Reviews of John Wayne Birthplace Museum (Tourist Attraction)

205 S. John Wayne Drive, Winterset, IA 50273, United States

Average Rating:


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Currently this business has a score of 4.6 over 5 and that score was based on 826 reviews.

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This Tourist Attraction is included in the category of Museum.

Where is John Wayne Birthplace Museum?

REVIEWS OF John Wayne Birthplace Museum IN Iowa

S Jones

Great stop, but not as grand as I expected

Mary Neece

Really nice museum! Very interesting. We are fortunate to have this. Staff are very personable and knowledgeable!

OG King

The Duke. Nuff said.

E Provo

Loved it....John Wayne is such an American icon! Glad i had the chance to visit & learn a little more about this special man in history & what he stood for. Not to mention, i love him as an actor as well.

Cindy Copley

John Wayne is the greatest actor and my husband and myself visited. It was a very nice place to visit. To see where the Duke was born was interesting. Would like to see it again.


Great place. Plan to go back. My boyfriend collects John Wayne items and I was driving in Iowa heading to Missouri and had to take a detour so I got on my GPS and notice that we will be going through Winterset, Iowa. So I surprise my boyfriend when we pulled in front of the statue of John Wayne. I woke him up and told him we are stopping for a break and he looked up and it took a few minutes for him to realize where he was. I loved his look, he had no ideal that we was going to go by there, he was very surprised. Had a great time. There is a short video you watch. Gift shop and museum and the house John Wayne was actually born in. He had to get some souvenirs.

k crable

Very cool, tastefully done, not by him ( John Wayne) but by his family and others that loved him and what he stood for.

Kaitlin Moore

While it's a lot of fun to see a museum dedicated to John Wayne, it's underwhelming compared to other small museums I've been to. There are authentic items from the film's here, which is really neat, and signed letters from John Wayne, but many of the items were copies of the original and you could easily/quickly look past them. Gift shop had cool memorabilia. I'd recommend going if you're a hardcore fan of westerns and/or John Wayne, but don't make a special trip soley to visit the museum. Visit if it's along your path.

Jessica Boyer

Glad we made the stop to make a quick visit. We arrived about an hour before they closed, but were able to take a quick tour of his birthplace home and see everything inside the museum. Very friendly staff and clean facility. We were told they would be expanding the museum in a few years, so we look forward to a future visit.

Michael Schreifels


Jeff Kerr

Great place to visit and learn about the Duke.

Todd&Sue Fenske

It was OK. $15 was a bit much for what you got. Museum was better than both home. John Wayne was only in winterset 2 years and never returned. A true enthusiast would love it, though.

Bill Olson

Great history lesson of someone we grew up with and loved!

Lillian LaRue

It was ok. You have to pay to get into the house and the museum.

jody lamp

If you LOVE John Wayne...and haven't been here, what have you been waiting for??

mmm ccc

Very nice short movie and several rooms of John Wayne items. It is a little pricy but well worth the visit if a John Wayne Fan

Cathie Rouse

Love seeing the house of his birth. So tiny.

Lash Askew

Museum wasn't as big as we thought it would be. Between the video, museum, and homeplace, spent about an hour and half. If you are a big fan or in the vicinity, it's worth a stop.

Erin S

Diffently enjoyed visiting.

Kathryn Johnson

This little town was all about John Wayne. One whole block was of his museum and house. Well kept.

David Hammer

Great place! Lots of interesting things to learn about John Wayne. Worth the trip!

Cindy Fife

Fantastic exhibits, thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Nice change from the museum that was located in his house. So much more to see. Staff was fantastic!

Ted Heater

Awesome Proud to have seen John Waynes birth place...

Earl Morgan

Interesting, but small museum about John Wayne's life. Some nice artifacts from his career.

David R. DE Jesus

Visiting Iowa and stopping by to enjoy history and a legend "John Wayne's" birth place.

Scott Wise

Very nice and a lot of information. Staff is excellent

Don Lewis

Only dedicated museum to John Wayne in the world. Well worth the side trip to see it. In fact they intend to make it larger.

charles mitchell

Unless you are a huge John wayne fan don't bother.staff unfriendly. Bridges of Madison county however

Scott Champlin

Cool memorabilia very interesting great time for any John Wayne fan.

