Iowa Off The Beaten Path

  • Formations in Crystal Lake Cave
    Formations in Crystal Lake Cave
    by Stephen-KarenConn
  • Kalona, Iowa
    Kalona, Iowa
    by tvdandy
  • Kalona, Iowa
    Kalona, Iowa
    by tvdandy

Iowa Off The Beaten Path


    If you visit Independence, then a visit to Truman’s Democratic rival, Henry A. Wallace’s hometown of Orient, Iowa, is giving equal time. Wallace - maybe one of Iowa's most famous politicians - was a scientifically-oriented liberal Democrat who became the Secretary of Agriculture under FDR in 1933 - his father had been also been a Secretary of...


    French communalists relocated here after the closing of their community in Nauvoo, Illinois. They had a 46 year run as a commune here a few miles to the east of Corning, Iowa in the latter half of the 19th century. Nothing but a State historical roadside sign remains of their community, though plans are afoot to restore the community and a few...

  • The Vanishing Mssissippi River Iron...

    While driving our 60 year old MG TC along the Great River Road we paused at each iron bridge to traverse the river to Wisconsin or Illinios and back.


    Established in May 1846 as a large semi-permanent camp of between 700 to 2000 people to serve as a second way station for Latter Day Saints migrants who were making their way across Iowa en route from Nauvoo, Illinois to what would eventually be their new home in Utah. It only took four days after it was decided to establish the camp for the...


    If you go to Utah or States neighboring around, you will find many communities where the majority of the population is Mormon of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS) version. Lamoni is one of the few communities where the Reorganized Latter-Day Saints (RLDS)/Community of Christ is in preponderance. The idea of ‘gathering’ or coming together from their...

  • When you get bored of Iowa....

    If you have a car you can drive via scenic route to CHicago. It is a nice drive and you will be passing many qute towns on your way. Great history lesson too.Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities in US.

  • Kaleidoscopes, tye-dye and Byron’s bar

    If you think Pomeroy, Iowa is a quiet town in the middle of the prairie with an activity level of- blink an eye and you will miss the town- THINK AGAIN!As a reporter and writer for an Iowa newspaper, my editor assigned me to write about the progress of Pomeroy, Iowa in 2007. My expectations were fairly low, and I was dragging my feet as my Mazda...

  • Amana

    Six towns that have retained their rual charm and a proud history. Amana is located north of I-80 and offers a look into 19th Century America. The town of Amana is only a few blocks long, but you'll find museums, great restaurants and wonderful shops of American products.

  • Silos & Smokestakes Nat'l Heritage Area

    The entire northeast corner of Iowa is the a unique area of agriculture in the U.S. I've been through it hundreds, okay a couple dozen, times. In January, it can be bleak and dark. In August it'll roast your socks off. In spring, it's blustery and damp. Come autumn and it's sunny and cool. Each season, each road, offers a new experience. Here, as a...

  • Pine Creek Grist Mill

    Click to see the school house and the bridgeOn the way to Muscatine, we went to Wilcat Den State Park to see The Pine Creek Grist Mill and the Melpine SchoolhouseAfter an "interesting" ride on back roads, we finally arrived. It was toward the end of the school year; thus, lots of classes of grade school children were on field trips here. We...

  • St. Donatus Catholic Church and Cemetery

    St. Donatus Catholic Church began in 1848 in a log church, and the second church was completed in 1851, but the current church was built in 1858. Its interior burned in 1907, but the exterior was not. Thus, restoration was done. This church is much as it was over 125 years ago. The Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation is also known as "Our Lady of...

  • Pieta Chapel

    At the top of the climb of The Way of the Cross, we were thrilled to find the Pieta Chapel [which is open daily]. It was built in 1885 with funds that were left by Father Flammang and was dedicated in this memory. This particular chapel was modeled after the Chapel du Bildchen in Vianden, Luxembourg.Father served this parish starting in 1858. It's...

  • Outdoor Way of the Cross

    One of the reasons that I wanted to visit St. Donatus, Iowa, was to visit The Outdoor Way of the Cross". This Way of the Cross is actually 14 brick alcoves placed in a meandering uphill fashion within lovely pines of Calvary Hill to Pieta Chapel. I've seen several "Stations of the Cross", but this one is most impressive. It's amazing what excellent...

  • Luxembourg In America: St. Donatus,...

    The tiny town called St. Donatus, Iowa is called "Luxembourg in America". It is found nestled in a wooded valley in Jackson County, Iowa. It's about 15 miles south of Dubuque and 12 miles north of Bellevue. For such a small place, it has 20 sites on the National Register of Historic Places!St. Donatus is also referred to as an :"Historic French...

