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Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New France. After the Louisiana Purchase, settlers laid the foundation for an agriculture-based economy in the heart of the Corn Belt. Iowa is often known as the "Food Capital of the World".

Attractions

Central Iowa

Des Moines is the largest city in Iowa and the state's political and economic center. It is home to the Iowa State Capitol, the State Historical Society of Iowa Museum, Drake University, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines Botanical Center, Principal Riverwalk, the Iowa State Fair, Terrace Hill, and the World Food Prize. Nearby attractions include Adventureland in Altoona , Living History Farms in Urbandale, and the Iowa Speedway in Newton.

Ames is the home of Iowa State University, the Iowa State Center, and Reiman Gardens.

Boone hosts the biennial Farm Progress Show and is home to the Mamie Doud Eisenhower museum, the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, and Ledges State Park. The Meskwaki Settlement west of Tama is the only American Indian settlement in Iowa and is host to a large annual Pow-wow.

The Clint Eastwood movie The Bridges of Madison County, based on the popular novel of the same name, took place and was filmed in Madison County. Also in Madison County is the John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset.

Other communities with vibrant historic downtown areas include Indianola, Pella, Knoxville, Marshalltown, Perry, and Story City.

Eastern Iowa

Iowa City is home to the University of Iowa, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Old Capitol building. Iowa City is the first U.S. "City of Literature" in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

The Herbert Hoover National Historic Site and Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum are located in West Branch.

The Amana Colonies are a group of settlements of German Pietists comprising of seven villages listed as National Historic Landmarks.

The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art has collections of paintings by Grant Wood and Marvin Cone. Cedar Rapids is also home to the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library and the Brucemore mansion.

Davenport boasts the Figge Art Museum, River Music Experience, Putnam Museum and IMAX Theater, Davenport Skybridge, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Quad Cities, and plays host to the annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival.

Other communities with vibrant historic downtown areas include West Liberty, Fairfield, Mount Pleasant, Fort Madison, LeClaire, Mount Vernon, Ottumwa, Washington, and Wilton.

Western Iowa
View of Grotto of the Redemption’s Lower Arcade: Small Stations of the Cross, West Bend.

Some of the most dramatic scenery in Iowa is found in the unique Loess Hills. The Iowa Great Lakes include several resort areas such as Spirit Lake, Arnolds Park, and the Okoboji Lakes. The Sanford Museum and Planetarium in Cherokee, Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, and the Fort Museum and Frontier Village in Fort Dodge are regional destinations.

Sioux City boasts a revitalized downtown, attractions include the Sergeant Floyd Monument, Sergeant Floyd River Museum, and the Orpheum Theater.

Council Bluffs, the major city of southwest Iowa, sits at the base of the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway. With three casino resorts, the city also includes such cultural attractions as the Western Hills Trails Center, Union Pacific Railroad Museum, the Grenville M. Dodge House, and the Lewis and Clark Monument.

Northwest Iowa is home to some of the largest concentrations of wind turbine farms in the world. Other western communities with vibrant historic downtown areas include Storm Lake, Spencer, Le Mars, Glenwood, Carroll, Atlantic, Red Oak, Denison, Creston, Mount Ayr, Sac City, and Walnut.

Northeast and Northern Iowa

The Driftless Area of northeast Iowa has many steep hills and deep valleys, checkered with forest and terraced fields. Effigy Mounds National Monument in Allamakee and Clayton Counties has the largest assemblage of animal-shaped prehistoric mounds in the world.

Waterloo is home of the Grout Museum and is headquarters of the Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area. Cedar Falls is home of the University of Northern Iowa.

Dubuque is a regional tourist destination with attractions such as the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and the Port of Dubuque.

Dyersville is home to the famed Field of Dreams baseball diamond. Maquoketa Caves State Park, near Maquoketa, contains more caves than any other state park.

Fort Atkinson State Preserve in Fort Atkinson has the remains of an original 1840s Dragoon fortification.

Other communities with vibrant historic downtown areas include Decorah, McGregor, Mason City, Elkader, Guttenberg, Algona, Spillville, Charles City, and Independence.

Statewide

RAGBRAI — the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa — attracts thousands of bicyclists and support personnel. It has crossed the state on various routes each year since 1973. Iowa is home to more than 70 wineries, and hosts five regional wine tasting trails. Many Iowa communities hold farmers' markets during warmer months, these are typically weekly events, but larger cities can host multiple markets.

For information on tourism in Iowa you can contact the State tourist board at:

Iowa Tourism Office
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309 Telephone: +1-515-242-4705
Telephone: 1 888-472-6035 toll-free in USA
Fax: +1 515-242-4718

Website: http://www.traveliowa.com/

 

 

Cedar Rapids Vacation Rentals

Des Moines Vacation Rentals

Star for Vacation Rentals Inn at Battle Creek - Battle Creek This immaculately restored Queen Anne Victorian Country Inn is a National Landmark, and features a massive wraparound porch with a spire-roofed bay and distinctive palladian windows. Come to The Inn to get away from the stress and turmoil of your fast-paced life style. We'll have your squeaky clean room ready when you arrive. We'll prepare and serve you an evening meal and breakfast the following morning. You rest, relax and leave refreshed. Come, let us pamper you!

Star for Vacation Rentals The Raj - Fairfield The Raj is America's premier Maharishi Ayur-Veda Health Center and the only facility outside of India specifically built to offer traditional Ayurvedic rejuvenation treatments. Ayurveda is a 5, 000-year-old system of natural healthcare that originated in India. Our luxurious and powerful purification treatments help remove the damaging effects of stress, fatigue and environmental toxins, thereby stimulating the body's natural rejuvenating abilities. The Raj is located in Fairfield, Iowa.

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