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Iowa State

7 Best Things To Do in Iowa

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Photo by Austin Goode on Unsplash

If you've seen the popular states like New York, California, Colorado, Utah, Florida, Nevada, and so on, then it's time to spice things up. To help to do so, here is a list of some of the best things to do in Iowa, a wonderful state that is often undervalued

1. Adventureland Park

Adventureland Park is an amusement park in Altoona. The family-owned park features over 100 rides, attractions, and shows. Some of the tallest and fastest rides in the country include The Monster and The Storm Chaser, which are sure to get the blood pumping in even the most thrill-seeking guest. Family-friendly rides include the classic Tilt-A-Whirl, a sky ride through the treetops, bumper cars, a carousel, and more.

2. Capitol Building

The Iowa Capitol Building is located in Des Moines and houses the legislative and executive branches of government for the state of Iowa. The late 19th-century building is the only five-domed capitol in the United States. Professional guided tours and self-guided tours are available at no cost and depart from the ground floor of the rotunda.

3. Maquoketa Caves State Park

For a unique natural side of Iowa, Maquoketa Caves State Park offers a look into the world beneath your feet. This popular state park has numerous above-ground hiking trails that explore bluffs, woodlands, and an interesting natural wonder known as Balanced Rock. But the main reason to explore this park in Eastern Iowa is the caves. For claustrophobes, the Dancehall Cave is a lighted cave with high ceilings and a walkway. And for those that don't mind squeezing into tight spaces, Maquoketa Caves State Park also lends access to more than a dozen other caves that require a flashlight to explore and probably a change of clothes.
Photo by Cameron Venti on Unsplash

4. American Gothic House

Grant Wood, an Iowa native, is arguably one of the most culturally significant artists of the 20th century. Many of his most significant works incorporate his Midwest roots as inspiration. Of particular note, Wood's American Gothic, which depicts a farmer and his wife outside their single-story white home, is recognizable to nearly every American and international art enthusiast. The house that serves as the backdrop of this masterpiece is open for anyone to see for themselves in real life. Visitors often pose for a picture as the frowning farmer or his wife in front of the house.

5. Iowa 80 Trucking Museum

The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum is a museum dedicated to antique trucks and trucking-related artifacts. The museum is the creation of Bill Moon, who founded the Iowa 80 Truckstop. Many rare and one-of-a-kind trucks are on display at the museum, including a 1919 Pierce-Arrow, a 1910 Avery Tractor, and a 1915 Mack AB. A collection of vintage gas pumps, oil drums, and other petrol-related artifacts is also on display and the museum features a large collection of antique toy trucks.

6. National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is a museum dedicated to preserving the history and culture of American rivers. The museum’s aquariums represent many river ecosystems throughout the United States, especially those of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The museum also features several large outdoor exhibits which feature steam boilers, boats, river otters, and a bald eagle exhibit.

7. Grotto of the Redemption

The Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend is truly a unique attraction in Iowa. Also called the West Bend Grotto, it is comprised of nine separate grottos all built from precious stones and gems and handcrafted by a local pastor and a few other helping hands. No matter your denomination or religion, the West Bend Grotto is an impressive example of what one man with a mission can accomplish in a lifetime.

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