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. Farm House Museum, Ames
This house was built in 1860, and it was the first building on the Iowa State campus. The house was home to the first two presidents of Iowa State. It’s now open as a museum, and tours are available upon request. To find out more or request a tour, click
. Iowa State University, 601 Farm House Ln., Ames, IA
2. Ellsworth-Porter House, Decorah
If you love old architecture, this house is a must visit. The house was built in 1867 for local merchant Dighton Ellsworth. The home is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open as a museum with exhibits of some personal belongings of the families who lived there. The museum is open daily and offers tours until 3:30pm. 401 W Broadway St., Decorah, IA.
3. Salisbury House and Gardens, Des Moines
Salisbury House is a grand and beautiful mansion built by Carl Weeks and his wife, Edith, between 1923 and 1928. The truly magnificent architecture is modeled after the King's House in Salisbury, England. There are 42 rooms and 22,000 square feet in the sprawling house. They’re open to the public for tours, public events, and private rentals. 4025 Tonawanda Dr., Des Moines, IA.
4. Brucemore Mansion, Cedar Rapids
This magnificent 19th-century mansion is situated on 26-acres of beautifully kept grounds. The mansion was home to three very influential families throughout the years, and visitors can partake in fascinating and historical tours. 2160 Linden Dr. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA.
5. Mathias Ham House, Dubuque
This historic home was built in 1856 for local businessman and lead miner Mathias Ham. The house is now a museum that showcases the Antebellum era. Guided tours are given by costumed interpreters who detail the rich history of Mathias Ham, the Mississippi River and the Victorian era. 2241 Lincoln Ave., Dubuque, IA.
6. Reverend George B. Hitchcock House, Lewis
The house was built in 1855 by Reverend George Hitchcock. It was a stop on the Underground Railroad, and it’s now a museum. 63788 567th Ln., Lewis, IA.
7. Jordan House, West Des Moines
The Jordan House was built in 1870 by abolitionist James C. Jordan. It was a stop on the Underground Railroad, and it’s a beautiful example of Italianate Gothic design. Guided tours are available on Fridays and Sundays from 11am to Noon and 1pm to 2pm. 2001 Fuller Rd., West Des Moines, IA.
8. Egge-Koren House, Decorah
Egge-Koren house is part of Decorah’s Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. It was constructed in 1852 by Erik Egge, and it’s a wonderful example of a Norwegian farm home. Guided tours are available, and you can call ahead for times and days. (563) 382-9681. 520 W Water St., Decorah, IA.
9. General Dodge House, Council Bluffs
The General Dodge House was built in 1869 by General Grenville M. Dodge, a civil war veteran and one of the greatest railroad builders of all time. The house is now a museum, and tours are available. The last tour of the day starts at 4pm. 605 S 3rd St., Council Bluffs, IA.
10. Laura Ingalls Wilder House, Burr Oak
After suffering through the grasshopper plagues in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family moved to Burr Oak, Iowa in 1876 to help manage the Masters Hotel. It is the only childhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder that remains on its original site. The hotel is now a museum open to the public and offers guided tours. 3603 236th Ave., Burr Oak, IA.
11. Herbert Hoover’s Birthplace, West Branch
Herbert Hoover was born in this house on August 10, 1874, and he later became the 31st president of the United States. Visitors can now tour the entire Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, including his birthplace home, in West Branch. 110 Parkside Dr., West Branch, IA.