12 Things To Do In Iowa When You Thought You’ve Done Everything
Are you always looking for unique things to do in Iowa? Here are a few ideas that you may have overlooked! Try out any of these hidden gems in Iowa – or plan to visit all of them sometime during the year! Each place listed here is among the truly unique places in Iowa and will make for a memorable day trip or getaway. Let’s take a look at the
best things to do in Iowa.
1. Visit the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge.
9981 Pacific St, Prairie City, IA 50228, USA
Get up close and personal with bison,
elk, deer, and more at this extraordinary
National Wildlife Reserve
, right in Prairie City!
Take a closer look at this wonderful wildlife refuge in Iowa:
2. Take a road trip to try the best burger in Iowa.
The Gunderburger was literally invented so that people would know that the tiny town of Gunder exists. It's a hike to get there, but the perfect burgers are so worth the drive.
See what makes
3. Visit the world's largest truck stop for a meal, a movie and/or a haircut.
755 W Iowa 80 Rd, Walcott, IA 52773, USA
I'm not even joking, all of those things are possible at the
Iowa 80 Rest Stop
! It's worth a drive to get there, and even more worth a stop any time you're passing by. 5,000 people a day pass through here!
Get an in-depth look at this massive truck stop:
4. Hunt for 300 Million Year Old Fossils in Rockford.
1227 215th St, Rockford, IA 50468, USA
Fossil and Prairie Center
allows you to hunt for 300-million-year-old fossils to take home! The park's trails are perfect for exploring, and you'll come home with a unique souvenir.
5. Enjoy afternoon tea at Miss Spenser's Tea Room.
3220 Wyoming St, New Virginia, IA 50210, USA
of Longview Farms is a charming British tea room located in the heart of Iowa.
Enjoy tea sandwiches, pastries, sweets, and savories as well as several blends of tea.
6. Take a Twilight Tour of the Haunted Edinburgh Manor.
13241 E23 County Home Rd, Monticello, IA 52310, USA
This old, abandoned asylum has a horrifying history of abuse and torture. It's said to be haunted by the souls that perished here. Now, you can take a twilight tour of the grounds... if you dare
Are you brave enough to
7. Enjoy a remote cabin vacation - away from everything.
33774 Plum Ave, Moorhead, IA 51558, USA
Everyone needs a hideaway sometimes... luckily, there are plenty of off-the-grid destinations in Iowa! If you're ever looking for things to do in Iowa, it's never a bad idea to pack a bag and escape for a weekend.
Here are a few
for a peaceful weekend.
8. Visit the Hidden Castle at Pilot Knob State Park.
2148 340th St, Forest City, IA 50436, USA
One of Delaware's best parks offers plenty of hiking trails, including one that will lead you to an old, abandoned, hidden castle!
Plan a journey to
Learn more about Pilot Knob State Park:
9. Work up the courage to cross the Swinging Bridge in Columbus Junction.
303 Oak St, Columbus Junction, IA 52738, USA
I'm certainly not brave enough to cross... despite being assured that it hasn't collapsed in 98 years. But the adrenaline junkies out there will love strolling this
high above the ground.
10. Cross the much sturdier Trestle Trail Bridge.
High Trestle Trail, Woodward, IA, USA
this is a bridge
I'll walk across. It was named one of the most beautiful footbridges in the world by BBC - and it was the only American bridge on the list. It's really something special.
11. Take the Great Iowa Waterfalls Road Trip.
Gas up the car and get an early start, and you can see all of Iowa's impressive waterfalls in one day. Stop for lunch at some iconic eateries along the way and you'll really see the best of Iowa on this epic road trip.
12. Explore Spook Cave via an underground boat tour.
13299 Spook Cave Rd, McGregor, IA 52157, USA
Have you experienced any of these
unique things to do in Iowa? What’s your favorite way to spend a free day in Iowa? Are any of Iowa’s amazing small towns on your bucket list? Tell us in the comments! Don’t forget that there are plenty of amazing hiking trails in Iowa as well!
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
More to Explore
Things To Do In Iowa
What are the most underrated attractions in Iowa?
The most underrated attractions in Iowa include:
Fenelon Place Elevator. This funicular ride is the steepest and shortest scenic railway on the planet and has amazing views.
Effigy Mounds National Monument. There are over 200 Native American burial mounds here with trails that allow you views from all angles.
Waubonsie State Park. This is a place out of a Thomas Kinkaid painting when you stop here to view the gorgeous sunsets.
Pappajohn Scuplture Park. The various whimsical and creative art installations here are a joy to behold and photograph.
Discover more about the most underrated attractions in Iowa .
What are the most unusual attractions in Iowa?
The most unusual attractions in Iowa include:
The Volkswagen Spider. Located in Avoca, this roadside attraction is a huge metal spider whose body is made from a VW Beetle.
World’s Largest Truck Stop. This truck stop in Walcott has a dentist, movie theater, barber, laundromat, and much more.
Future birthplace of Captain Kirk . Riverside, Iowa has a monument to this beloved fictional Star Trek character.
Ice Cave in Decorah. This cave stays constantly frozen due to an underground glacier and doesn’t even warm up in the summer.
Learn more about the most unusual attractions in Iowa .
What are the most beautiful natural wonders in Iowa?
The most beautiful natural wonders in Iowa include:
Pikes Peak State Park. This stunning park has gorgeous views overlooking the Mississippi River from 500 feet up.
Upper Iowa River. The bluffs alongside this river exist due to this area being avoided by glaciers in the last ice age.
Maquoketa Caves. These limestone caves are the result of natural erosion over thousands of years and are quite a sight.
Ledges State Park. The sandstone cliffs here were formed by the ocean that covered this area 300 million years ago.
Find out more about the most beautiful natural wonders in Iowa .