We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Pella Historical Village
A visit to this unique Pella village will make you feel like you stepped into olden day Holland. At the village, you can take a tour of the Vermeer Windmill Museum, the old Amsterdam School, and the Scholte House Museum to get a feel for the history of this charming little town. 507 Franklin St., Pella, IA.
2. Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
After Herbert Hoover became the 31st president of the United States, his birthplace was made into a national historic site. The open-air museum depicting early life for Hoover includes the two-room cottage where he was born in 1874, along with several other historic buildings. 110 Parkside Dr., West Branch, IA.
3. Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum
Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family moved to Burr Oak, Iowa in 1876 after suffering through the grasshopper plagues in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. This is the only childhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder that remains on its original site, and the hotel where she worked is now a museum open to the public. 3603 236th Ave., Burr Oak, IA.
4. Ushers Ferry Historic Village
Ushers Ferry Historic Village has 20 historic buildings that depict life in a small Iowa town between the years of 1890 and 1910. Guided tours through the village are available, and they will show you what life was life in a different time. 5925 Seminole Valley Trail NE, Cedar Rapids, IA.
5. The Amana Heritage Society and Museums
The Amana Heritage Society and Museums offer a rich historical experience of the German communal settlement in Iowa. Attractions include the Communal Kitchen Museum, Community Church Museum, Agricultural Museum, Homestead Store Museum and Amana Heritage Museum. 705 44th Ave., Amana, IA.
6. Villages of Van Buren
The Villages of Van Buren encompass 12 tiny historic villages, and they offer plenty of interesting sights and experiences, like general stores, Amish buggy rides, museums, ruins, charming shops and more.
7. Shelby County Historical Settlement
The Shelby County Historical Settlement houses many artifacts from different points in Iowa’s history. Exhibits range from prehistoric artifacts that date back to the time woolly mammoths walked the land, to Native American artifacts, to items from the first settlers back in the 1840s and 1850s. Among the exhibits are two cabins dating back to 1856 and 1857, giving visitors a look into the life of an Iowa pioneer. 1805 Morse Ave., Harlan, IA.
8. Vesterheim Museum
Decorah is like a little Norway right in Iowa, and the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum showcases the town’s heritage beautifully. This amazing museum was named one of the 15 Best Small-Town Museums in the U.S. by the world-respected travel guide, Fodor’s. The open air division of the museum showcases 12 historic buildings that give visitors a peek into what life used to be like in Norway. 520 W Water St., Decorah, IA.
9. Guthrie County Historical Village
The Guthrie County Historical Village features 12 buildings, including a blacksmith, a church, a schoolhouse, a general store, and more. There are also numerous exhibits, along with thousands of artifacts that delve into the history of Guthrie County from 1850 to the early-20th Century. 206 W South St., Panora, IA.
10. Kalona Historical Village
The Kalona Historical Village is an 1800's village with 13 buildings. Each building has been restored and contains displays depicting the life of Iowa immigrant settlers. 715 D Ave., Kalona, IA.
11. Dan Nagle Walnut Grove Pioneer Village
In the 1860s, Walnut Grove was a crossroads settlement and stage coach stop. This historic village offers 18 historic buildings that show what life was like back then, including a barber shop, saloon, church, bank, train depot, and more. 18817 290th St., Long Grove, IA.