Nicknamed ‘The Hawkeye State’ after being immortalized in the novel ‘The Last of the Mohicans’, vacations in Iowa will introduce you to an eclectic part of America. Choose the hustle and bustle of city life with a week in the state’s capital, Des Moines, or book a romantic getaway with your significant other in a rural retreat. With expansive, rolling countryside, the glassy tranquility of the Great Lakes, and the sights and sounds of Iowa City, you can make your Iowa package vacations exactly what you want them to be.
If you need one reason to choose this beautiful state for your Iowa vacations, make it Iowa City. A UNESCO City of Literature and the historic site of the state’s oldest university, it’s practically bursting with academia. Whether you’re travelling with the family or spending time with your partner, there’s plenty to see and do. The Amana Colonies, a series of German villages, with outstanding shopping and excellent dining, make a great destination for a family day out. Be sure to leave some time to visit the sublime Coralville Lake.
Des Moines is Iowa’s biggest city and there’s always something going on there. The Iowa State Fair takes place every August and attracts over one million visitors from all over the world. With big-name bands rubbing shoulders with up-and-coming artists, delicious street food, and some outstanding funfair-style attractions, it’s no wonder it’s such a big date on the calendar.
Not too far away lies the city of Cedar Rapids. A city for all the family, it’s fast becoming one of the must-see attractions in the Midwest. If you’re travelling with the whole family, there are plenty of special treats to get involved in, such as catching a Broadway show at the restored Paramount Theater, and exploring the trails of the Indian Creek Nature Center. Couples will enjoy a visit to the Czech Village, and skating at Bever Park’s ice rink is a romantic way to spend an afternoon.
Perhaps the biggest must-see attraction of them all is the Mississippi River. Hailed as one of the fastest ways to slow down, taking a trip on a barge or boat along the Iowa Great River Road allows you to soak up the scenery at your own pace.
If you’re looking for a peerless amusement park, head to the city of Arnolds Park. There, you’ll find the Arnolds Park theme park, which unveiled its first attraction in 1889. Today, it draws thousands of visitors each year and offers rides and slides for people of all ages. In addition, the park hosts free movie nights and concerts, and there is a beach and lake for those who want to enjoy an ice cream while relaxing on soft sands.
A vacation rental at Okoboji is an ideal escape for couples who want to enjoy some quality downtime together. The state’s main attractions are the vast lakes that were formed here thousands of years ago. Sublimely romantic and with some beautiful restaurants in which to enjoy a leisurely dinner, Okoboji is one of Iowa’s undiscovered gems.
If you’re going to travel Iowa’s trails, be sure to leave some time on your itinerary to visit Williamsburg. A perfect destination for a family vacation, it’s most famous for its restaurants, shopping and waterparks. When it comes to water-based thrills and spills, the three biggest waterparks are the Water Country USA, the Great Wolf Lodge, and Colossal Curl.
Consult any travel guide and it’ll tell you that the best time to visit Iowa is between September and November. During these months, the summer heat and humidity have passed, leaving temperatures of around 70°F; perfect sightseeing weather.
Despite its size, the car is the preferred method of transport. With most state highways laid out in the standard grid formation for easy navigation. This provides regular intersections and, in the event that you take a wrong turn, it’s easy to find your way back onto the right road.