Planning your next summer road-trip? Well grab your suitcase, gather up your road-tripping buddies, and hit the highway – just don’t forget to visit these 13 unusual attractions in Iowa on your way!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. The Hobo Museum in Britt
What other state could you possibly see a hobo museum in? Only in Iowa is the answer. The town of Britt is the home to the National Hobo Convention, and this museum is the only museum in existence that devotes itself to the Hobo way of life.
2. Herbert Hoover's slightly creepy, strangely beautiful Goddess of Life statue
This statue of the Goddess of Life was given to President Herbert Hoover by Belgians to thank him for the food relief efforts in Belgium during WWI. It was originally at Stanford and was moved to Hoover's hometown of West Branch, before the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum was built. Now you can find it on the grounds of the library/museum.
3. This smiley face water tower
This very cheerful water tower is located in the very cheerful town of Adair, and is a fun site to add to your road-trip agenda
4. Iowa's own Statue of Liberty
Can't afford to take that summer trip to New York but still want to see the Statue of Liberty? Lucky for you, Iowa has you covered! This smaller version of Lady Liberty can be found at the State Capitol building in Des Moines. Maybe from the right angle it looks like you're actually in New York?
4. The future birthplace of Captain Kirk
Trekkies from across the galaxy cross time and space to visit Riverside, Iowa, the future birthplace of Star Trek's Captain Kirk.
5. This unique coffee pot water tower
This craftsy little water tower that resembles something you could find in your grandmother's cupboard can be found in Stanton, Iowa.
6. The worlds largest wooden nickel
Because why wouldn't you want to see the worlds largest wooden nickel? At 12 feet across, this coin, located in Iowa City, is definitely not pocket change.
7. Pinky the Elephant
This giant pink elephant and his fancy Monopoly hat can be found at the Lady Luck Casino in Marquette, Iowa.
8. The Ice Cave in Decorah
This ice cave in Decorah is frozen all year round, even in the summer. How you ask? No, not magic, the answer is a glacier, which keeps the caves cold throughout the year. This is a real cave, and only experienced climbers with appropriate gear should enter the cave.
9. The butter statues at the Iowa State Fair
Each year, the woman who carves the butter cow for the state fair also carves another butter sculpture. In the past, she has carved Tiger Woods with an actual tiger on a leash, Elvis, the Last Supper, and the Nativity scene.
10. Gas station Jesus
If you're looking for Jesus, you can find him in Center Grove, at a gas station... for some reason... Maybe he ran out of gas?
11. This Volkswagen spider
This sort of creepy, but really cool Volkswagen Beetle spider can be found in Avoca, Iowa. Can you imagine if spiders were actually this size?
12. This Toy-Storyesque cowboy and his bull
This giant cowboy (Who looks exactly like Woody from Toy Story, right?) and bull statue in Waukon, Iowa, is missing just one thing - a giant spaceman statue of Buzz Lightyear!
13. Last but not least, the worlds largest truck stop
What road trip would ever be complete without making an honorary stop at the worlds largest truck stop: Iowa 80 in Walcott.
You could practically live here. There's a dentist!
This place is seriously one of a kind, and a must-see for any road-tripper!
What are some more road-trip-worthy attractions in Iowa? Share your favorites in the comments below! The more off-the-beaten-path they are, the better!