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Roadtrip Iowa!

New York City, New...
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160 posts
Roadtrip Iowa!

I am planning a roadtrip around Iowa. I love nature, good eats, and any cool places to check out.

Here is the start of my list. Please provide any good spots or feedback on my short list so far!


Downtown Pella

High Trestle Trail - Do at Night - Funky Bridge

Clear Lake

18 replies to this topic
Spery, Iowa
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11,216 posts
181 reviews
11. Re: Roadtrip Iowa!

July will most likely be hot and steamy. Have you looked at the earlier suggestions? The state fair is in August, so that won't work, but there are county fairs that run in July, along with different town festivals and fairs.

Right now, northern Iowa is getting a lot of rain, so there may still be waterfalls flowing if you come in early July.

For food, besides the county fairs and town festivals, you can make stops at the best burger, or the best tenderloin spots. There are places that have made it on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and there are local favorites. In my area of SE Iowa, we have Butch's River Rock Cafe for a good local spot, once the tenderloin champ. The Maid Rite (a loose meat sandwich) was created in Iowa. There are local cafes, farm-to-table spots, and great farm-raised steaks.

Eastern Iowa has the Mississippi River, so options there for a cruise, river drive, etc.

Western Iowa has the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway.

Let me know if you want more specific info on anything.

Linn, Missouri
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821 posts
531 reviews
12. Re: Roadtrip Iowa!

We just recently visited the Pella/Amana regions so if you have any specific questions about those I'm happy to help.

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5 posts
18 reviews
13. Re: Roadtrip Iowa!

I just came back from my road trip and had a blast! Traveling solo but Iowans are so warm and friendly I never felt alone. I did sort of a circle, started in Des Moines, stayed one night, visited the Botanical Gardens and the Pappajohn outdoor sculpture park and the state capitol - do not miss the law library! Had dinner at Zombie Burger in the cool East Village. Next day I drove down to Otley and stayed at an airBnB on Lake Red Rock for three nights. One day I drove west to Winterset and spent the day and visited the covered bridges and the John Wayne Museum. Next day I spent the morning on the lake, and then late afternoon and evening at the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Indianola. Next day I spent in Pella which is a Dutch inspired village. i actually went up in the working windmill even though I am deathly afraid of heights. I left the BnB and from Pella I drove to Kalona, Amish Country and watched the hay auction - fabulous. Then drove through Riverside to see the "future" birthplace of James T. Kirk. Then over to Muscatine and spent a wonderful hour at their museum learning about the peal button industry. I did drive to Davenport but kind of ran out of time, but I loved the scenic drive up the Mississippi. I had to head back west to Cedar Rapids as I had tickets for the Kelly Clarkson Concert at the NewBo Festival. Visited NewBo, and the Czech Museum, and the Czech Village, enjoyed a fabulous concert. The next day on my way back to Des Moines I visited the Amana Colonies until about 2 pm, did the two hour drive back to Des Moines, then stayed overnight close to the airport as my flight was an early morning one out the next day. Great trip!

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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121 posts
258 reviews
14. Re: Roadtrip Iowa!

You pretty much hit all the highlights!! Glad you enjoyed our state!

Spery, Iowa
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11,216 posts
181 reviews
15. Re: Roadtrip Iowa!

Thanks for coming back- great trip!

Level Contributor
7,138 posts
257 reviews
16. Re: Roadtrip Iowa!

You did well, Bossybumpkins815. Thanks for reporting back.

Omaha, Nebraska
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63 reviews
17. Re: Roadtrip Iowa!

Loved your report! We might replicate it one of these days. I love Iowa.

Phoenix, Arizona
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54,555 posts
1,819 reviews
18. Re: Roadtrip Iowa!


Why would you spam the Iowa forum?


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