A Travel Guide to Iowa
Iowa’s landscape of rolling plains and flat hills formed a perfect landscape for the movie “Field of Dreams”. Dickenson County shares the northern border with Minnesota blessed with some of the most notable lakes in Iowa. Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake and East Okoboji Lake play host to many freshwater anglers and boaters including the excursion boat of Queen II. When the season changes to winter this county is also an excellent place for winter sports.
On the jutting eastern border separating Iowa from Wisconsin and Illinois the counties are home to the Amish and Mennonite communities and the Amana colonies. The Amish communities are scattered throughout the eastern stretches to as far as Bloomfield on the southern border. The Amana colonies are located south east. The Amish and Amana colonies are great places to visit not only for their way of life but also for their artistry and handcrafting. The former is well publicised on Iowa tourist sites and the Amana colonies have published their own excellent guide online.
The largest river in the United States runs alongside the Eastern side of Iowa feeding into the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, a sanctified interlude on a steamboat journey to Dubuque on the south eastern border. There is also a steamboat museum here and avid collectors may wish to view the doll and toy museums in Dyersville. Not to be outdone the longest river in the United States, the Missouri River also runs into Iowa on the eastern border. Alike the Mississippi it also runs through ten states. The Missouri River merges into Iowa where the Big Sioux River joins it. The Missouri then travels alongside South Dakota and Nebraska before arriving at its namesake state of Missouri on Iowa’s Southern border. Not surprisingly the Missouri River also enjoys a lot of anglers panning with fishing rods for river gold.
The capital of this state, not to be confused with its county name sake on the southern border, is Des Moines in Central Iowa. Its metropolis lends itself to the hedonistic pleasure of fine dining, bars and nightclubs. It has delightful urban walking trails, easy on the foot and easy on the eye with architectural landscapes unfolding before you. There are pamper spots for a nearby massage and spa and if you feel a little bit more invigorated you could try the Arnold Palmer designed 18-hole golf course. In nearby counties you may want to travel to some of the legendary birthplace museums of the Moon River crooner of Andy Williams, Wall Lake, Sac County and also Madison County further south – a background set to the Clint Eastwood starring film “The Bridges of Madison County” hosts a birthplace museum to an even more famous cowboy that of the globally known John Wayne in Winterset. It must be noted that Iowa has other notable birthplace museums scattered throughout its state including those of Herbert Hoover, Buffalo Bill and Glenn Miller.
There is a wide variety of self catering vacation rentals in Iowa providing the perfect Midwest getaway.