Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Explore   /   Iowa Destinations   /   Welcome to Iowa

Welcome to Iowa

Iowa has long been known for its fertile fields of corn and soybeans. From the Missouri River to the Mississippi River and all points between, Iowa offers a wide diversity of camping experiences.

Start your adventure at the Loess Hills, which stretch for 150 miles along the Missouri River on Iowa's western border. A geological oddity, the hills were formed from silt deposits that have been blowing in from the Missouri River floodplain over the past 30,000 years, creating mounds of unusual flour-like soil that range from 2 to 15 miles in width. Explore the hills by driving Loess Hills National Scenic Byway. Five Iowa welcome centers, four interpretive centers and interpretive panels assist travelers along the byway.

Le Mars is home to Wells Enterprises, maker of Blue Bunny Ice Cream. The Ice Cream Parlor and Museum provides a look at the history of ice cream and the history of Wells through photos, interactive kiosks and exhibits.

In Sioux City visit Trinity Heights, the restored Orpheum Theatre and the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

Stroll through the Orange City downtown Windmill Park to view flower gardens and the Dutch canal bridge by the windmills.

Central Iowa
Central Iowa's picturesque terrain features rivers and creeks and great expanses of fertile farmland for corn and other crops.

This region is home to the historic covered bridges popularized by Robert James Waller's novel The Bridges of Madison County and the feature film starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood.

Originally boasting 19 covered bridges, six of the Covered Bridges of Madison County remain today.

Tour the childhood home of John Wayne in the central Iowa town of Winterset. This modest four-room home has been restored to reflect its appearance in 1907, the year of Duke's birth.

In the Des Moines area tour Iowa State Capitol Building, Fort Des Moines Museum, Historic Jordon House, Hoyt Sherman Place, Living History Farms, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Salisbury House and Gardens and Wallace House.

The 600-acre Living History Farms is an open-air museum that relates the story of early Iowans transforming the prairies of the heartland into some of the most productive farmland in the world.

Tour the Winnebago Industries plant in Forest City and see motorhomes being built.

Pella offers several craft shops and bakeries that specialize in tasty Dutch pastries. Pella Historical Village/Vermeer Windmill and Interpretive Center features a miniature Dutch Village and 125-foot-tall Vermeer Mill, the nation's tallest working windmill. The 1850s-style wind-powered grain mill was built in Holland and reassembled in Pella.

Just south of Iowa City, Kalona is home to Iowa's largest Old Order Amish community. Visitors can explore the Kalona Historical Village and Mennonite Museum, which includes 13 restored period buildings.

Ten miles east of Iowa City is West Branch, home to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, a 187-acre National Historic Site. On the site are the simple two-room cottage where Hoover was born in 1874 and the 1857 meetinghouse where the Hoovers, devout Quakers, worshipped.

Eastern Iowa
Travel a scenic byway to see the beauty of meandering streams, the mighty Mississippi River, rolling hills, towering limestone bluffs, patchwork countrysides, unexpected wildlife and quaint villages.

The Amana Colonies began in 1855, when church members purchased 26,000 acres of fertile farmland in the Iowa River Valley and established their own community. Everything was communally owned, except for personal belongings. This way of life remained virtually unchanged for 89 years. The colony consisted of seven closely linked villages: Amana, Homestead, South Amana, West Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana and East Amana. Today, these seven historic villages are linked by the Amana Colonies Trail, a 20-mile route along U.S. Highway 6 and state Route 220.

The Effigy Mounds are preserved as a national monument three miles north of the town of Marquette. The animal-shaped ceremonial mounds were built by Native Americans more than 1,000 years ago and they comprise one of the largest collections of effigy mounds remaining in the Midwest. You can hike through the park on your own, or take a ranger-guided tour.

Dyersville earned its spot on the map with the 1989 release of the movie Field of Dreams, in which a farmer builds a baseball diamond amidst his cornfields and attracts baseball players from the past. Some 25 years later the Field of Dreams movie site has entertained well in excess of 1 million visitors. So much more than a tourist destination, this is a place where all who visit have the opportunity to set the stage for their own individual experience. Iowa's Quad Cities include Davenport and Bettendorf. Visit world-class museums and historic sites. Enjoy riverboat cruises, bike trails, casinos, John Deere attractions and shopping in quaint villages.

Visit Cedar Rapids and tour the home of Grant Wood and see the studio where American Gothic was painted.