There are so many things to see and do in the beautiful, underrated state of Iowa. With all of the incredible nature and unique culture to experience, there are countless adventures to be had; from simple things such as enjoying a meal at one of Iowa’s unique eateries, to wild adventures such as hiking the Loess Hills or kayaking the Upper Iowa River. Unfortunately, some people don’t have all the time in the world to explore our great state. But luckily for them, there are ways to experience Iowa in less time. For instance, here are 13 awesome ways to experience our state in 48 hours:
1. Take a tour of Iowa Wine Country
Located in northeastern Iowa overlooking the scenic Mississippi River is the Iowa Wine Trail, which consists of a variety of different wineries and vineyards that offer delicious, local wine.
2. Travel the Grant Wood Trail
Born in Anamosa, Grant Wood was one of the most famous artists in Iowa history, and even American history. Check out his hometown of Anamosa, where you can visit the Grant Wood Tourism Center and the Antioch Schoolhouse, where he attended school. Next, travel just a few miles over to Stone City, where Wood started his art colony. After that, check out the Grant Wood Gallery in Cedar Rapids.
3. Explore the history of Iowa at one of Iowa's many historical villages
What better way to experience Iowa than to really dig into Iowa history? What better way to dig into Iowa history than a historical village, where history has been preserved for us all to enjoy.
4. Or explore the history of famous and influential Iowans
From John Wayne to Herbert Hoover, there are countless famous and influential figures born in Iowa. Many of them are still honored in their hometowns with landmarks and even museums.
5. Scout out some of Iowa's best caves
If you're an outdoorsy type of person, Iowa has plenty of caves that are perfect for exploring. Check out Maquoketa Caves State Park in Maquoketa or the Decorah Ice Cave for starters.
6. Or traverse through the various state parks that Iowa has to offer
From Backbone State Park to Pikes Peak State Park to Stone State Park and more, Iowa has some of the best parks around, which are perfect for a day of hiking.
7. Relax and enjoy a day at the beach at the Iowa Great Lakes
The Iowa Great Lakes in Dickinson County almost look like the Caribbean, but in Iowa!
8. Sight see Iowa from the water on a riverboat cruise
Take a riverboat cruise on the Mighty Mississippi, where you can spot bald eagle and see some of the most beautiful parts of Iowa.
9. Hike the Loess Hills and Preparation Canyon
The Loess Hills span across 200 miles of western Iowa, and are a prime spot to do some hiking - especially at Preparation Canyon.
10. Take a tour of the Bridges of Madison County
The Bridges of Madison County rose to fame after the Clint Eastwood movie of the same name was released. The old covered bridges, which were first built in the late 1800's, are now a must-see, historic spot in Iowa.
11. Stay overnight in one of Iowa's unique bed and breakfasts
From old barns turned B&Bs to historic and haunted inn's, there are so many unique and interesting places to stay in Iowa that aren't Super 8 Motel, and will really add to your Iowa experience.
12. Grab a bite to eat at one of Iowa's unique eateries
From funky pizza joints to unique eateries in old bank buildings, Iowa has an abundance of interesting places to eat - each of which will give you an experience that you could only have in Iowa.
13. Tour one of Iowa's charming small towns
From the Amana Colonies to the bustling Dutch city of Pella, Iowa has some of the best small towns in the entire nation, which are filled with a character all their own!
What are some more ways to experience Iowa in 48 hours? Share your thoughts with us!