James Antolick

I have been there 15 years ago we plan to go again this year it's a wonderful place to go if you like John Wayne

Brad Boustead

Great little museum for John Wayne fans and people who want to become John Wayne fans. Museum addition begins this year.


A must if your a fan of "The Duke". Prices are high, but it's neat

Ken .DeWalt

A bit expensive,but if you loved the Duke ( he or his dog)

Gary Ibbotson

Nice museum. If you like John Wayne this is a great place to come.

Nathan Phillips

Not as many items that I expected to see for the price of admission

Giti Linn

I used to watch John Wayne movies with my dad when I was a kid and I still have fun watching them sometimes ! His house is very well maintained and is lovingly cared for! The staff are so friendly!The whole town is just so adorable !

Amy West

John Wayne's birthplace and museum are a must see for his fans. This is the second time we've visited and it's a really neat experience. His museum is nearby as well as one of the Bridges of Madison County. All within a six block area.

Lydia Huerta

Loved revisiting my memories of John Wayne. Will stop by again.

Juliette Mankle

This was an awesome place to visit.

Dolores Dominguez

Wonderful little place, price was a little steep to do the tour, but enjoyed it

Julie Cameron

Well done museum with varied things from his life and job, Great to see the original furnished house. Very small but cozy

Abby Feek

Wonderful museum! There's an 11 minute documentary showing John's career, and it made me want to come home and start watching all the John Wayne movies I can. My only complaint is that I think the $15 admission was a little pricey for no bigger than the museum is. But to walk in the house where the Duke was born was just awe inspiring to the little girl inside me who grew up loving him and to the woman who continues to love him and the values he stands for.

Candace Wise

Wasn't really excited about going at first. I have to be honest once I got there it was cool to see all of the memorabilia for John Wayne. I highly recommend paying the extra to walk through the private gallery!!

Debbie Howard

If you are a John Wayne fan, great place to enjoy him

Deneil Inman

It's a wonderful place to go

Jeffrey Hill

Good overview of John Wayne's life and work.

Ron Ridgway

I'm a huge John Wayne fan though I was a tiny bit disappointed in my visit here. I assumed the museum would be larger with more items to view. It was really cool to see items that were in some of his movies, especially the carriage that he and Maureen O'Hara rode in in the movie "The Quiet Man" though I would have enjoyed seeing pictures and memorabilia of the Duke's personal life. Pictures of him along with his wife(s) and children at their home or while on vacation. The house he lived in for the first two years of his life was only ok at most. All the furniture in the house was simply period furniture. Nothing from when the Waynes' actually lived their. The lady who was supposed to be the guide just sat there and only spoke when when we asked a question.

Janice Kisting

I loved seeing this place. The history in this place. I only wish my dad would be around to see this place.

Todd Green

We really enjoyed the museum, especially the movie!! Everyone should go at least once.

Kirk Taylor

Birthplace of a Movie Legend. Great place to visit.

Jon Seeger

Lots of fun. Worth seeing. Have the dating carriage that Maureen ohhare donated from the boxer in Ireland. Has true name there lol

Ann Blaker

My husband really wanted to see this. We had all 4 kids with us, ranging in age from 11--21. Not all of them started off interested in this, but all of them ended up really enjoying it. Admission included an 11 minute video introduced on screen by one of John Wayne's daughters, entry into an immaculately organized though small museum of very interesting items from John Wayne's life and entry into his childhood home. The video was shown in a small, private theater containing approximately 50 seats that were obtained from Grauman's Chinese Theater in LA. The theater was just off to one side of a nice sized gift shop. Off to the other side was the actual museum. The highlight of the museum for me was the side buggy used in The Quiet Man, donated by Maureen O'hara. Just around the corner from the museum, a mere countable steps, is the house that John Wayne was born in and spent his first 28 months of life. It's adorable, with original woodwork, floors and stained glass. The staff at these locations were knowledgeable and helpful and seemed genuinely happy to be there. I'd definitely come back. There are several members of my family that I know would love this.

Kim Slava

A little pricey, but worth going to once.

Jeannette Brummett

I Ann a fawn of Cowboys movies Abby's john wayne and hubby brought me here for mothers day and it was the best gift ever!

