Iowa is a great place to live if you’re an artist! You’ll find art festivals and galleries in nearly every small town, especially in the summer. As part of the Main Street USA Program, many of Iowa’s towns have been giving more space and support to artists and local small businesses, so there are plenty of spots to really see the artsy spirit of Iowans. If you love supporting the arts and seeing the personality of Iowa’s small towns, visit these artsy towns in Iowa for a day trip that’s positively delightful.
1. Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon is home to Cornell College and the entire town has adapted a progressive, artsy vibe. Every spring they brighten the town with their Chalk the Walk festival, and throughout the year there are festivals and events downtown. You'll also find many small, artisan shops and boutiques in this small town.
2. Le Claire
Le Claire is a great town right on the river where you can enjoy art galleries, summer festivals, live music and more! Make time to visit the breweries, wine tasting rooms, and distilleries that line the streets to truly get a feel for the artsy character of the town.
Though Dubuque isn't a small town by any means, this brilliant city is full of art and is so worth a day trip, or even a weekend trip! Enjoy the Riverwalk, where you'll find statues and historic buildings. Visit the impressive Dubuque Art Museum while you're here. There's plenty of support for the arts in town thanks to the Dubuque Area Arts Collective, which helps students turn their passion for art into a productive career. In the spring, the Dubuque Fest is one of the best art festivals in the state.
Fairfield is a charming, artsy town in Iowa where you can attend an art walk on every First Friday throughout the summer, catch an event or celebration around the gazebo downtown, or just browse quaint boutiques put together by talented Iowa artisans.
5. Des Moines
Des Moines is consistently recognized as one of the best cities in the Midwest for artsians! The Des Moines Social Club was established to give arts in the city a permanent home, and you can find all sorts of classes, workshops, and galleries on display all year long.
6. Council Bluffs
Council Bluffs is another great city for Iowa's artists. The Harvester Artspace Lofts have added a lot to the city's art scene, which was already supported by festivals, boutiques and art shows throughout the summer. The Art Center at owa Western Community College is worth a visit, too, and you'll find plenty of art-centric programming offered here throughout the year.
Burlington is one of the quirkiest towns in Iowa, and it's certainly one of the best artsy towns in Iowa! Every year, the Snake Alley Art Fair brings the best local artisans together to celebrate the culture that makes Burlington such a delightful place to live.
Iowa’s small towns are just divine! From the arts, to boutiques, to restaurants, you won’t find a more charming state in the entire country. Check out a few
Small Towns In Rural Iowa That Are Downright Delightful for even more day trip destination inspiration!
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