Maybe you’ve had these places on your bucket list for a while, but just haven’t had time to make the visit, or maybe you’ve been there before, fell in love, and are planning a return trip. No matter what the reason is, these are places that all Iowans should go at least once in their lives – and what better time than the new year?
1. Visit all six of the Bridges of Madison County.
And check out the Bridges of Madison County Festival, too.
2. Explore every crevice of Crystal Lake Cave in Dubuque.
And don't forget to bring your hiking boots this time.
3. See if you can locate every mound at Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harpers Ferry.
With over 200 of them, it may be next to impossible... but it sure will be fun to try!
4. Splash around at Dunning Spring in Decorah.
Make sure you wait until spring for this one, it might be a bit cold right now...
5. Pay your respects to Rock and Roll history at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.
And maybe even see a show while you're there.
6. Traverse through Maquoketa Caves State Park in Maquoketa.
And don't forget a flashlight!
7. Take a stroll across the Columbus Junction Swinging Bridge.
And take in the lovely scenery.
8. Spend an afternoon relaxing at Siewers Spring in Decorah.
Maybe bring a few chairs and your fishing poles.
9. Be Dutch for a day in Pella.
Sport a pair of wooden clogs and eat Dutch letters as you admire the tulips and wooden windmills.
10. Hike through the Loess Hills and Preparation Canyon in western Iowa.
It's sure to be steep, but the view from the top is worth the climb.
11. Experience German culture at the charming Amana Colonies.
Do some shopping, wining and dining, or check out one of their many German festivals.
12. Uncover hidden prehistoric clues at the Devonian Fossil Gorge in Coralville.
And you don't even have to be an archaeologist to check out this site.
13. Visit Iowa's largest lake, Lake Red Rock near Pella.
Then spend the rest of your day at the recreation area.
14. Skip the coastal beach vacation and take a trip to the Iowa Great Lakes.
Not only are they closer and cheaper, but they're just as beautiful.
15. Go exploring at Union Grove State Park near Gladbrook.
And don't forget to check out the waterfall while you're there.
What are some more places everyone should check out in 2016? Share some of your suggestions with us!