Scenic Byways Passport features area locations

    COUNTY -- Shelby County has locations featured in the new Scenic Byways Passport program. Prairie Rivers of Iowa has partnered with Travel Iowa to bring a free, fun, COVID-safe, passport program to Iowa promoting travel and tourism along the participating Byways.
    The Scenic Byways Passport program features 12 scenic byways including the Western Skies Scenic Byways which highlights three locations in Shelby County: historical downtown Harlan, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Earling, and St. Boniface Catholic Church in Westphalia.
    The Little Mermaid Statue Garden in Kimballton is also featured in the Western Skies Scenic Byways.
    According to the Travel Iowa website, one traveler per month in 2021 will win a $200 prize package featuring gift certificates for restaurants, hotels and attractions.
    Participants will receive one entry for the monthly drawings  at each check-in to a location.
    To sign-up and view the monthly prizes go to
    Todd Valline, executive director of Shelby County Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said Iowa’s Scenic Byways are a wonderful way to introduce tourists and Iowans to the many treasures available throughout Iowa’s rural communities.
    “The Western Skies Scenic Byway, which includes Shelby County, has been very beneficial to Shelby County,” he said.
    “The Byway attracts tourists and potential future residents from far and wide by promoting the Historic Downtown of Harlan along with the inspiring St. Boniface and St. Joseph Catholic churches.  We look forward to additional stops within Shelby County being added to the Western Skies Scenic Byway and the continued benefits that tourism brings to Shelby County’s local businesses.”
    Additional stops on the Western Skies Scenic Byways include Albert The Bull Park: World’s Largest Bull, Audubon; Coon Rapids Giant Corn, Desoto National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Guthrie Center Public Art, Harrison County Historical Village & Iowa Welcome Center, Lincoln Highway/Loess Hills Interpretive Center, John James Audubon Plaza And Birdwalk; Woodbine Main Street - Public Art Installations and Trestle Park - Trail Art & IOWA Sculpture, Manning.
    The other scenic byways across the state featured in the passport program are Covered Bridges, Delaware Crossing, Driftless Area, Glacial Trail, Grant Wood, Historic Hills, Iowa Valley, Lincoln Highway, Loess Hills National, River Bluffs and White Polar Road.
    “Transportation is essential to connecting people with all the wonderful things Iowa has to offer,” said Scott Marler, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation.
    “Our state’s scenic byways system helps travelers recognize both main roadways and roads less traveled that highlight the uniqueness of our great state.”    
    The promotion program ends December 31, 2021.

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