10 Top-Rated Sight Seeing Destinations in Iowa (2022)
Also named as The Hawkeye State, Iowa has never left even a single chance to facilitate its visitors with the awe-inspiring beauty. This destination hails with a beauty that they would have never witnessed in their lifetime. Located in the Midwestern US, you are going to have a view of some of the best breath-taking and jaw-dropping views from Iowa. This top-rated place acts as a sheath to a plethora of things that it is proud of. It is considered to be the best corn-producer in the nation as well as its Midwestern charm. Iowa welcomes millions of visitors every year and this number is gradually growing with every passing month.
Do you want to know more about the best places to visit in Iowa? If yes, then you have got us! It’s because we have come up with a lot of finest sites for you to visit in Iowa. Each one of them hails with a unique charm and you shall surely never get enough of the same. Read on further to know about the top places to visit in Iowa.
Iowa Travel Guide: 10 Top-Rated Sight Seeing Destinations in Iowa
1. National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium is managed by the renowned Dubuque Historical Society. While being here, you are going to witness loads of exhibits, collections as well as live animals showcasing the geological significance of the Mississippi River.
Here, you will be introduced to the whole importance that this river is accompanied by and the positive impact that its watershed has on the environment. There is an existence of the Mississippi River Discovery Center, 4D Theatre, and the other rotating features intending to attract children present here. Such features give this museum a tag of being one of the best attractions in Iowa.
2. State Capitol
Located in Des Moines, the Iowa State Capitol Building has always been looked upon as one of the most important structures associated with Iowa’s history. The State Capitol promises a breath-taking view of the overall Des Moines Downtown since it is tucked atop a highly elevated hill. There is an existence of the Iowa House of Representatives, Iowa Supreme Court, and various other prominent offices for the various elected officials.
The State Capitol has always been counted amongst the most amazing sight-seeing places in Iowa and it’s because of the various commendable characteristics connected with it. It not only services as the central location for the Government of Iowa but, it also has a whole display of various architectural designs and artifacts.
3. National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
Are you someone who is highly fascinated by the Czech culture? If yes, then nothing would be better than the amazing National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. Prevalent in the Cedar Rapids, this massive institute is known to share a lot of stories related to the Slovak people and Czech culture. This hub also intends to let the public know more about their respective freedoms.
There are a lot of permanent exhibits, traveling displays, and a good number of special events that are held here for families. Right across the notable and very renowned 12th Avenue Bridge is the African American Museum of Iowa that is even more intrigued in the cultural heritage.
Move right up to the north, you are going to come across a lot of attractions including the Paramount Theatre.
4. Grotto of the Redemption
The Grotto of the Redemption is also named as the largest man-made grotto globally, and anyone who is heading to the state should pay a visit to this Iowa institution. To your surprise, this amazing place is considered as the eighth wonder of the world. Its beauty is endless and you are surely going to come across a good number of surprising elements while being here.
There is a whole array of nine grottos at the Grotto of the Redemption and each one of them is known to depict the instances from Lord Jesus’s life. This place attracts more than 10,000 people every year and as notified, it is made out of precious rocks and minerals having a worth of $4 million. While being here, you would clearly be able to have a look at jasper, stalagmites, calcite, stalactites, etc. It is thus referred to as one of the great attractions in Iowa.
5. Iowa River Valley
Do you want to experience some serene time in Iowa? If yes, then you can head straight towards the most mesmerizing and iconic Iowa River Valley. Being one of the most rural settlements in the US, you are going to experience a whole lot of rustic charm in Iowa. With so many beautiful places to visit for every visitor, you are surely going to have the best time here. If you want to experience the raw beauty of nature, then nothing’s better than the Iowa River Valley.
Apart from that, there is also the existence of the Campground in Farmington that is the best place to unwind your senses if you want to be at a place that is more developed. You can easily enjoy a lot of amazing horse trails here in Iowa with no hassle. Pay a visit to the commendable Iowa River Valley and experience the true beauty of nature at its best.
