Grotto | Historical Sites | Soda Fountain | Lodging | Dining | Catering | Shopping
Sample Itinerary | Other Area Attractions

Printable map of West Bend

Grotto of Redemption
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Grotto of Redemption

Location – North end of Broadway Ave

West Bend is home of the Grotto of the Redemption, a vision of Father Paul Dobberstein of Rosenfeld, Germany. The largest man-made Grotto in the world, the Grotto is frequently called "the Eighth Wonder of the World". The Grotto stands as a testimony in stone, a treasured work of art. Each of the nine grottos contains a scene in the life of Christ hand-carved from Italian Carrara Marble. Covering a city block, the Grotto represents the largest collection of precious and semi-precious rocks, minerals, fossils and petrifactions concentrated in any one spot in the world.

Don't miss the Christmas Chapel, located in Sts. Peter and Paul Church next to the Grotto. Built in 1929, the Christmas Chapel contains rocks from every country and major river in the world and is famous for its 300 pound Amethyst adorning the manger of baby Jesus.
By working side by side with Father Dobberstein, Matt Szerensce and Father Louis Greving were able to continue Father Dobberstein's work after his death in 1954. This Geological wonder, started in 1912, is also listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The beauty of the Grotto attracts rock enthusiasts and people of all faiths every year.

Also located on the Grotto grounds are the Museum, with an exhibit of precious stones and minerals from around the world and early articles and photos of the building of the Grotto; a Gift Shop, open year-round; camping facilities, with 55 RV sites and 20 tent sites; and a seasonal café serving delicious meals and delectable desserts.

The Grotto is open year round with guided tours given seasonally. Please call or check our website for specific dates, times, and tour information. Groups are welcome; please ask us about our menu and catering options. Customized itineraries are available as well.

Come witness a "Miracle in Stone" and be inspired by this beautiful work of art!


Historical Sites
Read a history of West Bend

School House and Post Office

School House and Post Office

Location - 101 3rd St SE, West Bend IA

Palo Alto County’s first one-room school was restored in 1976 and moved to West Bend. This school – with its authentic furnishings – provides children and adults with a glimpse of education from the past. In 1998, the original town Post Office was restored and placed adjacent to the school. An outhouse has been added to the site.


Sod House

Sod House

Location – 201 1st Ave SE, West Bend IA

This replica of a prairie sod house was used as a temporary dwelling for early pioneers. With the passing of the Homestead Act in the 1850’s, Pioneers were given 150 acres of free land if they would live on it for 5 years in a dwelling with a door and a window. With no large trees on the prairie, sod houses were the answer until lumber arrived via the railroad. A family of 6-8 would live in a sod house of this size. A loft would be built for the children to sleep. Meals were cooked outdoors in the summer to keep it cool inside. A windmill has been added to the site.


Historical Museum

Historical Museum

Location – 107 3rd St SE, West Bend IA (1 block east of Broadway Ave)

Historical Society
Phone (515) 200-9234

The West Bend Historical Museum was completed and opened to the public in the summer of 2006.  The displays provide a look back at people, places and progress through the history of West Bend and the surrounding area.  The collections are arranged in room-like settings and feature a living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry porch, bedroom and children’s room.

Several manikins throughout the building model a variety of clothing of past eras.  A large collection of wedding gowns contrasts with several military uniforms which were worn by past residents who spent time in the service.

A barber/beauty shop display reminds one of the perils and pleasures of being well groomed in “the good old days”.  The medical display is well-stocked with supplies that early physicians would have used as they made their rounds or greeted patients in their offices. 

A separate media room is used to showcase and view the history video about how Country Maid (the manufacturer of Butter Braid® Pastries) started in the basement of a farmhouse in 1991, and today has grown to service customers in over 45 states!  Many of the original pieces of production equipment used in the basement are on display, and the history video shows the progression of the business through over the past 20 years, including its transition to employee ownership in 2003.

For tours of the School House, Post Office, Sod House and Historical Museum call (515) 200-9234.  Open summer months Saturday and Sunday afternoons 1:30 - 3:30 pm or anytime by appointment.  Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for students for one or all sites.


