Our Iowa Travel Guide
Iowa, known for its rolling plains and cornfields, is a Midwestern state. It is famous for its corn and pork production. Interestingly, it also has the highest literacy rate in the country. It is situated on the Mississippi River and has an island it calls its own. We hope you will use our resources to plan your own trip and enjoy the many attractions Iowa has to offer.
First, a little history…
The word ‘Iowa’ means ‘beautiful’ and was derived from the Native American Ioway people who used to live in the region. Before the arrival of French settlers, Iowa’s land was populated by several native tribes, including the Sioux, the Sauk, the Fox, the Ioway, and the Otoe. It was part of the Louisiana Purchase. Iowa Territory was established in 1838 and became the 29th state to join the union in 1846.
Travel Guides for this State
Find your adventure! Organized by city name…
Major Iowa Attractions
American Gothic House
Located in Eldon, American Gothic House is the iconic house featured in Grant Wood’s famous 1930 painting ‘American Gothic.’ The house was constructed in the 1880s and was owned by Charles Dibble. The house is also called the ‘Dibble House’ and has a Carpenter Gothic style. The house is open for all visitors and has an American Gothic House Center built near it. The center elaborates on the life of Grant Wood and the history of the house he painted.
Grotto of the Redemption
The Grotto of the Redemption, or the West Bend Grotto, is one of the unique attractions in Iowa. In 1912, Father Paul Matthias Dobberstein, along with some helpers, began the construction of the shrine. The religious shrine was completed after 52 long and laborious years and is the largest human constructed grotto in the world. It has nine separate grottos built with petrified wood, minerals, and precious gems and stones. All the grottos portray scenes from Jesus’ life.
Maquoketa Caves State Park
Jackson County, Iowa, is famous for the Maquoketa Caves State Park, which has a variety of caves in it. The great thing about the park is that visitors can tour the park for free. There are caves that even claustrophobic people can visit because of their high ceilings and walkways. On the other hand, experienced spelunkers can explore more challenging caves with tight spaces.
The colonies consist of seven villages that date back to the mid-19th century. The site is a National Historic Landmark as the colonies were inhabited by German Pietists who used to live in isolation without any interference from the outside world. Historical structures in the colonies provide an insight into the German Pietist’s way of life. Annual festivals in the colonies include springtime Maifest and sausage-making Wurstfest.
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
This National Historic Site commemorates the birthplace of Herbert Hoover, the only United States president from Iowa. The site celebrates Hoover’s life, legacy, and influence on the nation. The park is also home to the gravesite of Herbert Hoover.
Some other notable places and attractions:
Field of Dreams Movie Site
Des Moines Art Center
The Bridges of Madison County
National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
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“Travel not to find yourself, but to remember who you’ve been all along!”