  • Dyersville: Small Town Midwestern Town

    If you are looking for a small town that is friendly, progressive, & surrounded by beautiful countryside, then Dyersville, Iowa is the place to see. For a town of just 4,000 people, it offers a good deal to see and do.1. National Farm Toy Museum with 30,000 farm toys, trucks, and banks. It is a joy for serious collectors and for tourist who enjoy...

  • St. Francis Xavier Basilica in...

    Because I had read that the small town of Dyersville, Iowa, was one of only 52 Basilicas in the United States, I knew I wanted to see it. We were going to Dyersville anyway to see the famed "Field of Dreams". It was a Sunday in late May of 2007, and the weather was perfect...sunny and in the 70s.I'm so glad that we were able to see, even if it was...

  • "Build It, and They Will Come"

    Both Jill and I agreed when we decided to visit Iowa that we just had to see the farm where the movie "Field of Dreams" was filmed. Thus, we set aside half of one day to visit Kyersville, Iowa.The farm is really a family farm with a baseball diamond carved into the center of it's acreage. It's the original setting where the movie "Field of Dreams"...

  • The Dubuque Belltower

    I think this picture sums up a lot of Iowa. It isn't loud or flashy, but it is pleasant. It isn't magnificent, but it does catch the eye. Driving through dubuque is really dull, not much is open, not many people on the street. This isn't so much a city as a large town, but it struck me as a pleasant place to live, or visit. You won't find a lot of...

  • Iowa is off the beaten path. ...

    Iowa is off the beaten path. So I'm afriad I don't have any great words of wisdom in terms of what to see. I've heard Iowa City is a great college town. Quad Cities, when not flooded, is supposed to feature some interesting Mississippi River views. I've heard good things about Dubuque (and the Dukes therein). And of course, there's Des Moines....

  • eat steaks at eateries

    the cuisine of iowa is fairly straightforward. none of that foreign tucker..steak, potato, lettuce and butter and mayonnaise. beer. please dont ask for wine. weak coffee. while country music plays and sweet syrupy girls who say Hiiiiii..

  • they say it is the widest street in...

    In Onawa, Iowa a loud proclamation says it has the widest mainstreet in usa.. I found it hard to believe but then again, these rural people given to delusions of grandeur

  • Welcome to Iowa

    While I enjoy my visits during the summer months when the roads become passable and the weather bearable, the winter visits can be cruel with rain and sleet and ice and snow and the temperatures plunging into the minus celsius range. When that occurs there is no where to go and nothing to do but be holed up in your hotel in an already desolate town...

  • All of Iowa is off the Beaten Path

    I have the fortune or misfortune, you may interpret it, to visit Iowa once a month. From my own view point, it is not Iowa that I am visiting but the Meskwakia Indians

  • Rodeo!

    You´ll have to go watch a rodeo if you haven´t seen one before! There are a lot of them in Iowa. This here was in Sidney, South West Iowa.

  • The Little Brown Church in the Vale

    This is the church that was inspired by a church hymn.After a stop in the town of Bradford, Iowa in about 1856 or so, William Pitt saw a bueatiful spot he though would be a perfect spot for a church. He wrote the a poem "Church in the Wildwood" and set it to music. He then forgot about it. The people in town also thought it would be a nice spot for...

  • Awesome Building But you do not want to...

    This is one of the buildings of Anamosa State Penitentiary in Anamosa,Iowa. It is called the White Palace of the West. Construction was started on it in 1873 but much of the building process was continued up to the turn of the century(1900).

  • Amana Colonies is a collection...

    Amana Colonies is a collection of old German settlements in the middle of Iowa. They have a great atmosphere, great family-style restaurants, and some really cute candy and antique shops:) Stop if you get a chance, there are direct exits right off Interstate 80!

  • Effigy Mounds State Park is an...

    Effigy Mounds State Park is an old Native American burial ground. They have these huge funeral mounds carefully built in the shapes of animals and other objects that have been there for quite a long time. A very interesting stop on your journey, trust me!

  • This is indeed a random...

    This is indeed a random fact--did you all know that the I-80 truckstop is the world's largest truckstop? I recommend stopping there for the sheer stupidity of it--people from miles around come to eat and shop at this truckstop off Interstate 80 which houses a souvenir store, fast food outlets, a sit-down restaurant, a tv lounge, shower rooms, and,...

  • Maquoketa Caves State Park -- ...

    Maquoketa Caves State Park -- you can walk, crawl, or climb through caves in this beautiful park. It is about 2 hours off of I-80, just go north on highway 61. It's beautiful and not too crowded, and the caves are amazing:) There is good camping at Horseshoe Pond, which is also off of Highway 61, actually in Maquoketa.

  • well Postvill is off the...

    well Postvill is off the beaten path for sure -- these kids are Americas future -- It looks brite and multicolored in the heartland.



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Iowa Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Iowa off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Iowa sightseeing.
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