15 Best Things to Do in Clarinda, IA

Clarinda, IA
Jared Winkler, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The picturesque and historic city of Clarinda promotes family life, offers a variety of community events, and provides exciting job prospects.

It's a great place to live because it combines a small-town atmosphere with easy access to goods and services typically only available in much larger cities.

The county seat of Page County, Clarinda is situated in Nodaway Township.

It was established in 1851 and officially became a city on December 8, 1866.

Clarinda Buck, credited for delivering water to the surveyors during the original mapping of Page County, is honored with the city's name.

Visitors and residents enjoy the city's many parks, recreation areas, and museums.

The city also has a variety of shops, restaurants, and coffeehouses.

If you are enticed to visit the city, here are the best things to do in Clarinda:

Check Out Nodaway Valley County Park and Spend a Day Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Nodaway Valley County Park is a 35-year-old park located just north of Clarinda's central area.

The park offers outdoor activities for visitors, including hiking, biking, picnicking, camping, and more.

Its trails are also used for cross-country skiing during the winter months.

Those with children and pets will also enjoy Nodaway Valley County Park, which features a playground and picnic shelters.

Birdwatchers will also love the various species in the park, such as Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Red and Blue Cardinals, Black-Capped Chickadees, and Downy Woodpeckers, among others.

Sunsets are gorgeous, too, and you can witness them as you hike the nature trails.

Swing by the Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum

The Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum is located on West Clark Street and aims to preserve the famous bandleader's musical legacy.

The 3,000-square-foot museum features a variety of exhibits on topics such as Miller's life, his career, and the significant band era.

It also exhibits Miller's involvement in World War II and his music's influence over the years.

Each visit to the Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum is different due to the unique artifacts and changing special exhibits.

The famed band leader and musician's native birthplace is next to the Glenn Miller Museum.

It's where his daughter Jonnie Dee Miller bought the house her father was born in 1989.

Explore the Lied Public Library

Situated on East Garfield Street, the Lied Public Library serves Clarinda and the surrounding area.

Since its establishment in 1905, the community's public library has aimed to meet its educational and cultural requirements.

The library aims to improve the neighborhood by providing access to cultural opportunities and library services that encourage life-long learning.

It offers an extensive collection of books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, and other materials.

The Lied Public Library also features a blood drive, dial-a-story, story walk, and summer library programs.

Take a Stroll through the Page County Courthouse

Built in 1887, the Page County Courthouse was included in the County Courthouses in Iowa Thematic Resource when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

The courthouse is a two-story building with limestone trim and red brick siding, and below the protruding bracketed eave is a broad cornice with a lenticular frieze.

A stone portico with a single level surrounds the main entrance.

The structure features a unique fusion of Gothic Revival and Italianate architectural features.

The Page County Courthouse's importance stems from its connection to county government and Clarinda's political influence and standing as the county seat.

Find this attraction on East Main Street.

Discover the Old Ways in the Nodaway Valley Historical Museum

When you visit the Nodaway Valley Historical Museum on South 16th Street, you'll be transported to a time when the Midwest was still developing, and companies, dwellings, ranches, and schools hadn't yet been built.

Its exhibits include a genealogical library and the Orphan Train Story.

You can ponder the past and learn about the changes in the local industries in the region by visiting its historical village.

Founded in 1988 to protect the county's past and future, the Nodaway Valley Historical Museum is dedicated to educating the community by collecting and preserving artifacts that illustrate the region's history.

The museum serves Page County residents and everyone with an interest in history and the preservation of its distinctive.

Because understanding and researching Page County's history in Iowa is made mainly by the Nodaway Valley Historical Museum, it is an excellent place to visit.

Visit the Clarinda Lied Center and Sample Its Services

Located on East Main Street, the Clarinda Lied Center provides various services to the residents of Clarinda and the surrounding communities.

Its mission is to improve the quality of life for all by providing access to educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities.

