Iowa Vacation Planner

Iowa’s capital city, Des Moines, home to 191,000 people, is known for Living History Farms and the legendary Iowa State Fair. Des Moines is filled with family-centered activities. The beautifully landscaped zoological park, Blank Park Zoo, the State Historical Museum, and the Science Center of Iowa are all ideal for family activities. The impressive collection at the Des Moines Art Center is particularly worth a visit. Cedar Rapids, the second-largest city in Iowa, is a city of rich history and diverse culture. For those who love outdoors and nature, Indian Creek Nature Center presents 210 acres of restored savannas, prairies, and woodlands. Iowa is known for its scenic landscape and historic trails situated throughout the state. West Iowa features Loess Hills National Scenic Byway, providing visitors with views of the Missouri River Valley. East Iowa boasts a number of well-known Iowan images, including cornfields and farmers.

West Iowa Visitors Guide

West Iowa is rich in history and recreation, both of which are bolstered by local accommodations, shops, restaurants, and more. Council Bluffs is one of the more prominent towns in western Iowa and features several attractions that explore the area’s past. One intriguing structure is the Squirrel Cage Jail, one of the few remaining lazy-susan-style jails left in the United States. No longer used in the penal system, the jailhouse is open to the public for tours. A railway museum also calls Council Bluffs home and features restored engines and authentic rail cars. Nearby Sioux City is home to Tyson Center, a venue for sports, concerts, conventions, and more. Every year, Sioux City hosts Artsplash, an arts event that showcases local talent and provides family entertainment, food concessions and more. The town of Ames is home to Iowa State University, a research college that has gained renown for the graduate studies available.

East Iowa Visitors Guide

East Iowa features some quintessential Iowan images: the cornfields and farmers are ubiquitous in this part of the state. Held in Davenport every year, the Wonderland Doll, Toy, and Bear Show feature a wide variety of collectibles. The Adler Theatre and River Center in Davenport serves as a venue for different entertainment throughout the year. Davenport also boasts the River Music Experience, a museum and concert venue that explores the vast contribution of the Mississippi River to American music. The museum includes a variety of displays, exhibits, and more that provide visitors with a wealth of information on the artists and songs that helped shape the American psyche. As part of one of the largest river systems in the world, the Mississippi River is an attraction in itself, and there are numerous opportunities in eastern Iowa to experience the enormity of this body of water first hand.

Des Moines Visitors Guide

Des Moines, Iowa’s capital city, is located in Central Iowa. Featuring college and professional sports, casinos, antique shopping, historic museums, and diverse cultural events, Des Moines is a family vacation destination. Des Moines is renowned for the world-class Living History Farms and, in summer, the Iowa State Fair, America’s classic state fair, and Iowa’s largest tourism event. For family activities, go to the beautifully landscaped zoological park, Blank Park Zoo, or visit the Iowa Historical Building and learn about the history of Iowa. The Science Center of Iowa presents both hands-on exhibits and demonstrations on physical and life sciences. Nearby in Altoona, Adventure Land boasts more than 100 rides, shows, and attractions, including four great roller coasters. For those who love performing arts, seven theaters present various plays and shows throughout the year.

Cedar Rapids Visitors Guide

Cedar Rapids has a rich history and diverse culture. Stroll through the gardens of beautiful Brucemore, a Queen Anne-style mansion built-in 1886. For those who are interested in history, Cedar Rapids is the place to go. The city features many fine museums, including The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, The Iowa Masonic Library and Museum, The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library. For fun family activities, go to the Science Station and enjoy the IMAX Dome Theater. For the family who loves the outdoors and nature, Indian Creek Nature Center presents 210 acres of restored savannas, prairies, and woodlands. Cedar Rapids also features beautiful campgrounds and hiking trails.