Old Fashioned Soda Fountain

Soda Fountain

The Villager Flowers & Gifts
105 S Broadway Ave, West Bend IA

This old-fashioned soda fountain, located in The Villager Flowers & Gifts, will take you back in time to the early 1930's, when malted milks, milk shakes and cherry, lemon and lime cokes were once standard fare for young and old as they took breaks from work or studies or met friends for relaxing small talk.  Adjoining The Villager Flowers & Gifts, is the old Mike's Meat Market building, which was remodeled into a gift shop in 2000.

Visitors will enjoy shopping our store for fine gifts and home décor.  We carry a good selection of kitchen items as well as a baby department with books, toys, blankets, etc.  Support you Iowa college teams with merchandise for University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa.

The Villager Flowers & Gifts has a full-service flowershop with fresh floral arrangements for all occasions, as well as, plants, garden stones, silk arrangements and tuxedo rental. Wine from local Iowa Wineries, film processing and greeting cards are also sold here.

Prescription services through Hughes Pharmacy in Emmetsburg will be delivered daily to your home.



Park View Inn & Suites
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13 4th St NE, West Bend IA

Park View Inn & Suites

This 36-unit motel features a conference center and party room that are great for wedding receptions, family gatherings and much more. Make your stay extra special by booking one of the 6 themed suites – Americana, Fishing, Honeymoon, Hunting, Lighthouse and Safari. A continental breakfast is available daily.


Grotto Campground
Location – near Grotto grounds

Grotto Campground

55- 30-AMP electrical hook-ups, 20 tent sites
West campground features shower facilities, restrooms, water fill site, RV dump station and a shelter house. North campground is accessible to restrooms and a playground and has a great view of the Grotto across the pond.
Cost - $15 per night for RV's, $10 per night for tents



Pizza (Carry-Out)
316 2nd Ave NE, West Bend IA
Kitchen Hours: 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM and 4:00 PM – 10:30 PM, 7 days a week

Hunt Brothers Pizza
Hwy 15, West Bend IA
Kitchen Hours: 7:00 AM – 8:30 PM, 7 days a week

Wagon Wheel Café
123 S Broadway, West Bend IA
Sandwiches, Salads, Build-Your-Own Burgers, Broasted Chicken, Steak, Seafood & Stir-Fry Platters
Lunch & Nightly Specials
Hours: Lunch Hours: 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM Monday – Saturday
Evening Hours:  5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Monday – Saturday (close at 8:00 PM during winter months)
Salad Bar on Friday and Saturday from 5:00 PM – 8:30 PM

West Bend Golf & Country Club
4829 580th Ave, West Bend IA

Tuesday Evening - Men's League
Wednesday Evening - Women's League

Open Dining - Thursday, Friday and Saturday 5-9 p.m.



Kampen Foods
Chris Kampen
113 S Broadway, West Bend IA

Linda Kay's
302 2nd Avenue NE
West Bend, IA  50597
Linda Schmidt, owner

West Bend Golf & Country Club
Vera Banwart, Manager
4829 580th Ave, West Bend IA



Stroll West Bend’s downtown area and browse through our retail stores. You’ll find a fine selection of gifts, decorating items and collectibles.


Sample Itinerary

Day 1
9:30 AM Arrive in West Bend
10:00 – 11:00 AM Tour the Grotto of Redemption
11:00 – 12:00 Noon Eat lunch at the Addy Mae’s
12:00 – 1:30 PM Tour the Grotto Gift Shop, Grotto Museum and Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church
2:00 – 3:30 PM Experience Historical Sites
3:45 – 5:00 PM Enjoy a flavored coke at the Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain and do some shopping – all on Main Street
5:00 PM Check in at Park View Inn & Suites
5:30 PM Dine at a local restaurant
8:30 PM Experience the Grotto lit up at night!

Day 2
8:00 AM Continental Breakfast at Park View Inn & Suites
9:00 AM Check out
9:00 – 11:00 AM Shopping on Main Street
11:00 AM Eat lunch at a local restaurant

Other Area Attractions

Algona (20 miles)
Emmetsburg (22 miles)
Humboldt (28 Miles)
Iowa Great Lakes (65 Miles)
Clear Lake (63 Miles)

Printable map of West Bend

Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 366
West Bend, IA 50597
(515) 887-2181
  City of West Bend
301 South Broadway
West Bend, IA 50597
(515) 887-2181
  West Bend Econ Dev
311 2nd St SW
West Bend, IA 50597
(515) 887-3264