The center offers a jogging and walking trail, basketball and volleyball courts, racquetball, exercise rooms, a kitchen area, a conference room, and activities for people of all ages.

These include senior citizen lunches, a 250-mile walking club, racquetball tournaments, volleyball leagues, group wellness programs, and meeting spaces.

The Clarinda Lied Center's indoor pool opened its doors in 1977 and has always been an excellent resource for the neighborhood.

The collection has a 25-meter length, six lanes for swimming, a 10-foot diving board, and a sizable whirlpool heated to a comfortable 104 degrees.

Water exercise courses, Red Cross swimming lessons for 500 to 600 participants, swim lessons, a swim team, private rentals for different groups, and a 50-mile swimming club are some of the activities provided at the pool.

Discover the Clarinda Chamber of Commerce

Situated on East Main Street, the Clarinda Chamber of Commerce is a business membership organization that promotes and supports the local business community.

It works to improve the economy and quality of life in Clarinda and the surrounding area and provides its members with leadership, advocacy, resources, and networking opportunities.

The Clarinda Chamber of Commerce is an excellent resource for businesses in the area and is committed to helping them grow and prosper.

This is accomplished by planning many neighborhood events, such as Fall Open House, Home Sweet Homecoming, back to School Bash, and festivals like the Glenn Miller Festival.

The Clarinda Chamber of Commerce strives to market the city of Clarinda and its businesses.

It assists in making visitors' stay enjoyable by acting as their primary source of information.

Go Hiking at the Clarinda Community Trail

The Clarinda Community Trail is made entirely of concrete, one mile long and eight feet wide.

You can access the trail from the Clarinda City Park, between Main Street and 6th Street.

The trailhead house has a map of the entire route, the route for traveling a mile on the map, and other alternate routes for shorter distances.

The Clarinda Community Trail circles the city park, passing by playgrounds, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, picnic spaces, the Clarinda Lied Center, the local recreation center, and several shady spots.

Its eastern section offers a taste of the countryside as it travels through agricultural terrain and offers views of Page County's rolling hills and the distant Nodaway River.

Take Some Snaps at the Page County Freedom Rock

The Page County Freedom Rock was painted to honor the veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

As part of his mission to create a patriotic Freedom Rock in Iowa's 99 counties, Iowan artist Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II honors the county's military heritage by highlighting Page County.

The first Freedom Rock was built by Ray Sorensen north of Greenfield as a tribute to veterans for their military service; he paints a patriotic painting on the 60-ton boulder each year around Memorial Day.

The Page County Freedom Rock is located inside the Nodaway Valley Historical Museum, and according to Sorensen, it was the 21st rock he painted.

A representation of Page County during the Civil War is shown on the rock's upper section, and an image honoring prisoners of war and people who were missing in action is displayed in the center.

Images of John and Lawrence Cooper, brothers who fought in France in World War I and died in combat just a few weeks apart, may be seen on the bottom of the rock.

Glenn Miller and Vernon Baker, two Clarinda natives who rose to prominence for their involvement in World War II, are illustrated on the opposite side of the Rock.

Check Out the Page County Fairgrounds for Some Fun

Go to the Page County Fairgrounds on Stuart Street for some family fun.

It has long served as a venue for proms, class and family reunions, wedding receptions, and auctions.

The fairgrounds are famous for many of the region's festivals and events, such as the Glenn Miller Festival, Fundraiser Dances, and BBQ contests.

Of course, there's also the Page County Fair, an annual event held in late July featuring rides, games, and food.

The Page County Fairgrounds' Wibholm Hall offers two different rooms for rent, and Cow Palace is also available at times of the year.

Spend a Relaxing Day at the Clarinda Country Club

Located on North 16th Street, the Clarinda Country Club is a semi-private club that attracts players and members across Iowa.

Its primary focus is a tricky 18-hole golf course built out of the gently sloping hills on the city's northern border.

This par-68 course rewards shot placement despite having a small course length of 5,081 yards.

One of the best-maintained courses in Southwest Iowa, the course boasts a tee-to-green irrigation system.

