Be A Tourist in Your Own Community
By Melissa Schwan

This is part three of a four part series written by Vinton Unlimited.

The purpose of these brief articles is to help acquaint Vinton residents with leisure options that are available right in our own community so we can all become local ‘ambassadors’ so when a visitor might ask “what is there to do in town” each resident can respond with countless suggestions and a sense of community pride.

Last week I touched on various things to do in the Vinton community. Now you are probably wondering how to do them all!

The Iowa Braille & Sight Saving School is open to the public for tours during regular business hours, Monday to Friday – 8:00-4:30pm. To help ensure everyone receives a quality tour, advance notice is recommended for groups larger than 6. The guided tour will take you front top to bottom and through the tunnels! The 3rd floor has recently reopened after damages from the 2011 wind storm. Be sure to plan at least an hour for the tour! Call 319-472-5221 ext 1110 to make arrangements.

The chainsaw carvings are highlighted in a brochure that is located in various businesses around Vinton. Brochures are also located in the Vinton Unlimited office in City Hall and on the Vinton Unlimited website. A similar brochure will be designed for the corn statues that will be placed later this summer.

The Horridge House, the Ray House & the Train Depot are operated by the Benton County Historical Society. Tours can be arranged by emailing

The Benton County Nature Center is open Monday & Friday from 9:00-3:30pm and on the 4th Sunday of each month from 1-4:00pm. The Center can also be opened any other time by appointment, just call 319-472-4942 for arrangements. The many other educational and recreational opportunities outside of the nature center are always available for use.

If you are looking for a full day of activities for your family, your church group or your girlfriends, the Destination Vinton Committee of Vinton Unlimited can help put together the perfect itinerary based on your interests! Contact Melissa at 319-472-3955 or

Next week: The economic impact of tourism