During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Emmetsburg is home to Five Island Lake and has a population of 3,904 people. Pair the lake with a beautiful and historic downtown and a self-described relaxed atmosphere and family oriented lifestyle, you know this town is the kind of place where you can live a laid-back, peaceful kind of life.
Bonaparte is located on the Des Moines River and has an incredibly charming Main Street, so much so that it was once named the winner of the "Great American Main Street Award." Its tiny population of 433 people means that there’s plenty of peace and quiet, and the Bonaparte Historic Riverfront District offers plenty of opportunities to get out and mingle with the townsfolk, like having a good meal at Bonaparte’s Retreat Restaurant.
3. Mount Vernon
Home of Cornell College, with a population of 4,506, Mount Vernon is a charming, slow-paced college town. It’s named for the “mountain” that runs through the middle of the town. Its neighborhoods feature beautiful and stately old houses, and there’s a thriving Main Street with coffee shops, excellent restaurants, and unique stores that make for great shopping.
4. Grundy Center
Population 2,706, Grundy Center is a quiet, safe little town with a charming Main Street and plenty of community activities, like the annual Felix Grundy Festival. The town was named for Felix Grundy, a 19th Century statesman who fought for the sale of public land to settlers and pushed the development of railroads west of the Mississippi.
Winterset has a population of 5,190 and no shortage of charm. It’s home to the famous and beautiful bridges of Madison County and is also the birthplace of the legend, John Wayne. There’s also a peaceful and unique city park, with an overlook that looks like a castle tower and an amazing hedge maze.
6. Le Claire
Le Claire is a charming town with a population of 3,765 people. The town was brought to national attention by the popular T.V. show, “American Pickers.” The show’s hosts have their shop, Antique Archaeology, in downtown Le Claire. While the town has been made famous, there's still plenty of peace and quiet to be had here.
7. Lake View
Home to the southernmost natural glacial lake in the United States, Black Hawk Lake, and a population of 1,142, this town has plenty of natural beauty and small town charm. This close-knit community hosts plenty of annual activities, as well, like an annual bike ride on the Sauk Rail Trail, and even an arctic golf tournament in the winter on the frozen Black Hawk Lake.
Decorah is a charming town with a Norwegian heritage and is home to Luther College. Its population of 8,127 means there’s plenty to see and do without being overly busy or overwhelming. The town is situated in northeast Iowa and is surrounded by rugged bluffs and lush greenery where it's easy to get away from it all and enjoy the peacefulness of nature.
Shenandoah has a population of 5,150, a quaint downtown and plenty of peace and quiet. It’s a lovely garden city with of shopping, restaurants and friendly and welcoming people. The city also favors a relaxed lifestyle and community events with friends and family.
Elkader is a lovely little town with a population of 1,273 people. While it’s small, with plenty of peace and quiet, there’s also plenty to do, like shopping, live theater and plenty of good restaurants.