Iowa Things to Do

  • Iowa City Mansion near College Green Park
    Iowa City Mansion near College Green...
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  • Old Downtown Iowa City, IA
    Old Downtown Iowa City, IA
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  • Johnson County Courthouse, Iowa City, IA
    Johnson County Courthouse, Iowa City, IA
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Iowa Things to Do

  • 4th Street Elevator

    Dubuque Things to Do

    For the most spectacular view of Dubuque (not to mention neighboring Wisconsin and Illinois, as well as the Mississippi River) go up the Fenelon Street Elevator off of Bluff Street and Fourth Street in downtown Dubuque. The elevator travels up a very steep hill, via cable, to Fenelon Street, where there a wonderful panoramic view awaits. If the day...

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  • General Store

    Amana Things to Do

    ....if only because it's so jam-packed with things to buy that you will probably spend at least a little money there. And yes, what is on sale does look very nice and much of it does seem to be locally produced. The building itself was of more interest to me. It dates from 1858, originally sandstone and timber with a brick extension built in...

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  • Raccoon River Excursions

    Des Moines Things to Do

    Take a inner tube float trip down the Raccoon River with a group of your friends or family. You can bring a cooler full of your favorite beverages and snacks. River tubing trips range anywhere from 3 to 7 hours depending on the water levels in the river at the time. Buses will pick you up at your campsite in one of the local campgrounds or at a...

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  • Brucemore

    Cedar Rapids Things to Do

    Brucemore is a wonderful historic icon in Cedar Rapids. The Queen Anne style mansion was completed in 1886 on on ten acres of land for $55,000. This was the most expensive improvement in the city at that time. Brucemore has been owned by three families: The Sinclairs, the Douglas' and the Halls. The Douglas' expanded the property from 10 acres to...

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  • Wildcat Den State Park

    Iowa Things to Do

    This park is just outside of Muscatine and features bluffs and hills along a river side setting. There is an old historic grist mill along the river here. Although small there are quite few hiking trails also.

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  • #1 Green Cab

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Dubuque Things to Do

    I don't know about you but this is the most excellent cab service I've ever encountered. They have the coolest drivers in town, who are fun and friendly, and the cost didn't break my bank either. It's about time Dubuque has a good cab service that we can depend on.

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  • Town Center

    Amana Things to Do

    Volunteers living around the area come and play German style music to entertain the visitors. Thus, the band is very informal, as some must read music and others know their parts by heart. It's a family participatory entertainment.

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  • John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park

    Des Moines Things to Do

    The Des Moines Arts Center continues to collect - and commission - new work. The Sculpture Garden in particular has continued to expand. It's a lovely place with flowers, tree, hills, and water. If I lived in Des Moines, I would certainly come here often. This is a piece by Bruce Nauman called "Animal Pyramid."

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  • National Czech and Slovak Museum

    Cedar Rapids Things to Do

    Interesting place to study the culture and heritage of the Czech and Slovak settlers who me made a new home for themselves in the broad expanses of Iowa. The Museum is a modern convenient facility with a good research library, gift shop, and an interesting permanent exhibit that details the general history of the Czech and Slovak lands, as well as...

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  • Visitor Center

    Amana Things to Do

    The updated visitors center is near the best parking lots in the center of town. The folks here provide good orientation to all the Amana colonies. In the same building, on a different side is the Heritage Needle and Quilt, a must see place. Amana Colony Antiques is nearby.

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  • Ushers Ferry Historic Village

    Cedar Rapids Things to Do

    This is a restored Pioneer town of 1905. The village includes all the major buildings (store, blacksmoth, etc) of a turn of the century town. The town is manned by volunteers in period costume who explain the way of life.

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  • Millrace Canal

    Amana Things to Do

    The Millrace, a six-mile long canal leading from the Iowa River which was cut in the 1860s to power the Amana Mill, has been repaired and restored following the 1993 river floods (which damaged the Millrace's levees). It provides a rather lovely, calm stretch of water to enjoy. The Konienweg ('colony way') trail runs alongside for just over 3...

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  • Czech Heritage

    Cedar Rapids Things to Do

    Cedar Rapids is the home of thousands of Czech nationality decendants, and I happen to be one of them. My grandmother was the first generation of her family born in the United States. The Czech Village still carries over the Czech heritage. There is a Czech bakery, Sykora Bakery, and a Czech meat market, Polehna Meat Market, two Czech...

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  • Woolen Mill

    Amana Things to Do

    (Oh how it pains me to spell 'woolen' with only one 'l' !) If I'd been by myself i wouldn't have bothered, but my companion (being a weaving addict) insisted. So she explored the mill and I explored the Millrace. And then I was persuaded to go inside, because my companion wanted me to buy her birthday present. And, actually, it was a pretty good...

