Iowa the Hawkeye State

Iowa is a state bordered by Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. With the strategic location surrounded by the Missouri River, Big Sioux River and Mississippi River, Iowa has great rich natural resources for their agriculture production and it is ranked third largest agriculture production states in America after California and Texas. With approximately 30% of hogs produce; follow by 19% of corn and 17% of soybeans annually.

Iowa, with a nickname of Hawkeye State is ranked at the 30th most famous state and the safest state to live in.  The capital city is Des Moines and is just about 7 miles away from Des Moines International Airport and downtown of Iowa is relatively one hour journey.

Many tourist attractions can be found at Iowa State besides agricultural activities. There are famous museums such as National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is suitable for everyone especially the family with children.  There are many activities where kids can interact with animals and along with other museum fun activities. These activities are fun for the entire family such as feeding the paddlefish and Mexico aquarium feeding.  Everyone can experience six giant aquariums with river living animals and go for a tour on a 1934 steamer, very exciting!

Address: 350 E. 3rd Street Dubuque, IA 52001

The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum with Scandinavian heritage is one of the best small-town Museum in United States.  There are varieties of arts and crafts display related to Norwegian history from folk art, furnishing, fine art, tools & technology, clothing, to architecture just to name a few.  Nordi Gras is the annual festival in July which celebrated annually since 1967.  There are tasty food, Norwegian traditional art & craft and fireworks on Saturday evening.  The event starts on Thursday night at 7pm where this is a two-day celebration ceremony.

Address: 502 W. Water St. Decorah, IA 52101

The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park is located downtown Des Moines with valued of over $40 million of donations.  This is a must visit place for art lover of all kinds. The collection at the park is organized by the Des Moines Art Center.  It is wonderful walk at the park during the evening when many of the large sculptures gets light up everywhere.

Address: 4700 Grand Avenue Des Moines, Iowa 50312

Do you like a tour to Holland in Iowa?  Then plan a visit to Pella’s Dutch History.  This pretty town is established since 1847 by Holland refugees, this place essentially represents the Dutch heritage.  There is this signature landmark which is tallest functioning windmill and it has attracted tourists from all over the world each year.  The Tulip Time events happens during the month of May each year and it is known to be its highest season with visitor because there are many assortment of Dutch-related activities during that month.

Address: 507 Franklin St. Pella, Iowa 50219

Apart from participating with cultural activities, there are some great nature places definitely worth visiting, such as Maquoketa Caves State Park.Maquoketa Caves State Park is located 30 miles away from Dubuque.  This park brings the combination of nature scenery and unique landscape for those who enjoys outdoor activities.  There are many as 16 caves and with high stone walls.  It is linked by a long wooden stairs to an excellent picnic area.  It is perfect for those who likes to be adventurous!  One can hike along the winding stairs and rocks, which gives a great sense of an exploration.  Be sure to remember to carry a towel and flashlight for safety purposes.

Address: 10970 98th St. Maquoketa, IA 52060

There is another fancy activity named National Balloon Classic.  It is a 9 days event which has been one of Iowa state practice for more than 40 years.  This event is located about 20 miles South of Des Moines with more than 100 types of balloons.  Along with the event, there are other great entertainments such as live music performance, road race, balloon rides, fireworks and delicious local food stands.  The admission is free in the morning; however there will be a small charge in the evening.

Address: 15335 Jewell St, Indianola, IA 50125

If your tummy is screaming for some delicious food, why not checkout the local foods Vendor in the areas.  There is one that local groups highly recommended the Iowa sweet corn, it taste so buttery and simply just wonderful on your taste buds.  The famous Muscatine melon that grown with the sandy soil along Mississippi river is just enough sweet and amazingly juicy too.

For Steak lovers, Steak De Burgo a the signature dish in Des Moines which is the local specialty in Iowa.  Most of the restaurants in Des Moines do serve this delicious dish; one can never go wrong ordering this at any steak house.

For the pork lovers, pork tenderloin from Iowa is a must try.  The Townhouse Supper Club restaurant received the winner of 2006 IPPA Best Tenderloin Award and serves the best pork tenderloin in town of Wellsburg.  It is one of the most highly recommended restaurant in the area.

Let’s not forget those famous Dutch Letters desserts. Dutch letters are specialty from Pella; Jaarsma Bakery is the best place that serves the most authentic flavor of Dutch Letter desserts.

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