Sometimes, visiting Iowa’s small towns can be like taking a step back in time. If you want to get away to a little slice of paradise that still keeps life simple and old fashioned, visit any of these charming and sleepy Iowa towns.
1. St. Donatus
There aren't many towns in America that really pay tribute to the small European country of Luxembourg, but St Donatus certainly does! There are fewer than 200 residents, but the town is very welcoming to visitors who want to see the old Gehlen Barn and snack on a Kraut Sausage at Kalmes Restaurant.
Walnut is Iowa's own Antique City! Shoppers, pickers and artisans will love the finds they track down in this town that's full of stores selling all kinds of antique and repurposed goods.
Spend time in historic Eldora at the courthouse square right in the middle of town, and take the time to hike through Pine Lake State Park. After a day exploring the charming town, treat yourself to an old fashioned sundae at Ahoy Fountain.
4. Elk Horn
Life in Elk Horn is all about preserving Danish heritage. With only about 600 residents, this is one of those sleepy Iowa towns that would easily be overlooked, if it weren't for a few things! Iowans flock to Elk Horn to see the only working Danish windmill outside of Denmark and the tiny Morning Star Chapel, which seats only four.
Greenfield is a historic town that will take you back in time to 19th century America! Stroll the classic American Main Street, catch a show at the EE Warren Opera House, and stay overnight at the haunted Hotel Greenfield.
Stuart is a town that truly remains unchanged from its roots. In fact, the town motto pokes fun at the static population! It's officially "Home to 1600 good eggs and a few stinkers." Enjoy an afternoon socializing at the Stuart Bowl or grab a bite to eat at one of the town's diners.
7. Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon is an interesting Iowa town that's full of students and artists that love to live a simple, sleepy life. Fill up on an old fashioned homemade meal at the Skillet Cafe, or go for a peaceful walk at Palisades-Kepler State Park. Be aware, though, the town comes to life for their Chalk the Walk festival in May!
8. Silver City
Silver City is an old railroad town along the Wabash Trace Trail, and it is home to just under 300 residents. There's a great restaurant in town - The Hood - and the architecture will make you feel like you've stepped back in time to the 1800s!
9. The Villages of Van Buren
The 12 tiny Villages of Van Buren include Bensonhurst, Bonaparte, Keosauqua, Farmington - and eight more! They're all worth a visit, but Bensonhurst might be my favorite. Shop at the local candy stores and try homemade fudge and other tasty foods.
10. The Amana Colonies
The seven Amana Colonies include Amana (or Main Amana), East Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana, South Amana, West Amana, and Homestead. These former railroad towns are now home to some of the most charming sleepy Iowa towns, and each village has its own shops where you can buy local goods, crafts, wares and food.
Kimballton is another Danish town, like Elk Horn. The town shows off its heritage every year during the Tivoli festival, and pays tribute to Hans Christian Anderson with the Little Mermaid Statue and fountain in the middle of this quiet town.
12. Belle Plaine
Belle Plaine is a town that seems to be stuck in time along the famous Lincoln Highway. Enjoy a show at their historic theater and a meal at the town's "soda fountain" - the Ice House Drive In
What’s your favorite of these sleepy Iowa towns? Are there any you can think of that should have made the list? Tell us in the comments below!