The Clarinda Country Club also boasts a clubhouse that is one of the nicest in the area.

It's an excellent place for spending a day with friends, family, or business associates.

Play with Your Kids at the Clarinda City Park

Situated at the intersection of Main Street and 6th Street, the Clarinda City Park is a great place to take your kids to play.

It has a basketball court, a nine-hole Frisbee course, and lighted tennis courts.

Your kids will enjoy a playground, picnic tables, two shelter buildings, ball fields, grills, and play structures.

In addition, the Clarinda City Park features horseshoe pits, two sand volleyball courts, two shuffleboard courts, contemporary toilets at two sites, and huge open spaces for family get-togethers.

The eight-foot-wide Clarinda Community Trail can be located inside; it is paved with concrete and circles the ball fields and the park.

Other Things to Do Nearby

With Clarinda accessible to a lot of attractions, you might want to consider visiting some other places in the nearby area.

Walk around Whitetail Valley Farm

Whitetail Valley Farm is unique because it features a pond, relics of the grassland, and wood, yet the terrain is too sloping for row crops.

At least 26 minutes from Clarinda, deers from Erickson Conservation Area and Viking Lake State Park abound at the farm.

It's where you can view fruit growing on the hills and "experience an Iowa summer in your glass" while sipping cider.

Kids can choose a pumpkin to carve and an apple to eat straight off a tree, and you can enjoy a piece of natural, seed-filled watermelon here.

If you stroll through big bluestem, you may see coneflowers in bloom; while wandering through shady woods, you might see a doe and her fawn.

You can sit by a toasty fire and sip warm spiced apple wine or grab a sled and slide down a snowy hillside.

As many visitors to Viking Lake stay here, Whitetail Valley Farm's goal is to offer a small setting that revitalizes the spirit amid the splendor of creation.

Go Camping at Lake of Three Fires State Park

Lake of Three Fires State Park in southwest Iowa offers a variety of outdoor leisure activities, making it a popular destination for horse trail riding and camping.

Boaters and fishermen frequently visit the park's 85-acre lake and many nearby public picnic sites.

The Native Americans from the Potawatomi tribe, formerly living in the region known as the "Fire Nation," are honored by the name Lake of Three Fires.

There are fishing piers, two boat docks, and a beach area with a playground along the lake in Three Fires State Park.

Bullhead, crappie, and bluegill are some fish species found in the lake, which is 29 minutes away from Clarinda.

Two campgrounds, another equestrian campground with horse pens, and six cottages make up the park's camping amenities.

Ten miles of multipurpose trails at Three Fires State Park are well-liked for equestrian riding and hiking.

Explore the Everly Brothers Childhood Home

The Everly Brothers Childhood Home is The Everly Brothers' only historical home, museum, and open-to-the-public former residence.

The Everly Brothers was a country music duo made up of Don and Phil Everly, credited for combining pop, rock and roll, and country and famous for the song "Bye Bye Love."

Original furniture, an autographed guitar, and other exhibit artifacts are displayed for visitors.

About 23 minutes from Clarinda, the house is next to the Greater Shenandoah Historical Society Museum, which has displays on Shenandoah's radio history and the Everly Brothers.

The Everly Brothers plaque on the Iowa Walk of Fame, the Depot Restaurant, a rebuilt train depot that holds one of the largest public exhibitions of Everly Brothers memorabilia, and the site of the 1986 homecoming concert and tribute are also near the Everly Brothers Childhood Home.

Every year in late June, a concert is staged at the Everly Brothers Heritage Day.

The depot and the nearby Shenandoah Historical Museum also include additional exhibits.

Final Thoughts

There are many things to do in Clarinda, Iowa, whether you're looking for outdoor activities, historical sites, or a place to relax.

If you need to take a break from all the excitement, there are plenty of places to relax and enjoy the scenery.

So, if you're raring for something new to do each time you visit, don't worry—there are always new things happening in Clarinda.

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