1. Take a scenic train ride in Boone (Boone)
Take in the rolling countryside with a train ride on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad. You can even take a dinner ride and enjoy food, dessert and wine while you ride.
2. Explore Pella’s Dutch heritage (Pella)
Founded in 1847 by a group of Dutch immigrants, Pella’s charming architecture and town square reflect that unique heritage. Go shopping downtown and walk around Molengracht Canal, visit Vermeer Mill and enjoy the multitude of tulips if the season is right.
3. Go to a drive-in movie (Newton)
The Valle Drive-In is Iowa’s oldest drive-in theater, where you can watch movies from the comfort of your own car, enjoying concessions you can buy at their concession stand.
4. See the covered bridges of Madison County (Madison County)
The Bridges of Madison County are so lovely they had a successful book and movie surrounding them. Spend a day driving around to admire the bridges and then stop in Winterset for dinner.
5. Go wine tasting on the Heart of Iowa Wine Trail (Central Iowa)
This wine trail stretches along much of central Iowa, so you can take your time exploring local wineries, wandering vineyards and tasting the wine, of course.
6. Pay a visit to Adventureland (Altoona)
Adventureland, in Altoona, has been an Iowa institution for a long time. You can spend the day going on rides, playing games, eating plenty of junk food and trying out the newest roller coaster, The Monster.
7. Hike or bike the High Trestle Trail
The High Trestle Trail Bridge stretches across the Des Moines River and is one of the largest trail bridges in the world. Along with the unique and beautiful bridge, there’s a 25-mile trail that passes through Ankeny, Sheldahl, Slater, Madrid and Woodward.
8. Visit Saylorville Lake (Polk City)
About ten miles away from Des Moines, Saylorville Lake is a reservoir of the Des Moines River. Here, you can enjoy nature as you partake in all sorts of water recreation activities, like boating, swimming and fishing.