Jeff Rhode

Love the ride down on my bike.


It is funded only by fans and the sales in the gift shop so to me it makes it even more amazing.

Carol Messner

Brings back great memories with my Dad

David Wallace

Loved it... enjoyed the decor.

Charles Binau

Great place to take the family

Leonard Christian

It was interesting but really small

Sherolyn Smith

Piece of cool history. Loved looking through all the memorabilia.

Bully Yay

Very cool place to visit for anyone who loves John Wayne or American Cinema. Lots of stuff you can buy with John Wayne on it. You can take the tour and see some exclusive memorabilia and then you can even tour his boyhood home. All of all it's a pretty sweet place to visit in a small quaint town. Plus, the statue of The Duke out front is amazing.

Lisa Norris

Great site seeing place and good gift shop.

Ken Nadeau

Definitely stopped in the museum had a good time it's an old friend that I did a lot of movie shoots with when I had all the wagons

Sue Ellen Curtis

Tickets were a hassle to purchase. You need to sell them at the entrance, not have to go downtown and then come back. Cute house from the OUTSIDE. Didn't go in because of ticket situation.

Katie Jaapar

You have to be a true fan to be willing to pony up the $15 admission fee.


I am a fan, but not rabid, and I had the BEST time at John Wayne's birthplace. Excellent museum (chock full of cool stuff including one of the Duke's cars). Also you can visit the house where he was born and lived the first 2 years of his life. When I was there, there was a volunteer curator who was extremely well informed who was happy to answer questions! Top- notch alll the way!

Amy Severson

Good place to see John Wayne memorabilia

brian vilcinskas

Great place to come and see all the props John Wyane had used in his movies. I have always loved coming here. One of my all time favorite actors. First time back here since the upgraded building. Great job! Very interesting place to visit.

Gene Needham

I was fortunate enough for the time to visit. His childhood home, photos, local articles open one to a side you don't have really available. The nice movie theatre with a view of him by others, a small museum where you capture the man Wayne was within letters are worth the time and price. Lastly, take time to enjoy Winter rest as well. Lovely town and people!

Janet Treece

If you love John Wayne, this stop is a must. Great people and lots of authenic JW memorabilia...

Diane Turner

Excellent! Ladies were helpful and made you feel welcome! I enjoyed and will definitely go back.

Donna Hallick

House and museum were well worth seeing. Short intro video in theater has a nice patriotic ring to it.


Wonderful sites seeing experience for me today, thanks google

Dave Kipple

I loved the memorabilia offered in the gift store and purchased a coffee mug with a picture and a quote by John Wayne that read, " If you say it's a fine morning I'll shoot ya!". I didn't tour the boy hood home but am looking forward to that the next time I travel that way again.

Lisa Spaulding

It was 2nd time back. Great to see new museum and gift shop! People very friendly, cant wait to come back.

Travel Album

It's always interesting to learn about our famous American actor heroes, John Wayne being one of them!

Blanca Gonzalez PRYOR

Its always great to know people and towns care enough to preserve history. Especially since it was the house where one of our greatest actors was raised

Gaylon Stafford

Tons of history about one of America's first film cowboys. True American with real values. Very nice set up.

Jon Dymond

Fantastic , Informative , I learned a lot about an Icon

Julia Elder

The museum is very nice. The birthplace home is only the location. The home is furnished with period donations. Restoration was very well done.

L Lar

Great little museum, and nice to tour the little home.

David Nancy Kuhn

Beautiful museum building and grounds. Love the statute. Loved the movie theatre introduction and museum pieces. Birthplace house was nice. Take all our out of town friends and family there.

Richard Jones

My congratulations to the people working at the John Wayne Museum a very knowledgeable very friendly and the amount of material there it is fantastic that they were able to gather so much and kudos to kemuri Sullivan for donating Lee buggy to the museum that was in what I Dean and Academy award-winning a movie The Silent man the first movie to reach that Pinnacle II was the Searchers

Debra Sell

Small but cool...

Diane Dembosky

Loved it!! Historical guide had nonstop stories that I wish now I had recorded!! So much to learn!


