Iowa Travel Spots

frydaze

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Nov 25, 2001
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My buddy is spending a week in Iowa with his family next week and they want to travel throughout the state. He's asking for recommendations and I've given him several but know there would be places I have left off.

Any particular spots in Iowa you've visited you've really enjoyed and recommend?

Thanks.
 

B1GDeal

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Jan 21, 2005
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There really isn't much. I'd say NE Iowa (Decorah/McGregor areas) for views, brews, food and shopping. Boji for water, brews, and food. That's about it really. I mean you have IC and DSM areas... but nothing exciting or anything unless they'll be here for a game.
 
Feb 25, 2008
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My buddy is spending a week in Iowa with his family next week and they want to travel throughout the state. He's asking for recommendations and I've given him several but know there would be places I have left off.

Any particular spots in Iowa you've visited you've really enjoyed and recommend?

Thanks.
Top Hat Lounge in Fort Dodge.
 

onlyTheObvious

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Jan 3, 2021
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Actually the Des Moines zoo isn’t that bad if they are around. Been over a decade ago but I was pleasantly surprised.

I tend to be anti zoo because I think it’s cruel as hell.
 
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B1GDeal

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Actually the Des Moines zoo isn’t that bad if they are around. Been over a decade ago but I was pleasantly surprised.

I tend to be anti zoo because I think it’s cruel as hell.
Depending on if they get to the Council Bluffs area... it's worth crossing the river for the Omaha zoo and the Durham train museum.
 

ThorneStockton

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Oct 2, 2009
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A week is a lot for Iowa.... That said, where are they from? Would they be fascinated or experience a culture shock in some small towns? I'm sure there's some locals who could provide some recommendations. Maybe there's a county fair or other similar festival going on.
 

ConvenientParking

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Jun 28, 2016
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A week is a lot for Iowa.... That said, where are they from? Would they be fascinated or experience a culture shock in some small towns? I'm sure there's some locals who could provide some recommendations. Maybe there's a county fair or other similar festival going on.
Have all the small towns come to you. Iowa State Fair. I think this year they have a livestock ribbon category for scooter-bound fair attendees.
 

Hawk_4shur

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Jan 2, 2009
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You simply can't take a trip to Iowa without doing the Freedom Rock Tour!


Imagine. Driving from county to county to look at very large rocks with inspirational paint on them. It gives me chills!

Hey, it's Iowa. 🤷‍♀️
 

bagdropper

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Oct 17, 2002
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I'm on the Mississippi right now, NE Iowa. Utterly glorious day. Marquette/McGgregor/Prairie du Chien area - and Decorah is easily drivable nearby.

If they enjoy peace and quiet small town type stuff - with a big ass scenic river, can't beat this area.
 

CJ Beat Hard

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Dec 15, 2016
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I'm on the Mississippi right now, NE Iowa. Utterly glorious day. Marquette/McGgregor/Prairie du Chien area - and Decorah is easily drivable nearby.

If they enjoy peace and quiet small town type stuff - with a big ass scenic river, can't beat this area.
Thanks for the invite
 

HawCory

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Dec 19, 2008
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Not too far from corn
Davenport has the "Alternating Currents Festival" running from August 18-21.

Lots of interesting stuff going on, but not sure if this fits your time table:

 

markfromj

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Sep 1, 2004
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Doliver State Park near Ft. Dodge.

(And total BS that “there really isn’t much”.)
 

noStemsnoSTICKS

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Feb 16, 2006
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Sactown
A week is a lot for Iowa.... That said, where are they from? Would they be fascinated or experience a culture shock in some small towns? I'm sure there's some locals who could provide some recommendations. Maybe there's a county fair or other similar festival going on.
I think this is a great call. There's something cool about the small towns in Iowa.

Do they still do the Farm Progress Show back there?
 

General Tso

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Nov 20, 2004
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Quad Cities. Your Rock Island Arsenal, see historical spot where first bridge was built across Mississippi, tour John Deere and Col Davenport house, walk across arsenal bridge, go to a river bandits game, take a river boat cruise, moquoketa caves, dinner in downtown d-port.
 
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23 so far

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My buddy is spending a week in Iowa with his family next week and they want to travel throughout the state. He's asking for recommendations and I've given him several but know there would be places I have left off.

Any particular spots in Iowa you've visited you've really enjoyed and recommend?

Thanks.
Not my thing, but Amana Colonies?
 
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ConvenientParking

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Grotto of the Redemption is pretty cool.
Cosign. Out of the way, but cool

Grotto_of_the_Redemption.jpg
 
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EasyHawk

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Jun 21, 2015
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No trip to Iowa is complete without a day in Pella. Hit the bakery, the meat market, dinner at Liberty Street and stay in the hotel on the canal.
 

ConvenientParking

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My grandma took me there when I was like 14 and I almost died of boredom. It was hot as hell and I was like you drove me way out in the sticks for this!!! Hard pass.
I had to be there in town for a wedding, so it was unexpected and cool.
 

lucas80

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Jan 30, 2008
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My buddy is spending a week in Iowa with his family next week and they want to travel throughout the state. He's asking for recommendations and I've given him several but know there would be places I have left off.

Any particular spots in Iowa you've visited you've really enjoyed and recommend?

Thanks.
Ages of those in the traveling party?
 

Tenacious E

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Dec 4, 2001
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My buddy is spending a week in Iowa with his family next week and they want to travel throughout the state. He's asking for recommendations and I've given him several but know there would be places I have left off.

Any particular spots in Iowa you've visited you've really enjoyed and recommend?

Thanks.
Coolest things in iowa are the Des Moines farmer’s market Saturday mornings, and dinner overlooking the Mississippi. If in the quads there used to be a channel cat boat that took you across the river. Might be fun if it is still going. In the west there are the Loess hills, but I’m not sure that is really a draw. Iowa state fair isn’t for me but if they want to see small town iowa while staying in Des Moines, not a bad choice. If they bike there are tons of trails around Des Moines with breweries.
 
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