If you’ve never been to the Hawkeye State, you may not be aware of the wide variety of things to see and do. From museums and entertainment to outdoor pursuits and historic landmarks, you’re in for a midwestern adventure to remember.
1. Field of Dreams (Dyersville)
Whether or not you’re a fan of the 1989 classic starring Kevin Costner, you’ll definitely want to make a short stop (get it?) at the baseball diamond and corn field where the movie was filmed. The attraction is so popular, there’s even a gift on-site shop where you can purchase memorabilia.
2. Iowa State Fair (Des Moines)
It’s a beloved annual tradition in many parts of the country, but the Iowa State fair is a truly epic event. There’s food, fun, rides, and even livestock competitions. What’s not to love?
3. Pappajohn Sculpture Park (Des Moines)
The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a fairly recent addition to Des Moines, built in 2009. However, it’s quickly become a fixture in the city due to its variety of incredible pieces from 22 different artists.
4. Capitol Building (Des Moines)
See where the law comes to life with a private tour of the Capitol Building. For groups of less than 10 people, you can call ahead to schedule a private walk-through.
5. National Mississippi River Museum & Attraction (Dubuque)
This popular spot is fun for the whole family. Not only is it educational, with exhibits dedicated to the river’s ecosystem and inhabitants, but a “4D” theater and interactive experiences make it entertaining as well.
6. Pikes Peak State Park (McGregor)
Bike, hike, or camp at this outdoor oasis, which offers stunning views of the Mississippi River. Bring your camera, too; the park holds the distinction of being one of the most-photographed places in the state.
7. Amana Colonies (Amana)
For a taste of Iowa’s rich heritage, look no further than the seven villages that make up the Amana Colonies. This quaint cluster of buildings houses handmade crafts, furniture, quilts, and other one-of-a-kind artisan goods.
8. Figge Art Museum (Davenport)
This cultural institution is not only home to beautiful collections of paintings and sculptures, but it’s also a hot spot for events like cocktail hours on Thursdays, and studio painting classes.
9. Blank Park Zoo (Des Moines)
Visit with some furry friends at Iowa’s most popular zoo. You’ll find giraffes, lions, bald eagles, rhinos, snow leopards, and more.
10. Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum (Decorah)
Much like the Amana Colonies, the Vesterheim also celebrates the cultural roots of many of the region’s residents with a variety of exhibits. There’s a special focus on objects and artifacts, particularly those that were found in 19th-century Norwegian homes.