Iowa Quick Facts
Uniquely Iowa: Iowa State Fiar
Must-See: The Lone Star Steamboat, the last wooden-hull stern wheeler on the Mississippi
Most Unusual: Snake Alley in Burlington, the most crooked street in the world
Highest Point: Hawkeye Point, 1,670 feet
Food to Try: Loose Meat Sandwich and Dutch Sugar Cookies
What to Do in Iowa:
1 Visit the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, one of the best in the country, and see the famous Butter Cow
2 Learn about the history of ballooning at the National Balloon Museum
3 Drive along the eastern border of Iowa, following the Mississippi, on the Great River Road National Scenic Byway
4 Explore the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harpers Ferry
5 Recreate and learn about Iowa history at the Mines of Spain Recreation Area/Julien Dubuque's Mines
Off The Beaten Path | Iowa
Iowa is a fantastic mid-western state. Visitors can enjoy the traditions and history of the state, as well as the influence of the evolving agricultural industry on the state's attractions and development. Throughout the state there are fascinating destinations to interest any traveler. Here are just a few of the great places to visit in Iowa.
Burlington, Iowa is a city filled with excellent destinations for travelers to explore. This city has excellent history museums, attractions and more. Visitors should be sure to stop at the Apple Tree Museum to learn more about the history of the region. Burlington is also home to Snake Alley, one of the crookedest streets found in the world.
Effigy Mounds National Monument
The Effigy Mounds National Monument preserves over 200 mounds built by American Indians. These mounds are considered sacred sites by the American Indian tribes from the region and the National Monument affords visitors the chance to learn about the natural and cultural history of the region. In addition, the site also has excellent hiking opportunities while allowing visitors to explore the fascinating mounds.
Great River Road
One fantastic way to explore any state is to take a road trip. Iowa's Great River Road provides visitors with an ideal path to explore some of the state's amazing scenery and culture. The Great River Road byway winds with the Mississippi River, from Lansing to Keokuk. Along this road there are stunning examples of Iowa's natural beauty, opportunities to hike and recreate, museums, unique Iowa towns and more.
Iowa State Fair
The Iowa State Fair held in Des Moines is a great Iowa tradition, and is an absolute must-see when it is being held. One fun attraction at the fair is the Butter Cow. This is a life-sized cow sculpted from butter. It takes about 600lbs of butter and every year one of the main breeds of dairy cows is the model for the sculpture.
Mines of Spain State Recreation Area
Those visitors to Iowa looking to enjoy some of the beautiful natural features should be sure to stop and explore the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area. This area preserves the natural plants and animal species of the region. Visitors should be sure to see the burr oak trees and try to catch a glimpse of some of the rare animals like the flying squirrel and red-shouldered hawk. The E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center is a good starting point to gather information and learn about the region, the Horseshoe Bluff Interpretive Area is also a must-see spot to learn about the geology of the region as well as the floating wetland trails.
Located at the entrance to Iowa State University in Ames, the Reiman Gardens are one of the largest public gardens in the state. These gardens feature an indoor conservatory, outdoor gardens and even a butterfly exhibit. Visitors to these gardens can also see the varying visiting exhibits to the gardens.
Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area
Northeast Iowa has a rich history, and the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area preserves the agricultural history of the area through museums, farms and more. Visitors can explore historic sites, museums, working farms, and more. Each site tells an important story about Iowa's history and the history of our country.
Fun & Funky Things to Do | Iowa
Throughout the great state of Iowa there are many fantastic destinations for any traveler. Those travelers seeking roadside oddities or destinations that are just a bit funkier than the usual Iowa attractions should stop and see a few of these fun destinations.
Albert the Bull
Located in Audubon, Albert the Bull is the largest bull in the world. This gigantic replica of a Hereford bull is made primarily from concrete. Visitors to Iowa can come to Audubon to visit Albert and learn more about his history before taking a photo and finding some Albert the Bull Souvenirs.
Grotto of the Redemption
The Grotto of the Redemption is truly an impressive structure, especially after learning that it was one man's devotion to his faith and hard work that created it. One of the largest grotto's in the world, visitors can see an amazing collection of rocks, minerals and other interesting items.
National Motorcycle Museum
Motorcycle enthusiasts are sure to enjoy a visit to this museum. With approximately 200 motorcycles, including some vintage examples, this is a great spot to learn about the history of the motorcycle. The museum also has excellent exhibits featuring photos and more.
Visitors to McGregor can take a fun boat tour of Spook Cave. This cave got its name from the noises that were once heard from the hole that would become Spook Cave. Today, there are boat tours taking visitors through the cave. Visitors get to see the formations and learn about the cave, all while enjoying a nice boat ride.
World's Largest Strawberry
Point Strawberry, Iowa is home to a giant strawberry statue. Travelers looking for the world's largest things, should be sure to stop at this World's Largest Strawberry. This strawberry actually has all of the details of a real strawberry and is a fun destination in Iowa.