I have been a fan of the Duke since I was a kid. The museum, the town, the County, and the folks in Winterset are the best. I hope to come back again

Heather Peters

I don't believe i could have had a better birthday present i had a blast thank you so much

Kathleen Helmer

Excellent tribute to "The Duke".

Eric Hepner

Only walked around the gift shop and outside. Admission to the museum and home are $15/ adult and we didn't have time to get our money's worth. Some interesting things, but gift shop is a bit overpriced.

Ryan Carroll

A bit pricey but really interesting and informative if you happen to be in the area

Anthony Boze

Great piece of America history.

J. Wilson

Great experience!

Michael Burroughs

Fun place if you are a John Wayne fan.

margaret russell

If you have any interest in John Wayne you'll love everything they have here, house and museum

Marilyn Brustad

Very nice. Staff very friendly and helpful. Madison covered bridges here also. Nice to see.

Jerry Withrow

Has some cool stuff of his from his movie's and it's the house he was born in.

Janet Gay

Interesting place to see.

Michelle Heerboth

Lots of neat information and movie memorabilia, but $15 admission was a little steep. Would have been interested to hear more about his life before becoming famous. Docent at the house was very friendly and knowledgeable.

Backpackerwdogs 1

Great place to visit and learn about an American Icon.

Roger Cameron

If you're a fan or not, outstanding lace

Andrea Hiniker

Loved this place because it was special things that John Wayne had requested to be here. There were movie props and photos with the story he told why he really liked his title working with this person or crew member. Also had his personal items in it.

Jennifer Busma

Not the biggest John Wayne fan but the only thing you don't pay to get into is the gift shop...

Roxanne Rucinski

Good road trip, but I was kinda expecting more exhibits to look at. The full size statue inside the museum was amazing though.

Lisa Peterson

Even if you're not a big fan of John Wayne- there are some out there- this is an interesting spot to to visit in Madison County. The house where Wayne was born is meticulously maintained and covers most of the block. Very walkable, lots of parking, just a few blocks from the center of downtown. Wayne's movie roles and dates are engraved on blocks surrounding the museum. Small admission charge.

Bobby French

Big fan...musem does not disappoint. The intro by JW's daughter was nicely done.

Carla Sanderson

If you're a true John Wayne fan, its well worth the drive. Also visit the City Park, its very pretty. People are extremely nice.

Mike Abrams

Modern museum focusing on John Wayne. Nice gift shop. $15 museum entrance fee which includes entrance to the house. Well worth s stop.

Annette Mullins

We enjoyed it very much. Nice displays, friendly staff.

Michael Angelo

I just wished it was bigger, being about an American icon with such a prodigious output..but they're apparently, they're trying to raise funds to do just that. But everyone was friendly, especially Liz, the manager, even in giving me lots of info before i had even left on the trip. The museum and grounds were elegant and well laid out, and I saw many items that really moved me, and at times, brought me to tears. Despite all our heroes being flawed, this museum and all the surrounding grounds made me proud to be an American.

Maggie Ann

Museum is interesting, but quite small. The gift shop has a wide variety of options, but they are a little pricey. Not a must-see, but nice if you have time. Seeing the house was nice, but the people working ignored the customers so I didn't learn much. I had to look around for myself which was fine for me, but don't go if you want a guided tour.

Christian Kohl

Didn't go in. Said we had to purchase tickets from someplace but didn't say where that place was so we didn't get to go in.

Nancy Kustka

Cute little city. Nice people.

Kathy Anderson

Nice, interesting place. Staff very helpful.

greg gantt

Well taken care of. If your a western buff it's a must.

Keith Myers Jr

Lots to do and see. It was wonderful. I recommend that movie buffs and followers of John Wayne see it.

Ginger Gjonnes

It's John Wayne..what a fun memory of a great actor

Rena Lewis

Clean and super friendly people and helpful.

Nikki Bee

Really awesome. So glad i got to see this!!

Rick Kies

Only went to the gift shop as they wanted $15 a person to go into a little Museum which is a little pricey when you had four family members.

KC Casey

I rated it only 4 stars mainly because it was closed while we were there. The main reason I like this place is for the person that it honors.

Richard & Tammi Mether

Very nice displays. Professional informed staff. Admission price was too high.

