Iowa Tourist Attractions

By | January 3, 2023

Special churches

All Saints Catholic Church
The All Saints Catholic Church is located in the city of Stuart, which belongs to the Diocese of Des Moines. The church was built in 1874 and was used actively by the community until 1995. It was badly destroyed by fire in the same year and burned down to its exterior. The reason for this criminal act was a man’s hatred of the Catholic Church. It took around 15 years to rebuild. Today the church is used as a cultural institution for educational purposes. It was added to the Register of Historic Places as a rare example of neo-Byzantine architecture in Iowa.

St. John’s United Methodist Church
The St. John’s United Methodist Church in Davenport was built in 1903, and its roots can be traced back to 1835. The church was built in late Gothic limestone by the German architect Frederick G. Clausen, whose architecture can be found almost everywhere in Davenport. St. John’s United Methodist Church was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Big celebrations and events

Iowa State Fair
The annual Iowa State Fair is one of the largest state fairs in the entire United States and attracts around 1,000,000 visitors to Des Moines. It has been taking place for around 11 days in the first week of August since 1854 and is spread over around 1.8 km². It is the home of the Ferries Weel, one of the world’s largest livestock exhibitions. There are a total of approx. 600 different attractions and events, such as B. Parades, concerts and stands. Especially the Butter Cows by artist Norma Lyon, which forms huge cow sculptures out of butter and exhibits them at the Iowa Fair, enjoy special attention.

  • Countryaah: Lists all towns and cities of Iowa in alphabetical order. Also includes top 10 cities by population in Iowa. Check medicinelearners for medical schools in Iowa.

Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival
The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society was founded in Davenport in 1972. It honors the Iowa-born jazz musician, composer and cornetist Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931), who had great influence on numerous other important jazz musicians, especially trumpeters. The festival, also known as Bix Bash, attracts several thousand visitors to Davenport from the United States and other countries every year – usually in July.

Zoos, parks and amusement parks

Blank Park Zoo
The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines is the only zoo in the state of Iowa. It was founded in 1966 and has set itself the goal of protecting its animals through animal welfare. The zoo has 200 different species and a total of 1,500 animals that live together on an area of ​​approx. 9 hectares. His main attractions include:

  • African Boardwalk: In the African Boardwalk, the animals of the African savannah such as B. the net griaffe, the ostrich, the little kudu or the serval at home.
  • Australian Adventure: Animals from the Australian outback can be found in the David Kruidenier Australian Adventure Center. These are e.g. B. the blue peacock, the emu, red-necked wallabies and hunters.
  • Discovery Center: The Discovery Center is the first place the visitor enters Blank Park Zoo. It consists of various exhibitions such as B. the Alpine Trail, home of the three little pandas Kitar, Berry and Razz.
  • Hub Harbor Pinniped Pavilion: The new pavilion was built in March 2012 and exhibits seals and California sea lions. There are daily feedings where animals perform tricks.
  • Ghrist Big Cat Complex: Today several leopards, the African lion and the Siberian tiger live in the complex of the big cats.
  • Kids Kingdom: The Kids Kingdom is the petting zoo of the Blank Park Zoo. Here children can see animals such as B. Touch, feed and experience llamas, chickens, rabbits, pigs and much more up close.

Springs Park
Fountains Springs Park is a wilderness and adventure park in eastern Delaware County approximately 3 miles from the city of Greenley. It consists of various hiking and climbing trails with different levels of difficulty. Furthermore, it is a popular place for mountain biking or camping.

Reiman Gardens
There are beautiful Reiman Gardens on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames. They are among the top 10 attractions in Central Iowa and open every day of the year between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The Reiman Gardens consist of a dozen different small botanical gardens, a butterfly farm, several greenhouses and an information center on horticulture. For a small fee you can spend the whole day in the gardens and find out about different types of plants.

Des Moines Botanical Center
Des Moines Botanical Gardens are located east of Iowa City in Des Moines. They were first created in 1929 and were expanded with the acquisition of the large greenhouse in 1939. The botanical garden consists of several tropical and subtropical plants, various species of birds, fish and turtles, which move freely in the covered cathedral. The many different types of orchids are of particular pride. Tours around the site are offered daily.

Principal Riverwalk
The Principal Riverwalk is managed by the city of Des Moines and is a large local recreation park located on the banks of the Des Moines River. An approx. 2 km long footpath connects the east and west side of the inside and runs along the botanical garden, the amphitheater and several public places and sights.

Iowa Speedway
Approx. 48 miles east of Des Moines in Newton, Jasper County’s administrative center, is the Iowa Speedway, a 1.4-mile oval course. It was designed with the collaboration of NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace and cost a total of $ 70 million. The racetrack opened its doors to the public for the first time in September 2006 and has since been an important attraction for the state of Iowa and a source of income for Newton. The Speedway has a total of 25,000 seats.

A few kilometers northeast of Des Moines, in Altoona, is the huge adventure park Adventureland. It opened in 1974 and has over 100 rides, shows and other amusement attractions. The rides include the four roller coasters, five water rides, the Ferris wheel, boat swings and carousels. Adventureland is open every day between May and September.

National parks

Effigy Mounds National Monument
Iowa does not have a national park, but the Effigy Mounds National Monument, an archaeological reserve, is located in northeastern Iowa. Directly in the valley of the Mississippi River, the National Monument contains over 190 man-made mound sculptures on an area of ​​7 km² – most of them were dated 500 BC BC created by Indian cultures. The most popular tourist destination is the group of “Marching Bears”, a group of over 30 hills in animal forms such as. B. bears and wolves.

Other natural beauties

Barringer Slough
In the north-west of Iowa, in Clay County, there are the Barringer Slough Wetlands, an approx. 6.8 km² swamp area. The vegetation consists mainly of cattails, swamp sedge, marsh marigolds and weeds. The Barringer Slough Wetlands are an important habitat for numerous otters, muskrats, herons, pelicans etc., which can be observed from a canoe during flood periods.

Southern Iowa Drift Plain
The Southern Iowa Drift Plains are a typical landscape feature of Iowa. The flat prairie area, which makes up half of southern Iowa, was formed by erosions from around 500 years ago. It is characterized above all by small, gentle hills, streams and a number of maize crops.

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge
The DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1958 along the banks of the Missouri River between Nebraska and Iowa. The protected area occupies approximately 34 km², with approximately 46% in Iowa and 54% in Nebraska. The DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge protects an area that would otherwise have been sacrificed to crops and agriculture. Over 30 species of mammals are native here – including beavers, deer, pouch rats, foxes, coyotes and others.

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge