Hotels in Council Bluffs

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What you should know about Council Bluffs

It's no exaggeration to say that the low hills of Council Bluffs, looking out over the Missouri to the West, have witnessed the coming of age of a nation. For a hundred-years this sister-city to Omaha was the Gateway to the West, the starting point of wagon trails that opened up half of the continent. Today this neighborhood still relishes its role as the starting point of the western frontier, whether with its railroad museums or with the bright lights of its river-fronting casinos.

Hotels in Council Bluffs

Council Bluffs has several motels and budget hotels lining the length of the I-80. But many of the hotels in Council Bluffs are found among its popular casinos overlooking the Missouri. These are mainly low-rise high-quality hotels, like the Ameristar Casino Hotel Bluffs. As well as its slots and roulette tables, this four-star Council Bluffs hotel has an indoor pool and childcare facilities. The Harrah’s Council Bluffs Hotel also has a casino, and even boasts a nightclub, while its 3 restaurants win high praise from guests. The Springhill Suites by Marriott Council Bluffs is much-liked for its large rooms and excellent breakfasts.

Things to see in Council Bluffs

Naturally its casinos garner much of the attention of those staying in Council Bluffs accommodation. But if you can drag yourself away from the blackjack table, this neighborhood has much else to see and do. Its vast rail yards have always been hugely important and there are 2 museums to help visitors discover more. The Union Pacific Railroad Museum is housed in a beautiful downtown Beau Arts building. It tells the story of the nation's railways and includes its own dining-car experience. The RailsWest Railroad Museum is housed in a former passenger depot, and shows off steam locomotives, cabooses, and a post-office car. More fascinating history can be found at the notorious Pottawattamie County Jail, better known as the “Squirrel Cage.” This innovative 19th-century prison kept its inmates imprisoned in a circle of cages that the jailer could rotate with a crank, so that only one cell at a time had access to a door.

Good for those wanting to hit the jackpot

Council Bluffs has become something of a casino resort for Omaha, ever since gambling laws in Iowa were liberalized, while Nebraska's remained frozen. If you're coming here to spin the wheel, you'll find that the hotels in Council Bluffs have excellent facilities, both on-the-floor and off of it. Restaurants, bars and nightclubs keep you entertained on-site, helping you make the most of the slots and blackjack tables. But Council Bluffs has its own entertainment too, with an increasing number of eateries and bars lining Broadway. And when you win the jackpot, the buzzing nightlife scene of Downtown Omaha lies just across the river.

How to get to Council Bluffs

Eppley Airfield Airport is the main point of entry to Omaha, and is less than 5 miles away across the state border. There aren't any direct public transportation links from here, so a car (or cab) will be needed get you your hotel in Central Omaha. This takes just 10 minutes, driving first down Abbott Drive before hooking left across the Missouri on the I-480. Of course, Council Bluffs is also within driving distance of some nearby cities. From Kansas City you're looking at a 3-hour drive down the I-29, while from Des Moines, travel to Council Bluffs takes just 2 hours.