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  • History Center - Linn County Historical...

    Cedar Rapids Things to Do

    Since I grew up in Cedar Rapids and have alot of family history there I decided to check out the History Center. It's in a nice newly built or restored building on First Ave near downtown Cedar Rapids. The outside of the building is styled in a modern art look. The History Center has a gift shop, a records library, and the main portion of the...

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  • Heritage Museum

    Amana Things to Do

    There is a small museum that displays the wares and objects of like during the communal era. Amana colony is very well preserved in architecture, and so not surprisingly, this small museum is packed with artifacts.

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  • Paramount Theater

    Cedar Rapids Things to Do

    The Paramount Theater was build in the 1920's. This 1901 seat theater hosts many events each year, from the Cedar Rapids Symphony ,ballet, broadway series, to local events and meetings. The theater is listed in the National Register of Historic places which lists places of historical or architectual signifigance. The theather was build in a...

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  • Shopping

    Amana Things to Do

    My favorite part of the Amana Colonies is the shopping and my favorite time to go is during the holiday season, before Christmas. But any time is nice. There are wine and cheese stores where you can sample the goods. The Ackerman Winery in Amana is a favorite. They have all of these fruit flavored wines. My favorite is the blueberry! There are...

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  • Ellis Park

    Cedar Rapids Things to Do

    Ellis Park is on the Northwest side of Cedar Rapids. There are tennis courts, a public swimming pool, horseshoe pits, golf course, rose gardens, baseball fields, and walking trails. There are several shelters for picnics or parties. Ellis Park is right on the Cedar River. There is a large population of both geese and ducks here and this last...

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  • Powder House Windmill

    Amana Things to Do

    A wind driven water pump does exist in town, although it's much less impressive than the Danish one of I-80 in western Iowa. It's included in a building known as the Powder House, because it produced a pharmacological product from hog's hoof powder. The complex of multiple addition buildings near it are dedicated to a rambling antique store.

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  • Wine

    Cedar Rapids Things to Do

    Once a month during the warmer months (May-September), you can gather with other fun wine lovers, taste and learn about wines, sample cheeses and party dips, and win door prizes! This outrageous tasting bash takes place in an outdoor venue at a quaint little boutique wine shop in Shueyville, Iowa: The Secret Cellar. Check out their website for...

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  • Communal Kitchen

    Amana Things to Do

    A guided tour explains how the dining halls functioned. Unlike in the communal hall of Bishop Hill, Illinois where all 1000 people sat down to dine at the same time, here in Amana, there were several smaller dining halls in each village – about the size of a large family house. This house in Middle Amana is the last intact communal kitchen...

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  • Science Station - CLOSED

    Cedar Rapids Things to Do

    The Science station features hand on science exhibits for kids along with an IMAX movie theater. This downtown museum was renovated about 4 years ago and is a CR Landmark. It's definitely the place to go if visiting Cedar Rapids with kids.

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  • Refrigeration Factory

    Amana Things to Do

    Employing over 2000 employees, this is the giant of Amana today. The appliances made here have a fine reputation for quality. Originally, Amana was the product of former Colonists, but the company left Colony hands long age and has recently been bought by another Iowan appliance giant, Maytag – itself of Mennonite origins. There are no factory...

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  • Bever Park

    Cedar Rapids Things to Do

    I remember going to this park as a child distinctly because of the zoo. It's changed over the years, and it's now Old MacDonald's Farm. There are pigs, sheep, rabbits, ducks, donkeys, a cow, and prairie dogs. There is a large playground area and lots of open space and big leafy trees. There is a public swimming pool at this park as well.

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  • Architecture

    Amana Things to Do

    Each building had a purpose in Amana, and although many are converted from the original into a new purpose, many also are part of the National Park Service effort to provide demonstration workshops for visitors to see. Find the list of sites to all the Amana Colonies Here

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  • Church Museum

    Amana Things to Do

    The former church in Homestead is the site of the Church Museum. Here you can learn more about the beliefs of those that made up the Amana Colonies. This was the reason the colonies existed. You can also see the present state of the True Inspiration Church. There used to be a church in each village. Now only a couple halls are used regularly –...

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  • Lily Lake

    Amana Things to Do

    Between Main Amana and Middle Amana lies what is known as Lily Lake, a shallow lake full of water lilies. Bike paths and hiking paths circle the lake, blending a bit of nature with the Amana blue of the Amana Refrigeration factory in the distance. Another interesting trail to take giving you a feel for the countryside of the Amanas is the...

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  • Gardens

    Amana Things to Do

    Many of the Amana Gardens bloom with flowers in summer, which is a great time to visit. The flowering gardens must have provided color for pioneers weary of the corn stalk. Of course, in the deep of winter, all of this is buried under snow.

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  • WIld Cat Den State Park

    This park is just outside of Muscatine and features bluffs and hills along a river side setting. There is an old historic grist mill along the river here. Although small there are quite few hiking trails also.

    more
  • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

    Herbert Hoover National Historic Site preserves the birthplace of the 31st President of the United States Herbert Hoover along with several buildings that reveal his childhood and the influences that shaped the man. Hoover was raised in a community dominated by the "Religious Society of Friends" also known as Quakers. This upbringing strongly...

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  • Okoboji

    Okoboji is a city and tourist hotspot in Dickinson County, Iowa, it has the deepest natural lake in the state, it is crystal clear and one of only a handful of lakes in the world that is classified as a true blue water lake. Okoboji has also become a recognisable name around the US due to the sales of many products that display the city name....

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  • Pinicon Ridge Park

    Very beautiful, very awesome park. Lots to do there. Playgrounds. Animals. Disc golf course. Campground. The only problem is sometimes there are a lot of mosquitos, so be prepared.

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  • National Mississippi River Museum

    A very big museum. Initially there wasn't as much to see there, but now there is enough to keep you busy for hours and hours, especially if you go when it is warm and you can enjoy all the outside exhibits as well. Great for kid and adults. Check to see what special events are happening. My son got to "pet" a snake here during a special show on...

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  • Iowa Children's Museum

    My son loves it here. There is so much to do, especially for ages 3-5. The exhibits change frequently which is awesome.

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  • Pikes Peak State Park

    The main state park I have been to in Iowa was Pikes Peak State Park. This beautiful park is located where the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers meet and where in 1673 the first white men crossed the Upper Mississippi and stepped foot on what would become Iowa. There is access to the river near the park; and hiking trails beautiful views, picnic...

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  • Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace (Boone)

    I am not sure exactly what this site is "officially". I swear I saw a sign stating it is a state historic site but it doesn't show on the Internet. I did see a sign though that it is part of the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area. This is the place where Mamie Doud was born in 1896. She would grow up to marry Dwight D. Eisenhower (the...

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  • Effigy Mounds National Monument

    Conical Mounds appeared across the eastern United States long, long ago. The mounds at Effigy Mounds National Monument, however, are more recent and maybe a bit more interesting to see. These mounds were made in the Late Woodland Period about 1400 years ago (or about 400 A.D.) until about 850 years ago. In addition to the much more common round or...

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  • Birthplace of John Wayne

    The enduring character actor John Wayne remains a vivid memory for Winterset, Madison County, and Iowa, even though the actor left with his family for Los Angeles when he was about age 3. The modest original home is well preserved to it's early 20th century style, with well kept landscaping, and a nice little gift shop nearby. Winterset hosts a...

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  • Winterset--Madison County Seat

    For those wanting to see John Wayne's home or visit the remaining six Bridges of Madison County, Winterset is a good place to start. The town is very small, with only several blocks on either side of the town square where the impressive domed county building and court house stands. The brick commercial buildings are mostly late 19th century...

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  • Arnolds Park

    An Old coney Island style amusement park on the shores of Lake Okoboji. Contains one of few remaining wood roller coasters.

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  • The State Capitol Building

    Completed in 1886 and built of limestone, granite, and sandstone, the Iowa State Capitol Building is one of the largest statehouses in the nation. It was built on the site of an earlier small brick building that housed the state legislature. Front and back porticos are supported by six Corinthian columns each. The central dome rises to a height of...

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  • The Des Moines Botanical Center

    The Des Moines Botanical Center opened in 1979, although a city-owned greenhouse occupied the site since 1939. The grounds of the 14-acre (six-hectare) botanical garden contain trails which wind among beds of native and other temperate-climate plants; conifers and deciduous trees; rose gardens; herb gardens; water gardens; and a cascade. Indoor...

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  • Living History Farms

    Founded in 1970, the 600-acre (243-hectare) Living History Farms is an open-air museum which tells the story of Midwestern agriculture during four different time periods, including the Ioway Indian Village (1700), the Pioneer Farm (1850), the Town of Walnut Hill (1875), and the Horse-Powered Farm (1900). The displays are concentrated around two...

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  • Field Of Dreams

    It's the site of the movie!When we were there (several years ago), they told us that half is owned by one family and half by another family. So they have competing souvenir shops and will only let you play on their part if you are using their equipment. It's really funny:)

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Iowa Hotels

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Iowa Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Iowa things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Iowa sightseeing.
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