Iowa November 15, 2017
10 Not-So-Hidden Hidden Gems You’ll Find Only In Iowa
For an unforgettable day trip, nothing compares to exploring Iowa. These destinations are hiding in plain sight and are easy to forget about. So, if you haven’t visited them put them on your list. They are definitely worth seeing.
1. Bridges of Madison County
Yes, the ones from the movie. If you haven’t seen them, just go! There are six of these famous covered bridges. Stop and spend some time in Winterset, too. It’s a quaint Iowa town with lots to see.
2. Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines
There are over 1,400 animals from all over the world at this amazing zoo. It’s open year ‘round; 10am-4pm during the fall and winter. There’s always something going on, here. On December 9th and 16th, you can see Santa at the zoo and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa.
3. Ice Cream Capital of the World in Le Mars
It really is the sweetest place on earth. Wells Blue Bunny has its headquarters here. It’s an Iowa company with deep roots in the northwestern part of our state. Visit the old-fashioned ice cream parlor and choose from 40 ice cream flavors.
4. National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, Dubuque
This world-class museum and interactive center offers more than a dozen aquariums full of native species, raptor aviaries, and outdoor exhibits. See the William M. Black steamboat, touch a Craver Stingray, and experience river life in the 3D/4D Large-format Digital Theater.
5. Iowa State Fair
How do you discuss things to do in Iowa without talking about this incredible festival of meat-on-a-stick? It happens each year in August and goes for 11 glorious days. For the best view of the action, be sure to ride the lift!
6. Living History Farms in Urbandale
Learn about Iowa’s incredibly farming culture and history while interacting with people who are living life as they would have in bygone eras. Tour at your own pace and see the real-life inner workings of farm life over a span of 300 years in this 500-acre open-air museum.
7. American Gothic House in Eldon
Is there anything more iconic than the back drop to Grant Wood’s most famous painting? If you are in the area, you must take the ultimate Iowa selfie in front of this historic home.
8. Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor
Iowa has some serious terrain, and at this amazing park, you can see for miles from the lookout. The trails are beautifully developed and maintained. This is one of the most photographed and beloved places in Iowa.
9. Lake Okoboji
Part of Iowa’s Great Lake region, this giant playground will keep you busy and happy for a long, long time. Great restaurants, sport fishing, boat tours, and more await.
10. Iowa State Capital Building, Des Moines
Schedule a tour so you can climb the stairs to reach the top of the 23-karat golden dome. In 2011, the circular glass floor was installed as part of the plan to restore the building’s pre-1915 design. Tours can be scheduled Monday through Saturday in advance for a unique perspective on our state capital building.
What would you add to this list?