Here Are The 14 Best Kept Secrets In Iowa

If you take the spotlight off of Iowa’s well-known attractions, you will find so many amazing, hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. From fossil gorges to scenic byways, to waterfalls and more, here are 14 of the most glorious hidden places in Iowa.

During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.

What’s the fun in secrets if you can’t share them, right?! Do you know of any more amazing hidden places in Iowa? Let us in on them! And if you have a hidden gem you’d like to see featured on Only In Iowa, nominate it and tell us what makes it such a unique spot!

For more hidden places in Iowa to add to your bucket list, check out this epic road trip, which travels to some of the coolest under-the-radar gems in the Hawkeye State.

The OIYS Visitor Center

Hidden places in Iowa

September 19, 2021

What are some of the coolest hidden places in Iowa?

The Hawkeye State is often underestimated in terms of “must-visit” attractions, but it really is quite an extraordinary place! Iowa is a state full of surprises, with what seems like a hidden gem around every corner. Even if you’ve lived here your entire life, there are still plenty of new things to be discovered every day – like the above list of hidden places, as well as these 10 enchanting spots in Iowa that you probably never knew existed. From swinging bridges to hidden caves, there’s a whole world of hidden places to explore here in Iowa!

Are there many hidden waterfalls in Iowa?

Iowa is full of hidden gems and secret treasures; we have everything from towering cliffs to mysterious caves, sandy beaches to bright blue lakes — and if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll discover something else: lots of hidden waterfalls! Yes, the Hawkeye State is *not* all country hills and cornfields; there are some truly wondrous waterfalls hiding in Iowa! Some of our favorites include Union Grove Lake Waterfall, Beulah Spring Falls, Malanaphy Spring Falls, and Macbride Falls. How many of these hidden waterfalls in Iowa have you visited?

What are some fun day trips in Iowa?

In keeping with our “hidden places in Iowa” theme, here are 14 off-the-beaten-path places that make for amazing day trips. Some of our favorites on the list include The Grotto of Redemption in West Bend, a religious shrine that was built out of precious stone by a priest and considered to be the eighth wonder of the world; Figge Art Museym, an inexpensive day trip destination was designed by renowned British architect David Chipperfield; the Amana Colonies, a collection of German villages full of quirky stores and handmade wares; and the American Pickers shop in Le Claire, a neat little shop in the picture-perfect city of Le Claire, Iowa.