Perfect Weekend Getaway – Frank Lloyd Wright Historic Park Inn..

Historic Park Inn Hotel

300 Historic Park Inn exterior 02 by VMC staff PS

Whether you’re a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast or a tourist longing for a historical getaway adventure…The Historic Park Inn may be exactly what you are looking for in a weekend getaway.

Located n the heart of downtown Mason City, across from Central Park, sits the only remaining Frank Lloyd Wright Hotel in the world. Reopened in 2011, featuring original art glass as well as restoration of texture walls, flooring and woodwork, is the Historic Park Inn. Guests will experience what the hotel, bank and law office were like at the time it was originally built – it’s definitely a must see!

To point out a few details of the buildings, look at the photo below. Looking left to right is the bank (City National Bank), in the middle- Law Offices and on the right is the Hotel..

72 Historic Park Inn OCT2012 owned by VMC (17)

Historic Park Inn 

Something to note about Wright is that everything he constructed had a purpose, rhyme or reason to it. The bank indicates a ‘safe place’, that is why the walls are tall, the windows sit high and is incredibly solid. The two tall structures on either side of the hotel are to indicate “arms” reaching out, to pull you into the building.

As you walk into the hotel you will notice that it is very open and comfortable,  as you move closer to the check-in area – the ceiling becomes low and you may start to feel a bit claustrophobic. You may wonder why it was built this way… well, it was fully intentional. Wright  wanted people to engage in conversation and socialize with others in the lobby area. The check-in area was designed to make guests feel secure, yet a bit uncomfortable, so they would not linger and immediately move back into the lobby or forward into the Great Room after checking in.


Today, the Historic Park Inn features a ballroom (formerly the space occupies by City National Bank), as well as meeting space, a business center for guests  (former Law Offices), and hotel & restaurant (original hotel). The Historic Park Inn is definitely a destination when traveling to Mason City and North Iowa.

Ballroom (City National Bank) 

Meeting & Office Space (Law Offices) 

Law Library 

For more secrets and stories about the Historic Park Inn & Frank Lloyd Wright  – we encourage you to take a guided tour! >>

72 Historic Park Inn OCT2012 owned by VMC (16)

Every year the Historic Park Inn attracts guests from all 50 states and every country in the World

72vet monument 1 from staff

The Historic Park Inn sits directly south of Central Park & Veterans Moment in downtown Mason City, IA 

The Historic Park Inn offers 27 beautiful guest rooms of which no two are alike  

The Ladies Parlor


Wine Room 

Enjoy billiards and a drink at the 1910 Lounge

  A favorite in Mason City, Iowa – 1910 Grill located in the hotel on the west side

The Historic Park Inn is a must-see site in Mason City, Iowa. Please share your experience and photos with us – @VisitMasonCity  &  @Wrightonthepark

For more information on the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic Park Inn >>

For all other must-see attractions in Mason City, Iowa >>

Piano on Federal Plaza

Piano on Federal Plaza 

Two local Mason City artist repurposed a piano that was donated from the Clarion Inn of Mason City. Local artist Tara Fitzpatrick and Joshua Brueggeman created a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired paintings on the piano. The piano will be located in Downtown Mason City, Iowa on the Plaza.



9 FREE Activities in Mason City, IA

9 FREE Activities to Take Advantage of when Traveling to

 Mason City, Iowa

mason city iwa

Whether you’re visiting  Mason City for one of our many attractions or just visiting family and friends – Here are 9 inside secrets to get the biggest bang for your buck while staying in Mason City.

 Visit Mason City Information Center 

Located on 2021 4th St. SW  – This is one stop you don’t want to miss when starting your adventure here in Mason City. At the Visitors Center you will find an array of brochures FREE to the public for attractions, entertainment and even local community events. A friendly staff member will greet you at the door and point out must sees, lodging, direction information, dinning /shopping options and so much more! Grab a Mason City Travel Guide and look for a FREE survivor coupon- HINT, HINT. The Visitor Center is open 24/7 and staffed: M-F 8-4:30


Prairie Playground East Park

Prairie Playground, located at East Park, East State St. is the largest outdoor play area in Mason City. The wooden maze will be sure to burn off energy while the shelter areas make a perfect place to eat a sack lunch or have a picnic.


Cannonball 457

After burning off some energy and with a full tummy, walk over to the Cannonball 457 east side of Prairie Playground (East Park, East State St), before exiting the park. The Cannonball 457 was built in 1912 and is the last remaining Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway steam locomotive- No. 457. The “Cannonball” has been restored to reflect its appearance in the late 1920’s. Mason City is also home to Iowa Traction Railroad, the only remaining organization that still uses electric locomotives to haul freight in regular service in the United States. Visitors can see an electric freight-hauling locomotive in operation on almost any day while traveling on 19th St. SW / County Rd B 35. The Cannonball 457 is a fun site for any age – take pictures and admire this historical site!

