What to do in Ottumwa

About Ottumwa

A place we call home! Ottumwa’s population is approximately 24,500 and is the county seat of Wapello County. The city is split into Northern and Southern halves by the Des Moines River.  Ottumwa is a growing community, with several locally owned businesses as well as National Corporations that continue to invest in our city. We are home to the John Deere Ottumwa Works plant since 1911, the first manufacturing facility in Iowa! Another National Corporation is the JBS Pork facility. JBS sponsors Bacon Town each year which brings in visitors and locals alike. Bacon Town is an annual event that celebrates the bacon industry by showcasing delicious and unique menu items. We feel fortunate to host this bacon festival because we truly are a “bacon town!”


The revitalization of downtown continues to improve with locally owned and operated businesses. We have a wide selection of restaurants and coffee shops in the area including Appanoose Rapids, Market on Main, The Canteen, Second Street Café, Tom Tom Tap, Mimi’s Taqueria and Bakery, Morgan’s Corner, Warehouse Barbeque, Polar Express, Godfreys Ale House, Main Street Donuts, Grahams Ice Cream, The Vine, Coal Palace Café and Books,  and The Hub.


The Bridge View Center is nestled on the banks of the Des Moines River in the heart of downtown and is fast becoming the premier destination in Southeast Iowa for concerts, theatre productions and conventions. The Beach Ottumwa is an indoor/outdoor water park, that is a very popular hangout in the summer months.  The water park offers a wave pool, curly slides, speed slide, indoor slides and sand volleyball court. The indoor pool is open year round for lap and open swim.


Parks and natural resources within any community affect the health of the economy as well as the happiness of its residents. Ottumwa has an abundance of park areas.  The Ottumwa RV Park, Wildwood Park and the Greater Ottumwa Park to name a few. We also have a Bark Park that is very popular with our four legged friends. Ottumwa also has a growing number of paved trails along the Des Moines River. These trails are perfect for walking, running and cycling.


There are two golf courses in Ottumwa. Cedar Creek Golf Course is a challenging 18 hole public facility, with a slope rating of 122. And the Ottumwa Country Club is an 18 hole regulation length, private golf course with a slope rating of 124.

Surrounding Area

Bloomfield (Davis County): http://www.cityofbloomfield.org/

Everything Mahaska (Mahaska County): http://everythingmahaska.org/calendar/

Kirksville (Adair County): https://visitkirksville.com/events/

Macon (Macon County): http://www.maconmochamber.com/chamber-info/calendar-of-events/

Ottumwa (Wapello County): https://www.greaterottumwacvb.org/events/

Villages of Van Buren (Van Buren County): http://villagesofvanburen.com/calendar.html

All in all we are happy to have you joining our city.  This is just a quick recap of a community on the rise. We are happy to live here and want you to enjoy your time here as well. We are always here to answer any questions you may have or direct you to the resources you need. Again our goal for you is to, Love where you Live…..even if it’s only for a short stay.

Welcome and Enjoy!

Teresa and Steve