Flanked by the Mississippi River, Iowa is a state located in the mid-west art of the United States. As patterned by its flag, Iowa was French colony in the past. It is a less-densely populated state with a population of merely three million citizens. Iowa is termed as one of the safest and best states to live in due to its ever-growing economy. Major economic contributors are its information technology, manufacturing, agricultural and processing industries. Apart from this, tourism in the state has really flourished. The historic sites, outdoor recreation parks and splendid art and entertainment centers of the state draw millions of local and foreign tourists in all seasons.
10) Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Being one of the oldest botanical gardens in the city of Des Moines, this center is home to thousands of species of plants from all parts of the world. It is housed beneath a huge, symbolic dome and features several artificial climatic conditions for different plant species. Visitors can explore the indoor collections of exotic orchids, beautiful flowering plants and canopies of forested trees. Outside, the interactive displays of dangerous species attract the tourists. Moreover, various cultural and botanical events are held here every now and then to give tips to visitors regarding the sustainability and enhancement of gardens.
9) Lost Island Water Park
Tourists traveling to Iowa with families must visit this terrific amusement park located in Waterloo. Themed on a jungle, this place is a popular summer destination drawing throngs of families and kids. The water park features dozens of water rides including slides and numerous aquatic attractions. Visitors can go rafting in the stationary Kailahi River, take up the giant water slide of Molokini Crater or swim in the wave pool. For non-water activities, miniature golf-parks and treehouses have been established. Visitors can tour the Tahiti Village which promotes the cultural history of the area.
8) Blank Park Zoo
Situated right in the heart of Des Moines, Blank Park Zoo is a zoological park traversing more than two dozen acres. Being the only certified Zoo in the state of Iowa; it keeps a disparate range of exotic wildlife, thousands of colorful birds and a large collection of marine animals. Amongst the 1500 interactive exhibits, the major sections of the zoo are: Discovery Center, African Boardwalk, Hub Harbor and Aquarium. Kid’s Kingdom is a popular site for children which houses domestic and tamed animals. The park hoes to inspire the people through conservation, education and recreation.
7) Iowa State Capitol
The Iowa State Capitol is based in the capital city, Des Moines and houses the offices of senate, house of representatives as well as other government departments. Constructed in late 19th century, this five-domed building glittering in gold is one of the top attractions in the city. Carved with beautiful wood and stone artistry and covered in marble lanterns, the Capitol also features historical portraits, monuments and memorabilia reflecting the rich culture of Iowa. The grand staircases and glorious chambers add to its beauty. Visitors can book up tours to explore the structure and experience panoramic views of the surrounding downtown area.
6) Pikes Peak State Park
Stretching to more than a thousand acres, Pikes Peak State Park is a national park located near the town of McGregor. Being one of the top tourist attractions in the state, the primary trait of this place is the colossal 150-meter bluff, also known as Pikes Peak. Tourists can climb this ridge to get breathtaking views of the surrounding woods as well as the intersection point of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers. A boardwalk has been established leading to the waterfalls. Tourists can also avail the opportunities of hiking on the long trails and enjoy picnics within the campgrounds.
5) Amana Colonies
Dating back to the mid-18th century, Amana Colonies is one of the oldest communal societies in Iowa. Located on more than 26,000 acres in Iowa County, Amana Colonies comprise of seven villages mutually connected with each other. Today, the place is famous for its ancient arts, wooden furniture shops and restaurants. Many non-profit organizations are presently working with the local groups to preserve the cultural history of these quarters. Thousands of visitors that visit this tranquil neighborhood to get away from the briskness of everyday life, are accommodated well by the residents.
4) Grotto of the Redemption
Nicknamed as the “Eight Wonder of the World”, the Grotto of the Redemption is a religious sanctuary situated in Sioux City. It is a combination nine grottos and caverns that depict and reflect back to the key scenarios from Jesus’s life. The Grotto embodies the world’s largest collection of fossils, gemstones and minerals in a single location which are worth $4,000,000. It also preserves precious stones belonging to different regions and countries. The spot is frequently visited by thousands of tourists as well as Roman Catholics annually.
3) Des Moines Art Center
Des Moines Art Center is a museum covering comprehensive compilations of historic and contemporary artistry. It includes portraits, sculptures and engraved models depicting various cultures from all over the globe. The major feature of the center is its grand hall that houses all the prominent exhibitions hosted by renowned international artists and organizations. These solo shows are backed up by beautiful themes which promote significant cultural issues. Regular workshops and festivals regarding mixed media arts are also held at this place.
Okoboji is a small town located in Dickinson County, Iowa and dominant summer destination for many travelers. The dwelling is well-known for its glaciers chopping into spectacular lakes and streams, covering a long shoreline. Tourists to this township are mostly indulged in water recreation as the water bodies provide terrific opportunities for kayaking, boating, fishing, and swimming. Off-shore, there are many golf-courses accompanied by world-class restaurants, shopping malls and amusement spots to entertain the visitors. Okoboji has also seen the growth in its popularity due to its location near to some of the greatest state parks in the US.
1) National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
The Mississippi River Museum is a maritime museum located on the Port of Dubuque, Iowa. It comprises of numerous education exhibits on the rivers and waterways that flow around the country. The museum also includes dozens of saltwater aquariums containing sharks, rays and other aquatic species. Visitors may trail trek along the Woodward Nature Wetland Trail that leads to these dynamic aquariums and historic exhibits displaying collections of ancient watercraft. Apart from this, there is a 3D theatre and a boatyard located adjacent to the museum which also draw thousands of visitors.