Movies such as Days of Heaven, Field of Dreams, Signs, Witness, Places in the Heart, The Magnificent Seven, and Grapes of Wrath ... what do they have in common? You guessed it. They are set on a gorgeous farm or countryside location. The pastoral sceneries from these films are breathtakingly beautiful and memorable, and all prove one thing. Filmmakers are always in search of cinematic countryside settings to use as film locations for their productions.

Today we are showcasing three idyllic countryside locations in Iowa that are so cinematically beautiful that it wouldn't surprise us if Terrence Malick himself decides to film there.

Production still from  Days of Heaven  (filmed mainly in Alberta, Canada) - image via  Google .

Production still from Days of Heaven (filmed mainly in Alberta, Canada) - image via Google.

Are you ready? Let's go!

1. The Red Barn

The Red Barn is a 100-year-old "post and beam" barn located in the middle of the beautiful Iowa countryside, south of Elkader. Completely renovated to maintain its rustic character, the original 30x60-foot hayloft was converted into a five-level property that can easily house 20+ people.

The bucolic setting of the Red Barn has brought many visitors to its door. The farm is now operated as a bed and breakfast under the name "Barn on the Bluff Bed & Breakfast," managed by innkeepers Rick and Julie Dengler.

Not only is the Red Barn a lovely setting, it's also film-friendly and would make a perfect film location. We wouldn't be surprised if Hollywood comes calling soon. Until then, you can be the first filmmaker to discover this secret gem of a film location.

For more information on filming at the Red Barn, visit its listing on

2. Highway 13, South of Elkader

Not far from the Red Barn along Highway 13 is a stretch of country road so fabulously scenic and cinematic, visitors often stop and whip out their cameras. The gorgeous rolling hills and farms gracing this stretch of highway remind me of the beautiful paintings by Homer Winslow or Andrew Wyeth. If you're ever in this part of the country and want to impress your Instagram friends, look up Highway 13, located in Elkader (a tiny town with approximately 1,500 residents). Don't forget to bring your camera. 

Elkader embodies everything that's charming about small town life. Surrounded by limestone bluffs and forested hillsides, and the gentle Turkey River flowing through its center, Elkader has always been a tourist attraction, especially for campers and outdoor lovers. The rural charms of this area is immediately evident the minute visitors arrive on Highway 13.

For more information on filming on or off this lovely stretch of country road, visit the listing for Highway 13 on

3. Garber Road, West of Guttenberg

Nestled between Mississippi River and the Limestone Bluffs of Iowa is the historic German rivertown of Guttenberg. Incorporated in 1851, Guttenberg has a strong German influence as evidenced in its architecture, especially the construction done between 1845 and 1865. For filmmakers and photographers, Guttenberg's Garber Road is a much-coveted location. As you drive along Garber Road, the beautiful rolling country side and farms of Guttenberg will take your breath away. Be prepared to be amazed.

For more information on filming on Garber Road, visit its listing on

For information on filming in Iowa, one of the most film-friendly states in the country, visit Produce Iowa. With no general permits required and none to low location fees, it's no wonder the list of productions filmed in Iowa is getting quite long. 

Screenshot from  Witness  (1985) filmed on Paul Krantz Farm in Strasburg, Pennsylvania.

Screenshot from Witness (1985) filmed on Paul Krantz Farm in Strasburg, Pennsylvania.


PHOTO CREDIT: Banner image is a production still from Days of Heaven - via Google. All other images via