Iowa is a state that is full of surprises, with 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 that you probably never knew existed!
1. The Swinging Bridge, Columbus Junction
This enchantingly beautiful area is highlighted by a swinging bridge, which is also known as Lovers Leap Bridge. The legend goes that a heartbroken Indian maiden jumped off the bridge and to her death, and that her spirit still lingers in the area.
2. Siewers Spring, Decorah
Siewers Spring in Decorah runs along Trout Run Trail from the fish hatchery, so it's no surprise that this is a great spot to do a little fishing while you take in the charming scenery.
3. East Park, Mason City
East Park in Mason City is a magnificent 57-acre park that offers stunning scenery, as well as a gazebo, five shelter houses, a playground, recreational area, and more.
4. Wabash Trace Nature Trail, Council Bluffs
The Wabash Trace Nature Trail is a gorgeous, 63-mile trail that runs through Council Bluffs, Mineola, Silver City, Malvern, Imogene, Shenandoah, Coin and Blanchard. Trail-goers will get the chance to walk the trail through the Loess Hills, and enjoy some of the finest scenery in all of Iowa.
5. Crystal Lake Cave, Dubuque
Crystal Lake Cave in Dubuque is a completely magical place to visit. Spend a day exploring the caverns, doing some mineral sluicing, or picnicking on the pavilion.
6. Jester Park, Granger
Jester Park is a 1,675-acre park on the western shore of Saylorville Lake that offers camping, picnicking, and golfing in a quiet country setting. Although it's just a half-hour from downtown Des Moines, a surprising number of people don't know about it!
7. The Upper Iowa River, Bluffton
The Upper Iowa River, and the bluffs along it, are without a doubt one of the most enchanting scenes in the state. The 156-mile long river flows through the cities of Chester, Lime Springs, Florenceville, Kendallville, Bluffton, and Decorah.
8. The Loess Hills Lavender Farm, Missouri Valley
This lavender farm is located in the beautiful Loess Hills of western Iowa, and is a fun, unique place that not enough people know about. The farm is family owned, and they offer tours, hold events, and sell a variety of items in the gift shop. The experience is something you couldn't find anywhere else in Iowa!
9. Phelps Park, Decorah
Phelps Park in Decorah is a truly underrated, but enchanting park that offers extensive playground areas, shelters, a band shell, a fountain, hiking trails, as well as some of the most beautiful scenery in the area.
10. Three Mile Lake, Afton
Three Mile Lake in Afton is a gorgeous, and pretty unknown, area that offers fishing, boating, swimming, camping, and more. This is a great place to spend a day with the family, enjoying the fresh air and the remarkable beauty of nature.
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 them with us!