A few weeks ago my son Manny and I were invited to travel to Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake in Iowa. This was only one short hour and a half drive from Des Moines (3 hours from Kansas City and 3 and a half hours from Omaha) which makes it especially convenient for those in the Midwest looking for a weekend getaway or a vacation spot within driving distance. With a family of seven, I am always looking for places to vacation within driving distance because of cost and convenience.
Honey Creek Resort is situated on 850 acres of beautiful wilderness on Rathbun Lake and offers 150 guest rooms in the lodge and 28 luxury cottages with 1, 2 or 4 bedrooms spread out among the resort. Manny and I stayed in a one bedroom cottage with a loft. This one-bedroom had one queen bed, one bunk bed with a twin over a full mattress and one queen sleeper sofa which makes the space ideal for a small family. The loft does have a large spiral staircase which might not be the cottage for you if you have toddlers. This cottage is about $200/night to rent in the colder months and can get up to $320/night in the summer months. Check Honey Creek’s room availability to determine the price for your stay.
Here are a few amenities and benefits I noticed and appreciated while staying.
- Since the resort is spread out, plan on driving, biking or walking to the lodge, golf course and activities from your cottage. I liked everything being spread out and that the kids could play in front of the cottage, by the beach or at the playground.
- The cottages offer full kitchens which can help you save money by cooking your own meals.
- There is a full-service restaraunt on-site for when you don’t want to cook.
- The large, spread out resort gives kids the chance to explore, run around and have fun.
- Bikes of all sizes and child trailers are available to rent for the week.
- On cold or rainy days the indoor water park is a fun activity.
- There are complimentary educational programs by on-site naturalist staff.
- There are complimentary resort activities and miles of multi-purpose trails through woods and natural prairie.
- It is ideal for meetings and large gatherings with indoor conference centers and a roofed outdoor pavillion.
Here are a few things that I noticed that could be changed and you can be aware of before traveling.
- The porches on the cottage overlooking the natural landscape are beautiful. It would be ideal to have a hammock and a nice table so guests can enjoy it.
- There is no place to actually swim at the waterpark. There is a space for a small lazy river, a todder splash pool, the water slide entry pool and then a small pool for a basketball hoop and rope bridge. Manny enjoyed the water park, but it would be nice for Honey Creek to have an outdoor pool.
- The beach only has a very small roped-off swim area, no beach chairs and no bathroom area.
Honey Creek Resort Activities
Honey Creek resort offers a variety of outdoor and recreational activities including golfing, hiking, fishing, fly fishing, ice fishing, kayaking, boat rentals, stars and constellations, scavenger hunts, live animals, as well as arts and crafts. You can find a schedule of activities here for your travel.
Honey Creek is a nice, clean resort offering beautiful views and the opportunity for a quiet nature experience. I would reccomend the luxury cottages for a romantic fall or winter getaway for couples or a slow-paced vacation for families. Manny and I enjoyed the time away together and our favorite part about the experience was all of our time riding the bikes on the trail to and from the lodge to our cottage. I do hope to go back to Honey Creek Resort this fall for a couples getaway!