set of circumstances drew so many architects to this small community. The map and descriptions are easy to foĺlow.

9. Mason City Visitor Information Center

2021 4th St SW, Mason City, IA 50401-4602
Excellent
60%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 10 reviews

Mason City Visitor Information Center

Our friendly personnel are here to provide you with the most accurate visitor information available. Travel Specialists are available Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm. 24-hour access to brochures and community information. Mason City souvenirs also available.

Reviewed By Darren W - Adelaide, Australia

Visited the Mason City Visitors Centre today looking for information and that's what we got from the volunteer lady. She was very friendly and helpful, she offered her advice on places and appeared to know her town very well. There are plenty of brochures, maps...MoreThanks for stopping by, Darren. And THANK YOU for the great review. Our volunteers are very passionate about our community and love welcoming visitors to town. I hope you enjoyed your visit to Mason City. Safe travels! ~ Lindsey

10. Kinney Pioneer Museum

9854G 265th Street, Mason City, IA 50401 +1 641-423-1258
Excellent
56%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
22%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 9 reviews

Kinney Pioneer Museum

Experience life on the Iowa frontier through the vintage exhibits and living history. Visit a pioneer village with a one-room schoolhouse, log cabin, old jail, blacksmith shop. Home to the only remaining Colby car - manufactured in Mason City. Demonstrations of pioneer crafts and trades during special event days. Call ahead for schedule. Open May-Sept, Tues-Sun 1pm-5pm.

Reviewed By k-and-3j - Iowa

Many displays inside and out generally grouped by theme in a display or wing in the museum. About 1/2 of the displayed items have more of a North Iowa focus, other displays would be of interest to anybody else outside the area. If possible I...MoreThanks for response to the Kinney Pioneer Museum. There is a lot of history here that is almost forgotten. We hope you went outside to see the outer buildings like the school, the log cabin, and the blacksmith. Thanks again

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