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This is Iowa
This is Iowa
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Plot a trip through America’s Heartland using Iowa’s estimated 1,900 kilometers of trails. About 10,000 cyclists ride in RAGBRAI, short for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Race Across Iowa, a seven-day event in July.

Enjoy river cruises along the Missouri and Mississippi, go whitewater rafting at Riverfront Park in Charles City, and view bald eagles from Mosquito Park in Burlington. Visit a family farm in Dyersville, where the baseball classic “Field of Dreams” was filmed. Still star struck? Don’t forget about “State Fair,” the 1930s love story that was inspired by the annual Iowa State Fair.

Artist Grant Wood – known for the iconic “American Gothic,” depicting a woman standing next to a man holding a pitchfork with a farmhouse behind them – was born in Iowa. Cedar Rapids Museum of Art has the largest collection of his work. Pose for a photo at the home and studio he used from 1924 to 1934.

Iowa’s roadside attractions reflect its agricultural heritage. Albert the Bull, the world’s largest bull statue (41 metric tons, 9 meters tall) has been in Audubon since 1964. In Shelby, see a steel sculpture of a corn stalk that is 23 meters tall.

This is Iowa
This is Iowa
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Fun Fact

Iowa Fun Fact
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Iowa is home to “the most crooked street in the world” – Snake Alley in Burlington.

Exploring exhibits at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa
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Famous Iowans include John Wayne, Ashton Kutcher, Johnny Carson, Elijah Wood and Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States.

Cycling up Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa
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Constructed in 1894, Snake Alley in Burlington was once named “The Crookedest Street in the World” by Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

Must see places

John Wayne Birthplace and Museum

In Madison County, visit Winterset to pay tribute to the legendary actor who appeared in about 250 movies. The four-room house was restored to look like it did in 1907, when he was born.

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National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

At the Port of Dubuque, stroll through a boatyard plaza, watch a blacksmith work and peer into 12 aquariums. Don’t leave without seeing the National Historic Landmark vessel, The William M. Black.

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High Trestle Trail

High Trestle Trail

Walk or bike the 40-kilometer rail trail from Ankeny to Woodward that is part of the 1,078-kilometer Central Iowa Trail System. The 13-story bridge in Madrid overlooks the Des Moines River Valley.

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Madison County's Bridges

Madison County's Bridges

Six covered bridges are the sites of legendary love stories, even before novelist Robert Waller and Hollywood romanticized them in “Bridges of Madison County.” Five are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Effigy Mounds National Monument

At Iowa’s only national monument, see 206 American Indian mounds built between 850 and 1,400 years ago along the Mississippi River near Harper's Ferry. Amazingly, 31 of the mounds are shaped like bears or birds.

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The Legend wooden rollercoaster at Iowa’s Arnolds Park Amusement Park

Arnolds Park Amusement Park

Situated next to Okoboji Lake, Arnolds Park is a throwback to the amusement parks of yesteryear. It’s home to The Legend, one of the oldest wooden rollercoasters in the world, as well as a variety of kid- and family-friendly rides for all ages. Cruise Lake “Boji,” as it’s called, on the Queen II steamship and see marine antiques at the maritime museum. Bring a bathing suit – Arnolds Park offers free access to its sandy, lakeside beach.

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Biking the High Trestle Bridge along Iowa’s High Trestle Trail

High Trestle Trail

For runners, bikers and explorers, the High Trestle Trail is not to be missed. Spanning 40 kilometers from Ankeny to Woodward, this hugely popular trail follows a former Union Pacific Railroad line through farmland, prairies and small towns. Near the Woodward terminus is the trail’s centerpiece, the High Trestle Bridge. Towering 13 stories above the Des Moines River Valley, one of the largest trail bridges in the world is topped by an unusual, spiraling archway that shines with funky blue LED lights at night.

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Driftless Area Scenic Byway

Driftless refers to an area around Northern Iowa and surrounding regions that was bypassed by glaciers during the ice age. Unlike surrounding land that was flattened by glacial movement, this terrain is characterized by a rugged topography of tall bluffs carved out by rivers, limestone outcroppings, caves and rivers teeming with trout. The 161-kilometer Driftless Area Scenic Byway is designated the state’s most scenic. Enjoy spectacular overlooks, quaint river towns, outdoor recreation and historical points of interest such as the sacred Native American mounds at Effigy Mounds National Monument.

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Strolling Main Street in one of the Amana Colonies in Iowa

Amana Colonies

Founded in the 1850s by German Pietists, the seven villages of the Amana Colonies have transformed from isolated, self-sufficient religious communities to a popular travel destination known for traditional handcrafts and food. Pick up a map at the Visitors Center (you’ll need to drive between towns to experience it all) and indulge in German sweets, explore historic buildings, watch craftspeople at work and attend a German holiday festival. The shopping is second to none; locally owned stores carry specialty products that make the perfect souvenir or gift.

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Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa

Grotto of the Redemption

Iowa has a lot of fascinating and unexpected attractions, and the Grotto of the Redemption just might top them all. This spiritual landmark consists of nine grottoes depicting the life of Christ. What makes it so unusual? It’s built entirely of minerals, precious and semi-precious stones set in concrete forming mind-boggling structures unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Not surprisingly, the Grotto is often called the Eighth Wonder of the World. The free, guided tour is highly recommended.

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Explore Iowa destinations

La Ace Hotel Rooftop en el centro de Los Ángeles, California
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Explore Iowa destinations

Official Iowa Travel Site

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