Cannonball 2016 from Friends 457

Music Man Footbridge/ Meredith Wilson

Music Man Footbridge is named in honor of native Mason City’s Meredith Wilson an internationally renowned composer.  The Footbridge is located on 2nd St. SE in Mason City over Willow Creek – connecting River Heights Drive and South Connecticut Ave. While this  Foot Bridge has a historic background it’s a prime location for a ‘selfie’ or a family photo as you have a beautiful background on the bridge.


Charles H. MacNider Art Museum

Calling all art, puppet and ceramic enthusiasts to check out this  museum when you are in town. Admission is FREE  for a self-guided tour, and is located on 303 2nd St. SE. The Charles H. MacNider Art Museum houses a permanent collection of American art, the famous Bil Baird Puppets and an impressive range of ceramics. The museum offers changing exhibits, films, studio classes, special events, Imagination Playground and a museum shop.

Prairie School Architectural Tour

Want to take a nice walk? Want to see the largest group of Prairie School designed homes on an unified site? Well you’re in luck when you’re visiting Mason City! The best part  it’s FREE (for a self guided tour). Prairie School Tour encompasses 14 blocks and the Historical Tour is an additional 13 blocks beginning at 303 2nd St. SE. Explore and be amazed when walking in the Rock Crest & Rock Glen area.  Architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Burley Griffen, William Drummond, Francis Barry Byrne and more. Download the Enlarged Mason City downtown map featuring an overview of the self guided walking tour.

Mason City Veterans Monument in Central Park

Located in Central Park (West State St.) is the Mason City Veterans Monument. This monument in Central Park honors over 3,300 veterans with Mason City connections. Standing 8 feet high and weighting  4,000 pounds it features 12 Black India Granite stones!

Mason City Vetrans Monument

 River City Sculpture on the Plaza

Sculptures on the Plaza are located at various parts of downtown Mason City. This is an exciting exhibit of outdoor sculptures displayed year-round. Self guided tour starts in downtown and loops through the cultural crescent which includes historical architecture, art museum, public library and the Music Man Square. Tour routes can be found at the Visit Mason City Center. Take a group of friends and enjoy the afternoon of seeing amazing works of art!


Lime Creek Nature Center

If you are headed North on your way out of Mason City be sure to stop by Lime Creek Nature Center; located at 3501 Lime Creek RD; HWY. 65 N. The Nature Center features a variety of displays about the wildlife and natural resources of North Iowa. An outdoor amphitheater, hands-on nature displays and over nine miles of trails through prairie, forest and wetland habitat provide fun experiences for everyone. FREE Admission with an unlimited amount of fun and learning!

After your day or days visiting Mason City we hope you found this helpful, as there are many other attractions to see and do. But, sometimes it’s nice to have a couple FREE activities in the itinerary. For more information on what all Mason City has to offer and lodging information please visit:


Great Race visits Mason City, Iowa

The Great Race visited Mason City, Iowa on June 25, 2016.

On June 25 hundreds of spectators made their way to East Park in Mason City, Iowa to see vintage/antique vehicles from the Great Race. The Great Race began on June 18 starting in San Rafael, CA and  finishing  in Molina, IL on June 26.  The arrival time began around 1pm as the National Anthem was sung and the Color Guard was presented.

great Racegreat race 1

Motor Mouth, spokesman of the Great Race crew kept the crowd entertained as he announced the vintage/antique vehicles as they made their way though the opening ceremony.

motor mouth

Photo Credit Due to Mason City Ford 

As drivers parked their vehicles, spectators had the chance to talk to the crew, take pictures and children were even able to get autographs from the drivers!


Photo Credit Due to Mason City Ford 


Photo Credit Due to Mason City Ford 

Drivers and navigators came from all over the world – some even had their vehicles shipped to the United States…CRAZY!  As the teams signed the Visit Mason City guest book it was noted that we had visitors in Mason City, Iowa from Japan, Finland, Canada and from both sides of the coast in the United States.


Photo Credit Due to Mason City Ford 

As Visit Mason City staff greeted the Great Race participants with a warm welcome, they were then escorted to their lunch in shelter house 2 in East Park.  Staff and volunteers of Visit Mason City served  guests lunch with loose meat sandwiches, sweet corn on the cob, chips, water and ice cream!


Photo Credit Due to Mason City Ford 

The last Great Race vehicle departed from Mason City around 4pm – as they were headed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


Photo Credit Due to Mason City Ford 

There were many compliments on the lunch served, Mason City’s hospitality and the BEAUTIFUL park. Guests and many Mason City natives enjoyed this event as well as the volunteers and staff!


Photo Credit Due to Mason City Ford 

A BIG thank you to all of our volunteers – River City Street Rods, Visit Mason City Volunteers, and friends/family of Staff.

