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.
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!
You pretty much hit all the highlights!! Glad you enjoyed our state!
Thanks for coming back- great trip!
You did well, Bossybumpkins815. Thanks for reporting back.
Loved your report! We might replicate it one of these days. I love Iowa.
Why would you spam the Iowa forum?