Are you and your partner in a rut? Sometimes all you need is a little escape, whether it’s down the road or across the state, to get things running smoothly again. Or maybe you’ve just met someone and you want to make a good first impression. We believe that the key to a good date is having so many cool things to see and do that it never has a chance to get awkward. We’ve picked out a few places in Iowa that we think will help ignite (or reignite) any flame:
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Maquoketa Caves State Park
Is your date the adventurous type? There's nothing more romantic than beautiful scenery and heart-pounding adventure, which is exactly what you'll find on the trails of this state park in Maquoketa.
2. Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Des Moines
If your date is into art, don't take her to a stuffy old museum. This is the perfect place to impress him/her, while keeping things light and fun.
3. Dubuque River Rides
Classy and cool, hopefully like your date, a riverboat ride shows that you're a thoughtful and creative partner.
4. Hard Rock Casino, Sioux City
Try to woo your date and Lady Luck at this highly rated casino. There's plenty of entertainment to keep you and your date busy for hours. As long as you don't lose your shirt, you should come out looking like a rock star.
5. Noce Jazz Club, Des Moines
To impress that certain special somebody, only a very swanky joint will do. Enjoy the drinks and live music at the Noce Jazz Club, while still seeming very grown up. You can have fun without losing your cool.
6. Fenelon Place Elevator Co., Dubuque
This historic ride up the side of a steep hill might make your stomach drop, but the view from the top is worth it. There's nothing more romantic than a breathtaking view.
7. Pike's Peak State Park, McGregor
Speaking of views, Pike's Peak is one of the most jaw-dropping scenic views in the state. Any time of year, this majestic view will provide the perfect backdrop for budding romance.
8. Palmer Candy, Sioux City
The way to a man or woman's heart is through his or her stomach, especially via chocolate. The selection at the Palmer Candy factory in Sioux City will make your head spin, whether your vice is chocolate or pretty much any other kind of candy. You'll impress your sweetie with their stunning array of sweets, and maybe even learn a thing or two.
9. Iowa State Fair, Des Moines
The best dates are fun, and there's no place in Iowa where you'll have more fun than the Iowa State Fair. There's nothing tastier than the creative concoctions you'll find here, and there's nothing more romantic than a gondola ride over the fairgrounds.
10. Fireside Winery, Marengo
What could be more romantic than a weekend retreat at a local winery? Guests rave about this charming little slice of heaven, where you can enjoy good food, live bands and, of course, excellent wine. You can even become a part of the process and pick or stomp the grapes yourself.
11. Iowa Wine Tours, Dubuque
Since we really do believe that a little vino makes the heart grow fonder, we're also including Iowa Wine Tours on our list as well. Why stop at just one winery when you can see three, plus all of the beautiful scenery in between?
12. Valle Drive-In, Newton
Why not make your date feel like a teenager again with a trip to a drive-in movie? This nostalgic spot is sure to stir up all kinds of emotions, especially romantic ones.
13. Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines
This historic home and theater is a drop-dead gorgeous place to check out an event, concert, or comedy show. It's hard not to get swept up in the majesty of this architectural marvel.
14. Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
A romantic stroll through a garden at twilight is always a good dating strategy, and Iowa has plenty to choose from. We chose the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens as an example, purely because it's so gosh-darn pretty, but any local garden will do. Surrounding your date with stunning natural beauty is always a safe bet.
Have you tried any of these unique locations for a date? Do you have any others to recommend to us? Please let us know in the comments!