The southwest region of Iowa is bordered by the Missouri River on the west, Interstate 35 to the east, rolling farmlands and Interstate 80 to the north, and the Iowa/Missouri border on the south.
Any point in the region is within two hours of a major metropolitan area—Omaha/Council Bluffs or Des Moines or Kansas City. Despite the proximity to centers of commerce and culture, the southwest portion of Iowa has a distinct “western” feel. It is a region of wide horizons and prairie sunsets, and includes the spectacular natural landscape of the Loess Hills formed during a receding ice age.
Small communities throughout SW Iowa offer revitalized downtowns as well as museums, antiquing, and heritage festivals. The Lewis and Clark Trail follows the Missouri River through this region of the state. History buffs can also visit a French communal colony in Corning, a Mormon settlement near Shenandoah, and a Danish festival in Elk Horn.
The southwest Iowa region covers 16 of Iowa’s 99 counties, including: Adair, Adams, Audubon, Cass, Clarke, Decatur, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Shelby, Taylor and Union.