We heard your travel bug bite is still itching. Our first article about unique day trips in Iowa was so popular, we had people asking for more. So, here are 11 more unique day trips in Iowa that you must take this summer!
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:
11. Do a little riverboat gambling in Dubuque
The Diamond Jo Riverboat Casino in Dubuque is a unique place to spend your day. While you're there, check out the Fenelon Place Elevator, which is the steepest and shortest tram ride in the country. Once you get to the top, you have a great view of the entire city.
10. Check out the Grotto of Redemption in West Bend
Often called the "Eighth Wonder of the World," this giant, religious shrine in West Bend is made completely of gems and stones.
9. Canoe down the Iowa River near Decorah
Spend the day canoeing down the upper Iowa River in Decorah. While you're there, check out the ice caves, waterfall and Vesterheim Norwegian Museum.
8. Take a scenic train ride in Boone
Take a train ride through the scenic valleys of Boone, and over the highest train bridge. They offer dinner and dessert trains, too, and even let you bring your own bottle of wine if you want.
7. Explore Des Moines' Historic East Village
This artsy, cultural district of Des Moines has been compared to New York's Greenwich Village. It's a really neat place to spend the day, and if you get hungry, check out Zombie Burger. Their burgers are to die for.
6. Visit the Sioux City Art Center
The Sioux City Art Center is a great place to check out. They have many beautiful exhibits and art pieces, and they offer a ton of different art classes. While you're in town, stop at the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.
5. Sip and paint with your friends
Gather a group of your friends and enjoy a night of wine and painting. There are a ton of different places to do this: Pinot's Palette in Des Moines, Creative Spirits in Okoboji, and others in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the Quad Cities.
4. Rent a bike and explore the capitol city
Rent a bike from the BCycle station in Des Moines, and treat yourself to a tour of the capitol city.
3. Experience German culture in the Amana Colonies
The little villages that make up the Amana Colonies offer a taste of German culture with their German restaurants, brewery, and bakeries. You can also check out more areas of German culture at the Wool Mill, and at their various shops and stores, where they sell many handmade items.
2. Discover the Villages of Van Buren
The villages of Van Buren are definitely one of Iowa's hidden treasures. There are 12 villages, with some of the bigger ones being Bentonsport, Bonaparte, Birmingham, Farmington and Keosauqua. With no fast food restaurants, no stop lights and a historic village feel, the Villages of Van Buren are just the day trip many of us Iowans need to escape the daily grind.
1. End the day at the drive-in movies
Sit back, put the top down, and enjoy a unique end-of-the-day experience at the drive-in theater. There are drive-in theaters in Spirit Lake, Newton, Delmar, Blue Grass and more. This is a great way to end the perfect day-trip.
Think these unique day trips will finally cure your travel bug? Let us know what your favorite day trip destinations are in the comments section!