What to See, Where to Stay
Affordable accommodations and a convenient location make Ottumwa a perfect place to visit for business or pleasure. There are 356 guest rooms, one convention hotel, and seven limited-service properties available for lodging or convention use. There are also several camping and RV parks.
Guests never have a shortage of attractions to explore in Ottumwa. The house made famous by artist Grant Wood in his painting “American Gothic” still stands. Although not open to the public, visitors are welcome to view the house from the outside as Grant Wood did in 1930 when its unusual Gothic window inspired him. The State Historical Society of Iowa owns and preserves the American Gothic House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Airpower Museum (APM) features a large collection of aircraft, many of which are flown regularly. The APM has more than 20,000 square feet of display and storage space plus spare engine and aircraft parts, both on display and being made available to Antique Airplane Association (AAA) members to assist in their restoration.
In addition to the many recreation attractions provided by the natural environment of the area, Ottumwa also offers an indoor/outdoor waterpark. The Beach Ottumwa provides 13 acres of water amusements, including a wave pool, several slides, children’s area, sand volleyball, and a competitive 8-lane indoor pool (open year-round).
In November and December, Ottumwa is the site of southeast Iowa’s biggest lighted holiday display — Holiday Nights ‘N Lights. Visitors are enchanted as they drive through a mile-long course with over 70 lighted holiday scenes.
Other attractions include the Wapello County Historical Museum, several annual festivals, farmer’s markets, and plenty of shopping and dining.