10 Best Things to Do in Iowa

Iowa bursts onto the scene as the serene majesty of the Mississippi River unfolds under the golden hues of a quintessential Midwestern sunset, viewed from the clifftops of Pikes Peak State Park. This vista, where the blues of the sky and water dance with the earthy tones of the land, serves as an eternal testament to Iowa’s stunning natural beauty.

Welcome to Iowa, the Heartland of America, where the echoes of pioneers reverberate amidst a sea of rolling cornfields. This state, steeped in the poetry of the plains, emanates a unique charm that infuses its urban vibrancy with the tranquility of its pastoral landscapes. Here, the melodic rhythm of the seasons dictates the tempo of life, and a tale of innovation, tradition, and resilience unfolds at the crossroads of the American Midwest.

The Iowa Bucket List

1. Immerse Yourself in the Beauty of Pikes Peak State Park:

Stand at the pinnacle of Iowa’s natural beauty at Pikes Peak State Park. From its dramatic clifftops, savor breathtaking panoramas of the Mississippi River. Here, the wisdom of the ages is etched in every rock and ripple, whispering tales of time’s relentless march.

2. Uncover History at the Amana Colonies:

Step into a timeless world at the Amana Colonies. This National Historic Landmark captures the spirit of communal German life, offering a glimpse into a past preserved in beautiful architecture, rich heritage, and warm hospitality.

3. Marvel at the Unique Reiman Gardens and Butterfly Wing:

Experience the stunning display of nature’s artistry at Reiman Gardens. Immerse yourself in a riot of color, scent, and life, and prepare to be mesmerized by the iridescent flutter of the largest butterfly house in the nation.

4. Explore the Capitol and Its Golden Dome:

Witness the grandeur of democracy at Iowa’s State Capitol. Admire its glittering golden dome, a beacon of Iowa’s unity and progress, and explore the symbolic art and architectural splendor that lies within.

5. Experience the World’s Shortest and Steepest Scenic Railway – Fenelon Place Elevator:

In the heart of Dubuque, ride the Fenelon Place Elevator – the world’s shortest, steepest scenic railway. As the cityscape unfolds below, you’ll discover an unparalleled view that pairs the thrill of the ascent with the majesty of the horizon.

6. Connect with Nature at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge:

Experience the raw, untamed beauty of the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Here, where bison and elk roam freely, nature’s pulse beats strong amidst the mesmerizing spectacle of tallgrass prairie restoration.

7. Step into the Future at the National Advanced Driving Simulator:

Experience the cutting edge of driving technology at the National Advanced Driving Simulator. Buckle up and hold onto the wheel as you experience a driving environment designed to test the vehicles of tomorrow, today.

8. Savor the Flavors of the Mississippi River Distilling Company:

Discover the alchemy of flavor at the Mississippi River Distilling Company. As you navigate through a sea of handcrafted spirits, let the essence of Iowa’s grain belt dance on your taste buds in this farm-to-bottle experience.

9. Relive History at Living History Farms:

Embark on a journey through time at Living History Farms. Here, the story of American agriculture comes alive, showcasing 300 years of history. From the Native American period to modern farming practices, experience the evolution of farming firsthand.

10. Get Immersed in Literature at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop:

Experience the birthplace of masterpieces at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. This epicenter of American literature, which has nurtured numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, beckons all literature lovers to immerse themselves in the world of words.

As the sun dips below the vast cornfields, casting long shadows across the quiet farms, know this – Iowa, with its warm heartland spirit and prairie charm, is more than a destination. It is an experience, a story waiting to be told, a journey to be embarked upon. So pack your curiosity, bring along your sense of adventure, and let the magic of the Hawkeye State guide your travels. Your Iowa tale is ready to be written. Let it begin today.