As mile zero of the Transcontinental Railroad, Council Bluffs is rich in history, and we're proud to show it off! UNcover the past at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, the General Dodge House, the Squirrel Cage Jail, and many of our other museums and historical sites.
After a day of immersing yourself in the local history of the area, unwind with a relaxing stay in a Council Bluffs hotel! In fact, several hotel properties are offering a special discounted rate for all you history buffs. Click on our hotel packages to browse and book today!
Address: 200 Pearl Street
Hours: Thursday - Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Please see their website for up-to-date hours and admissions information.
Through the use of hands-on, interactive technology and exhibits, the Union Pacific Railroad Museum brings to life the struggles of building the Transcontinental Railroad, President Abraham Lincoln's involvement, the history of passenger rail service, rail safety, and more. Housed in the city's original public library—built at the turn of the 20th century—the museum itself is a historic delight to behold.
Address: 605 South 3rd Street
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (*Closed in January) Please see their website for up-to-date hours and admissions information.
Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for seniors (over 65), $5 for students (age 6-18), $5 for Veterans with ID, free for children under 6.
The home of the "greatest railroad builder of all time," the Historic General Dodge House was built in 1869 by General Grenville M. Dodge. The grand home is three stories with 14 rooms. This Victorian home is a must-see for history buffs.
Address: 226 Pearl Street
Hours: November through March: Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. April through October: Thursday - Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Please see their website for up-to-date hours and admissions information.
Admission: $7 for adults, $6 for seniors (over 60), $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 5.
Another lasting structure from the Victorian era, the Squirrel Cage Jail is one of only three revolving jails left in existence and the only one to be built with three stories. Rumors that the jail is haunted make it a popular spot with paranormal investigators.
Address: 517 South 4th Street
Hours: Open by appointment only
Known as the "Little People's House," this historic house was built in 1912 for former Vaudeville performers Jean and Inez Bregant to accommodate their height of 42" and 39" respectively. You may notice that the light switches, doorknobs, and medicine cabinets are a bit lower than most homes.
Address: 16803 McCandless Road
Hours: Wednesdays from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.. Other times are available by appointment. Please see their website for up-to-date hours and admissions information.
Located in the Council Bluffs Airport, the museum features two World War II airplanes (a P-51D, "The Gunfighter," and a T-6 Texan) that are in flying condition plus approximately 1,250 military artifacts.
Address: 1512 South Main Street
Hours: Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Please see their website for up-to-date hours and admissions information.
This restored 1899 Rock Island Depot allows you to get up close with railroad artifacts, railcars, and an operating HO gauge model railroad. This is a must-stop for all railroad fans!
Get a sneak peek of the museums in Pottawattamie County on our YouTube channel by clicking here!
Looking to see what the rest of the city of Council Bluffs has to offer? Check out the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge that connects us to our neighbors in Omaha over the 'Big Mo'. Visit the Mid-America Center Entertainment District for other great local dining options and nightlife experiences, or shop till you drop at Metro Crossing Shopping Center or the Lake Manawa Power Centre. Use the buttons below to find local attractions, restaurants, and hotels.
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