Whether you’re interested in family travel, weekend road trips, or the hidden gems of the Midwest, Iowa has endless options for you.

By Kathy Barnett/Managing Editor

Iowa is the “World Capital of Trails” with over 3,000 miles of trails for all ages, skill levels and seasons. Currently, cyclists, hikers, walkers, runners and other outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy nearly 1,700 miles of multi-use land trails across the state. Camping and picnicking are two favorite pastimes for visitors of Jester Park. The park also provides boat ramps, a natural playscape, fishing ponds, golf, horseback riding, and hiking trails. Dunning’s Spring Park in Decorah is a wooded park with a 200-ft. waterfall, extensive walking trails & spots for picnicking.  Riverside Park offers ball fields, courts, a playground for the kids, sheltered picnic tables and walking paths. Activity opportunities are boundless in the parks of Iowa.

Only in Iowa will you find the world-famous Bridges of Madison County, made famous in the book and later, the movie of the same name. Only two bridges are accessible by pavement only – Imes Bridge in St. Charles, and the Cutler-Donahoe Bridge at City Park in Winterset . More information is supplied in our separate article, Bridges of Madison County.

Iowa is known for its landscape of rolling plains and cornfields. The University of Iowa borrowed its athletic nickname from the state of Iowa many years ago. The name Hawkeye was originally applied to a hero in a fictional novel, The Last of the Mohicans, written by James Fenimore Cooper. Author Cooper had the Delaware Indians bestow the name on a white scout who lived and hunted with them.

Reiman Gardens: Sycamore Falls, Ames
Situated on a beautiful 17-acre site in Ames, Reiman Gardens offers a year-round destination featuring distinct gardens both indoors and outdoors.

Light and Reflection is Reiman Gardens’ 2023 theme. Explore garden displays, education programs, events, and exhibits revealing the power of light and reflection in nature. From April 15 through Oct. 8, an art exhibit will greet guests called “Glass in Flight.” Composed of iridescent exoskeletons and translucent wings, the giant insects of Glass in Flight have been replicated in luminous steel and dalle de verre glass by artist Alex Heveri.

General admission is $12 and they are open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through April. They are open until 6 p.m. during summer months.

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art: “Seriously Funny: American Gothic Parodies,”
The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art houses the world’s largest collection of Grant Wood’s work. Wood painted American Gothic, one of the most parodied paintings ever. On display through May, Seriously Funny: American Gothic Parodies showcases how one painting serves as the basis for looking at various contemporary people and issues. The exhibit includes parodies from Bill and Hillary Clinton, Leonardo da Vinci and Mona Lisa, to RuPaul as male and female.

Field of Dreams: MLB at Field of Dreams, Dyersville
The site for the filming of the 1989 hit movie Field of Dreams continues to gain national attention ahead of the first-ever regular-season Major League Baseball game in the state of Iowa. The MLB at Field of Dreams Game Presented by GEICO was held in August, 2021, between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. Other planned activities include nightly festivities as part of youth baseball tournaments held by All-Star Ballpark Heaven and Baseball Factory from May through October.


The Highlander Hotel, Iowa City
Originally opened in 1967, the Highlander Inn and Supper Club was a favorite haunt of Iowa City locals and 1970s luminaries like Joan Baez, Micky Mantle and Arnold Palmer, just to name drop a few. Reopened in July 2020 after an epic transformation, the one-of-a-kind urban resort celebrates the spirit of Iowa City with surprises and delights for every guest. Want to add a little groove to your stay? Grab your favorite album from our vinyl lending library and enjoy your own jam session.

Places in Iowa

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