Iowa is a state full of surprises, with what seems like a hidden gem around every corner. Even if you’ve lived here your entire life, there are still plenty of new things to be discovered every day – like these 10 enchanting spots in Iowa that you probably never knew existed. You’ll want to explore them ASAP, and bring a camera!

There are so many more hidden gems in Iowa, this list barely scratches the surface. Do you have a few places you would add to the list? Share these enchanting spots in Iowa with us in the comments!

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.

More to Explore

Enchanting Spots in Iowa

What are some of the most popular attractions in Iowa?

Let’s face it, people don’t necessarily think “Iowa” when they’re planning a family vacation or a personal getaway, but maybe they should! Iowa is a beautiful state without the crowd you’ll find in more commercial tourist areas like Chicago or New York City. Iowa is a little more low-key than most places; here, you’ll find such gems as various museums, such as the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, where you can kill a whole afternoon learning about one of the largest rivers in the country. The State Capitol building, in des Moines, is gorgeous in every sense of the word. Architecture and history buffs will love it. 

Where are the most beautiful places in Iowa?

Some people might call Iowa a “flyover state”, but they just don’t know how to really appreciate this beautiful little place. The state of Iowa is lush and green, with never-ending rolling hills and stunningly beautiful blue skies. Some of the most scenic spots in the entire state include the River Bluffs Scenic Byway, which is indeed quite scenic. Roll the windows down and enjoy the countryside as it was intended. Ledges State Park, in Boone, was one of our very first state parks. It’s quite beautiful, especially in autumn, when the leaves transition from green to brilliant shades of golds, oranges, and reds before fluttering from the trees for the winter. Spook Cave is a must-see for anyone interested in geology. If you know where to look, you’ll find beauty all over the state. Need more inspiration? Add these things to your Iowa bucket list ASAP.

What are some fun things to do in Iowa?

In Iowa, you can camp, hunt, fish, and swim in most of our breathtaking natural spots. Camping is fun whether you decide to truly rough it with a primitive campsite or if you prefer the more luxurious “glamping” route, and we have 16 lakes around the state to enjoy as well. You might not think about hiking when you think of Iowa, but maybe you should; we have hundreds of miles of scenic trails, walking paths, and horseback trails where you can get your nature on. The fishing here is great, and don’t even get us started on the stargazing!