Cherokee offers a variety of attraction spots including The Sanford Museum and Planetarium. This is the first accredited museum in the state of Iowa.
The museum boasts a permanent collection as well as rotating displays on a variety of subjects including: archaeology, art, astronomy, geology, history, natural history, and paleontology. The museum association holds monthly programs. The planetarium was the first in Iowa and is truly a visit to the stars. Public planetarium programs are held every Wednesday and Sunday at 4:00 PM and are free to the public.
The Depot is a railroad which was the key reason for the growth of Cherokee.
The Sanford Museum and Planetarium
The Sanford Museum and Planetarium was the first accredited museum in the state of Iowa. The museum boasts a permanent collection as well as rotating displays on a variety of subjects including: archaeology, art, astronomy, geology, history, natural history, and paleontology. The museum association holds monthly programs. The planetarium was the first in Iowa and is truly a visit to the stars. Public planetarium programs are held every Wednesday and Sunday at 4:00 PM and are free to the public.
Address: 117 East Willow
Cherokee disc golf course
A newly developed 27-hole disc golf course has been completed on the MHI Campus and is open to the public.
Address: West Cedar Street, on the MHI ground
The railroad was the key reason for the growth of Cherokee. The depot and entire railroad complex are listed in the National Register of Historic places. The Depot Renovation works to preserve the Illinois Central Railroad Depot located in Cherokee. The depot includes an HO scale model railroad and Northwest Iowa Railroad Museum. In the summer months, the depot is home to the Cherokee Area Farmer’s Market.
Address: 119 South 4th Street
Cherokee Golf & Country Club
Golf enthusiasts won’t want to miss this 9 Hole Golf Course with its challenging terrain. The Cherokee Golf and Country Club is home of the annual Sioux Valley Match Play Tournament, Iowa’s oldest Match Play Tournament.
Address: 800 North 11th Street
Cherokee Parks & Recreation
Cherokee’s parks offer many opportunities for enjoyment for all residents and visitors. Koser Spring Lake Park, located near the Little Sioux River, contains over 40 camping spaces with electrical, water and sewer hookups, and nearby shower and restroom facilities. Circling the lake is a 1.1 mile asphalt walking/jogging trail. Contains ball diamonds, a shelter, concession stand and restroom facilities. Check out Gillette Park, home of the Bacon Aquatic Center, a favorite of young and old alike! See the Bacon Aquatic Center page for more information (website).
Address: Directly across Hwy. 59 is Wescott Park
Cherokee Trail System
The Cherokee Trails Committee has a strong interest in preserving, improving, and expanding Cherokee’s Trail System.
Cherokee Country Parks
Cherokee County has over 1,000 acres of land devoted to parks that are managed by the Cherokee County Conservation Board. These parks vary in development from modern camping sites with electricity to natural areas with no facilities. The diversity of parks available allow residents and visitors to enjoy the individual advantages of each. Enjoy activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and canoeing on the Little Sioux River.
Bacon Aquatic Center
The Bacon Aquatic Center opened in June of 2007, after a hugely successful fundraising campaign. The aquatic center has a zero-entry pool with children’s features including a sand play area and splash pad. It holds 293,000 gallons of water and contains a 23′ high, 136′ long open flume water slide, a 23′ high, 82′ long enclosed water slide and 12′ high and 4′ high diving boards.
Address: 625 West Bluff Street
CRMC WELLNESS CENTER
This full-service health & wellness facility includes an indoor aquatic center, gymnasium, racquetball courts, walking/jogging track, exercise area, interactive game area, den and locker rooms. The Wellness Center offers a wide variety of classes and programs throughout the year
Address: 320 Sioux Valley Drive
Cherokee Country Freedom Rock
Artist Ray “Buba” Sorenson completed painting the Cherokee County Freedom Rock in July, 2017. This was the 63rd rock Sorenson has completed as part of the Freedom Rock Tour, with the goal to have one in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. Each Freedom Rock tells unique stories of the men and women who have served our country. Each of the 4 men on the Cherokee County Rock have their own special stories of serving our country.
The front of the rock (facing the road) includes two veterans with Cherokee ties who earned the Distinguished Service Cross. This is the second highest military award that can be given to a member of the United States Army. They include WWI Veteran, Royal Johnson, and Father (Major General) Francis Sampson, one of the 20th century’s best-known Army Chaplains.
On the back of the rock (court house side) is Cherokee native Ben Laposky, who has been credited with making the first computer graphics and Harry McManus, state wrestling champion for Cherokee in 1939. On the north side of the rock is an eagle, merged with an Indian Chief. If you look closely at the eagle, the word “Cherokee” is visible. The Cherokee County Freedom Rock was sponsored by the Cherokee VFW.
Address: 520 West Main Street, in front of the Cherokee County Courthouse.
LILY OF THE VALLEY #5 ONE ROOM SCHOOL
The one-room schoolhouse located in Cherokee is operated seasonally by the Cherokee County Retired School Teachers. Their goal is to create a living history center for children and adults to preserve and promote Iowa’s rich educational heritage. From May through September, the school is available for school trips, curriculum for school use, adult programs and tours.