You might say that Iowa’s small towns really are the heart and soul of the state. They’re known for their welcoming atmospheres, quaint Main Streets, and the friendly, hard-working people who live in them. While we have no shortage of towns to choose from, here are 11 small towns in rural Iowa that are downright delightful.

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Do you live in or have you visited any of these delightful towns? What did you think? For more of Iowa’s small-town charm, these 10 Iowa towns have the most charming town squares you’ll ever see.

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Small towns in Iowa

What is the oldest town in Iowa?

Located right on the Mighty Mississippi, Dubuque is the oldest town in Iowa. The town was incorporated in 1833 and was one of the first settlements west of the Mississippi River. Today, this Iowa town is home to roughly 60,000 people and is full of charm, history, and endless outdoor attractions. Right behind Dubuque in the timeline is the charming town of Burlington, which was also incorporated in 1833. Once a major port city, today Burlington is one of the most historic towns in Iowa where you can check out historic attractions like the Hawkeye Log Cabin Museum and the Heritage Hill Historic District. 

What is the most naturally beautiful town in Iowa?

Iowa is full of naturally beautiful towns, but few can compare to the scenic town of Guttenberg. With incredible views of both the Mississippi River and the iconic Iowa landscape, you’ll find nothing but peace and quiet in this quaint town in Iowa. While you’re there, be sure to visit Inglewood Park where you can take the two-mile-long riverwalk trail so you can get even better views of the town. 

Which town in Iowa has the best restaurants?

No matter where you go in the country, you’ll often find that some of the best meals are located in small towns. That’s certainly the case in Iowa, where small-town life equals incredible, homestyle meals. If you’re looking for the best pizza in Iowa, look no further than Marshalltown, a small city overflowing with yummy pizzerias. For the best German food in Iowa, make your way to Amana where you can feast on the best schnitzel and sausages outside of Germany.