Cindy Lacey

Was so enjoyable the works knew there stores nice new museum they built

Robert Atzeni

Not a big John Wayne fan but was in town with family and doing the covered bridges thing. Anyway the museum was fun and we had the opportunity to visit his house as a child. A bit pricey but keeping history in tact in a small town this happens. Moving forward the house was really small so small touring it is a liability so only so many people could go thru a one time .Did you know his boot size was 8.5 I thought that was funny since he was king of the cowboys. Plus John Wayne was in stage theater growing up and took dance. You never know unless you really look at history.

Duncan Walker

Every John Wayne fan should see this. Such a great man from such simple beginnings.

Kevin B

You can't miss this stop in Winterset. The museum is a perfect tribute to the Duke, with many sights to see in the surrounding grounds. The tribute rock is amazingly painted and the birth place house is really a treat. The museum is small, but well worth the time and the staff the is truly invested in the whole down to earth nature of thr John Wayne story. If you want to know a true American, trained the tour!

Michelle murk

Nice little stop on our way home.

Jennifer Krimmel

Interesting place to visit if you like The Duke.

D. T-Harvey

Made a stop here, when there notice the stars on sidewalk, all the movies!

3X Studio old

If you're into history and that kind of stuff then it's a good place to go

Bret L Osburn

Love The Duke, wish they had more stuff

Diane Rackley

Museum is located in beautiful downtown Winterset. Gift shop was clean and well-kept. Freedom Rock was simply gorgeous, as the nice lady at the Madison County Historical Society was kind enough to point out. We did not go into the museum, as it cost $15. No offense to the Duke, but that was a bit much for us.

James Larson

Great docents, new and quality museum and much to see and learn

Shane Howard

Neat museum, I think $15 is a bit much for such a small place but it was interesting to tour. The gift shop is very nice & the John Wayne painting on the freedom rock next door fit in with the theme.

Steve Barker

Such a great actor came from such a humble place

Karla N

What a beautiful place to see to learn about John Wayne.

Pam McCleary

Wonderful would do it again

Jennifer K

We really didn't know anything about John Wayne but this was pretty cool. You can watch a short film about him and then go through the museum to see his stuff. There is a nice gift shop too. Around the corner from the museum is his birth home that you can walk through. There is a guide that will tell you about his birth and childhood.

Jeff Hirschman

Unique place to visit very nice

Mike Green

If you've ever watched the John Wayne movie you have to see this museum

Joanne Hutchison

John Wayne has always been a favorite of mine. Seeing his museum and learning more about his life was amazing.

Mara Gerke

If you like John Wayne you will enjoy this museum!

Dara Rodriguez

Very interesting if you are a western lover!!

Wm. Blake Godfrey

Interesting worth a stop. Great gift shop.

Sheila Callahan

This was wonderful. Great place and lovely town

Merry Marshall

Lots of cool memorabilia! Lovely town with beautiful parks. Bridges of Madison County near by.

Jill St John

Great little museum. Staff is super friendly. Winterset is a wonderful little town and still has a old time soda fountian, food was excellent.

Diane Brunner

Love John Wayne. My late husband would come up yearly from KC MO for a day trip on the motorcycle.

Ron jarvis

Everything you needed to know and more.

P Nelson

Loved it! If you love John Wayne you will enjoy this museum and tour of his boyhood home. No charge to browse the gift shop but if you have time pay the entry fee, watch the movie and take a walk into the past. Enjoy!

John Stentz

Clean, generally well put together. $15 cost of adult admission is high for a place where the gift store is the same square footage as the museum gallery. I would have enjoyed more information on his life's details and his movie roles.

Kevin Somnis

Best place I ever been is worth the drive to see John Wayne

Lisa Cash

Always enjoy visiting here when I'm in Winter set.

Melinda Strable

Cool memorabilia & great staff!

Gabe Hanratty

The only Museum of its kind dedicated to John Wayne

Pamela Stanford

If you love the Duke a must see

William Bracken

Great museum for a great American. Enjoyed the video presentation inside along with all the artifacts and stories about John Wayne.


Just around the corner from the museum and short distance from town square. Well manicured lawn and nicely maintained

Laura Clouse

Very informative. Many interesting aspects of the life of the Duke.

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