Iowa, a state in the Midwest, is a beautiful place to visit. The Missouri River is to the west and the Mississippi River is to the east. It is mostly made up of gently rolling hills, rich farms, and small, charming towns and villages. Some of these towns and villages have a lot of Dutch, German, and Scandinavian culture and history.
The Iowa Great Lakes and Pikes Peak State Park, which are both beautiful natural tourist destinations, dot the state’s beautiful scenery.
Why Should You Travel to Iowa?
From one side of the state to the other, Iowa’s landscape has some secret treasures. It also has a fascinating past and famous people who lived there. The state’s culture includes a lot of fun and useful things to do.
Best Places to Visit in Iowa
Looking for a different place to visit? A place that is strange? Somewhere that is really out of the way? Iowa will take care of you. Here are some places where you won’t find the same stories or sights anywhere else in the world.
1. Iowa’s Capitol State
Even though you can look at pictures and movies of the Iowa State Capitol online, you should really go there in person. With its big 23-karat gold dome, the Capitol is hard to miss from almost anywhere in Des Moines.
There are four smaller domes that are just as beautiful as the main one. Make sure you sign up for a tour so you can climb the twisting steps to the top of the dome and see it up close.
2. The Colonies of Amana
The Amana Colonies are made up of seven towns, and tourists who want to get away from the busyness of their daily lives like to visit them. When you go to the colonies, you can enjoy the art, furniture, and food that are made there.
The Amana Colonies are one of the oldest communal groups in the United States. They began in 1714 in German villages. The people wanted to be free, so in 1855, they moved to Iowa. The Amana Colonies are a National Historic Landmark because they have such a long past.
3. Zoo in Blank Park
One of the best places to go in Des Moines is the Blank Park Zoo. At the zoo, you can see 1,484 animals from all over the world, like Japanese macaques, otters, and snow leopards. Both kids and adults will enjoy their time there.
You can take your kids to the Kids Kingdom so they can meet farm animals, play on a field, or ride a camel.
4. The Greater Des Moines Botanical Center
As its name suggests, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Center is one of the best places to visit in Iowa’s main city. The botanical gardens are close to downtown, but they offer a chance to get away with their temperate and tropical plants.
Visit the Amaryllis, Bonsai, Coleus & Plectranthus, Gesneriad, or Orchid Collections, or go to one of the many events that happen every month.
5 Water Park on Lost Island
If you are going to Iowa with your family, you must go to the Lost Island Waterpark in Waterloo. Before you take your kids to more historical sites, this is the perfect place for them to cool off, relax, and burn off some energy.
There are three major attractions and nine major water slides. One of the attractions is the Kailahi River, where you can float on a raft in peace.
6. The National Museum and Aquarium of the Mississippi River
The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium is in the Port of Dubuque. It is the most popular site in the area. Its goal is to take people on a trip along the Mississippi River by way of interactive tanks, wetlands, a boatyard, and historical displays.
During your trip, you can drive a barge, check out the famous ship William M. Black, which is on the National Historic Register, and even get close to real animals.
7. State Park Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak State Park is one of the best places to visit in Iowa, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s one of the most photographed spots in the state. During your trip, climb the 500-foot bluff to see the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers coming together in a beautiful way.
A half-mile path will take you to the Bridal Veil Falls, which are worth stopping to look at for a few minutes. You can also walk through the park on the 11.5 miles of hiking paths or spend the night camping at the campground.
8. Visit Okoboji
Okoboji is one of the best places to visit in Iowa. There are so many things to do there that it’s hard to keep track. The glacier-carved lakes that cross the Minnesota border and go southwest from it are the biggest draw in this area. They cover about 15,000 acres.
The main thing to do in Okoboji is water sports, like boats, fishing, parasailing, and kayaking.
9. Field of Dreams
The softball field and farm in the 1989 movie with the same name are the real Field of Dreams. Even though this place is most popular with movie fans, it has been bringing in thousands of people for more than 25 years.
When you go to the farm, which was built in 1906, you will see feed corn grown all over the field.
10. Grotto of Redemption
Many people think of the Grotto of Redemption as the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” and in 2001, this “miracle in stone” was added to the National Register of Historic Places. There are nine different caves in the Grotto. Each one shows another part of Christ’s life.
It is also the biggest man-made Grotto in the world and the place where you can find the most gems and precious stones in one place.
Iowa is a great place for your next family trip because it has historical colonies, water parks, outdoor activities, and more. There are a lot of water parks and amusement parks in the state, but if you want to do something different outside, you can check out Iowa’s unique agri-tourism, historical places, or outdoor activities.
There are enough state parks to keep you busy outdoors for days, and when you’re done, you can relax by going to a winery or shopping. The following top Iowa tourist spots offer beautiful scenery, exciting activities, and fun for the whole family. They are great for any length of holiday.