Great Race Sponsored by:

     Mason City Ford          

mason city ford

      Visit Mason City


Calling all Antique and Vintage Vehicle Enthusiasts!

Great Race Sneak Preview

With “The Great Race” less than a week away, we wanted to share our enthusiasm as we prepare to welcome this group to Mason City, Iowa! Over 100 vintage and antique vehicles will be on display at East Park on Saturday, June 25, 2016 with an arrival ceremony beginning at 12:55pm. You won’t want to miss this rally of vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles with body and drive train built 1972 and earlier!

Not only are these vehicles unique antiques, but they will be traveling through 8 states, over  1,967 miles and a total of 28 hours (not including stops or traffic) as they compete in this time-speed-endurance race!

Models of Cars that will be on Display

1932 Ford Roadster

          1932 Ford Roadster

1936 Railton Boattail Speedster

  1936 Railton Boattail  Speedster

1941 Ford Pickup.jpg

1941 Ford Pickup

  Toyota Corolla 1970

1970 Toyota Corolla

(Please keep in mind these are not the exact photographs)

We would love to see the photos you take of “The Great Race”

as the teams roll into East Park on Saturday, June 25th –

Be sure to tag @visitmasoncity & #MasonCityIA


Teams are expected to arrive every minute until 3pm. During this checkpoint stop, the vehicles will be parked and on display. Spectators will have the opportunity to chat with the drivers themselves! Below is a list of some of the drivers and the vehicles they will be arriving in. The last car will depart East Park around 4pm.

For a complete list:

Drivers Vehicles
Eji Chiba 1972 Isuzu 117
Jim Menneto 1932 Ford Speedster
Jamie Bestwick 1970 Toyota Corolla
Ken Creary 1965 Ford Ranchero Deluxe
Alberto Bazan 1966 Shelby GT 350 Mustang
Jerome Reinan 1918 American LaFrance Speedster
Rex Gardner 1962 Chevy Nova
Sam Pratt 1950 Chevy Deluxe
Dean Booth 1957 Chevrolet 150
Larry Tribble 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air
John Hudson 1940 Chevrolet Master


Invite your Friends & Families… Do you have family and/or friends that have a passion for antique and vintage vehicles? Do they happen to live outside the Mason City area?  No worries here, Mason City has fantastic lodging accommodations for those friends and  family members who live a little further away.

mason city

If a friend or a family member needs help setting up  lodging accommodations please visit: masoncityiowa- lodging – where you will find a directory of all lodging accommodations in Mason City, Iowa.  For more on what Mason City has to offer visit: masoncityiowa-things-to-do

Mason City Motor-Speedway

Sprint League Race is coming to Mason City Sunday, June 19. The Sprint League Race will be the  fastest machines to ever circle the Mason City Motor Speedway! Over 410  National Sprint League cars will take over the North Iowa Fairgrounds Sunday night! This is an exciting event that you don’t want to miss!





Mason City Host ‘The Great Race’ on June 25, 2016

Mason City will be hosting ‘The Great Race’  on June 25, 2016. Come out to East Park and check out vintage and antique vehicles as well as speaking to the drivers themselves. The race  begins in San Rafael, California and ends in Moline, Illinois while stopping in more than 20 cities, including Mason City – You don’t want to miss out!

Participants of the race will be in a time, controlled-speed,  endurance, competition over scenic public highways and roads. Participants will not only be racing against the clock but each other as well.  The scores will be a result of each team’s ability to follow all designated course instructions precisely.  This race accounts for more than 2,000 miles and over 5 hours – not including stops! WOW!

Great Race 2016 Route

2016 Great Race begins in San Rafael, CA – Moline, IL 

The Great Race event will be held in conjunction with the 11th Annual Cannonball Day festivities.  The arrival ceremony will begin at 12:55pm. The drivers are expected to arrive at East Park between  1pm-3pm on Saturday, June 25 for a checkpoint lunch stop.

About the Vehicles …

Drivers in the race will be arriving in a combination of antique and vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles with body and drive train, built in 1972 or earlier and will be on display. For more information and photos check out their website:

Great Race comes to Mason City, Iowa

Vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles built in 1972 or earlier will be on display

The ‘Great Race’ will be held in conjunction with Mason City’s 11th  Annual Cannonball Day . Activities will take place 9:30am-9:30pm and include Kids Fun Run, pedal tractor pull, Bill Riley Talent search, Inflatables, Smoky the train rides, tours of the Rotary Cannonball, operating model train displays and more. Root beer floats and Cannonball dogs will be served all day. The Mason City Evening Lions will serve their barbecue chicken from 11:00am – 7:00pm, with drive-up or dine-in available. The evening’s entertainment will be by the Bolder Road Band from 5:00pm-9:00pm. For more information about these and other great events taking place in Mason City, visit our online calendar of events.




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