6. Maquoketa Caves State Park
If you want to have some glimpses of Iowa’s unique natural side, then you can tour the distinct Maquoketa Caves State Park. Being one of the best tourist destinations in Iowa, you are surely going to love this place. While being here, you would be able to have a glance at the whole nature’s boundless beauty. You can try out a good number of above-ground hiking trails here. These activities allow you to experience the woodlands, Balanced Rock, and the bluffs prevalent here.
Are you aware of the foremost reason to visit this park? Well, it’s none other than the caves here. The most important cave out of these is none other than the Dancehall cave that is a lighted cave accompanied by the walkway and high ceilings. Other numerous caves here would require a flashlight for their exploration. There is also a campsite present right in the park that can be used to place tents and RVs.
7. The Bridges of Madison County
If you want to know what does a scenic adventure feel like, you can experience the underlying charm associated with the bridges of Madison County. Located at a distance of 30 miles on Des Moines’s southeast, these beautiful bridges would just sway your heart with their boundless beauty. The tourists here have got endless opportunities to click numerous photographs. Not only this, but the beauty of this place has also grabbed the attention of a writer who has formed a best-selling novel associated with these bridges.
Much before such fame of these bridges, these served as a notable part of the residents during the 19th century. Originally there were a total of 19 bridges here, but as the time gradually passed on and changes occurred six bridges are left. Five out of these six bridges have got their names registered on the notable and very significant National Historic Register.
8. Amana Colonies
The Amana Colonies are a perfect illustration of the notable past associated with Easter Iowa. These colonies have seven villages that have the ability to reminiscence the stories from the past of Eastern Iowa’s lifestyle. While being here, you are surely going to experience utmost serenity away from the monotonous hustle and bustle of your city life.
Presently, this amazing destination has been named as a National Historic Landmark. The tourists present here would be able to gain an insight into the slower place of life by being a part of the shopping and dining experiences at the local establishments here. Apart from that, you would also have many chances to visit the distinct historical structures encompassed with scenic surroundings. Whether you want to gain experience in this place via walkways or bike paths, the choice is all yours!
9. Pikes Peak State Park
The Pikes Peak State Park is known to be one of the best touristic destinations in Iowa and it has the ability to proffer a plethora of picnicking opportunities for the travelers. While being here, visitors are free to have the best leisure time during outdoor meals. Apart from that, they can also enjoy a good number of heart-throbbing views right from the upper Midwest.
With the prevalence of an attractive campground in the Pikes Peak State Park, you would be able to attain the best camping experience there.
Apart from the campground, there are several adventurous trails, recreation sites, and areas for bicycling. The Pikes Peak State Park is accompanied by an intriguing history associated with the Native Americans belonging to the Woodland Culture during 800-1200 AD.
Okoboji has got a lot on its plate and you are surely going to fall in love with this exquisite destination. This larger area is packed with a lot of tourist attractions and the biggest out of them are the glacier-carved lakes. These lakes are known to extensively cover a whole area of approximately 15,00 acres. This lake acts as a sheath to a lot of adrenaline-rushing activities and they are mainly water sports. You can indulge in anything commencing right from kayaking to fishing to parasailing.
Not only the lakes are a blessing to your eyes here, but you are also going to come across multiple golf courses, massively expanded trails, camping areas, museums, an amusement park, shopping centers, and many more. Thus, on a whole, you are surely going to gain a huge number of memories while being here. Okoboji is a majestic place and you would have never witnessed anything more beautiful in your life ever before.
A place like nothing else, Iowa has always managed to leave its visitors awestruck with its amazing beauty! With such a good number of places to visit in Iowa, you are surely going to be confused about where to head when. The places mentioned by us are just the best ones and if you have visited them while being in Iowa, you have undoubtedly explored this destination in the finest possible manner.