Tourist Attractions in Iowa
Top 10 Iowa Family Vacations
The best tourist attractions in Iowa will be family friendly, exciting, and sometimes educational. You will learn a lot when setting out for Iowa family vacations, but you will also laugh a lot and grow closer together with your spouse, children, and other relatives that may want to hop in the RV and tag along.
If you need some help finding these great tourist attractions in Iowa, allow us to quickly introduce you to ten of the best spots for Iowa family vacations:
Best Roadside Attraction: Freedom RockWhat can a talented artist do with a huge boulder known as "graffiti rock?"
You can see the answer to this question with your own eyes by exploring a small town in Adair County.
This is rural Iowa that many people miss out on, but if you're in the mood to explore a little you can see an amazing boulder tribute to our brave armed forces.
A huge boulder sits along the side of highway 25 almost 40 miles west of Des Moines.
Every year a talented artist decorates a section of the boulder with beautiful images inspired by members of our armed forces.
This is something education, inspiring and gut wrenching. It is worth going off the beaten path to find.
Best Tourist Attractions in Iowa: Field of DreamsOn your next road trip with kids, you'll want to rent and watch the movie Field of Dreams before visiting this tourist destination in Dyersville, Iowa. You can walk on the actual field where that movie was filmed, take home souvenirs, and enjoy the world of moviemaking for a short period of time.
Note that the field is only open April through November.
Field of Dreams
Best Factory Tour: Kaleidoscope FactoryYou know what a kaleidoscope is, but what about a spyrtle or a dibber? You might not know what those things are right now, but you will after exploring the Kaleidoscope Factory in Pomeroy, Iowa. If you can find the water town downtown, you can skip down a block to the west and find this amazing factory that turns wooden circles into fun toys the entire family will love.
This is one of those under-advertised tourist attractions in Iowa. It is suitable for the entire family and will be educational as well as fun.
Best Place to See Animals: Blank Park ZooThis zoo is open year round, though you may not be able to see many animals in their outdoor habitats if you go during the colder months of the year. It is located in Des Moines and offers a glimpse into the life of amazing animals from around the world. Make sure to bring your camera because this is going to be an adventure that you will never want to forget.
If you love animals and traveling, why not try visiting a zoo in every state you enter? You could end up with the most amazing collection of animal pictures ever.
Blank Park Zoo
Best Place to Get Wet: The Lost IslandFrom heart-pumping water slides to wading pools and a tree house designed just for the littlest members of the family, you will find some wet and wild fun for the entire family at Lost Island Water Park. It is located in Waterloo, Iowa and is open June 4th through August 29th. Note that it does close August 23-27th. A great addition to your road trip with kids.
The Lost Island
Best Place to Eat: Jethro's BBQIf you watch Man vs. Food you may already know about Jethro's, but allow us to give you a quick reminder. This sports bar is clearly the best in Des Moines and will serve up tender, delicately flavored smoked meats and all the sides that you adore. They use a 750 pound smoker to ensure you get the finest smoked foods imaginable.
Restaurants like this are great additions to Iowa family vacations because they are family friendly yet they deliver something entertaining and absolutely delicious for the adults as well.
Best Ghost Story: Haunted Iowa CityIf you've got older kids, itching to go and hunt ghosts, it might be a good idea to stop by Iowa City and do a sunset walking tour of some of the local haunts. Not for the faint of heart, this tour will lead you through theaters, dorm rooms, houses, legislative buildings, and cemetaries alike. Go...if you dare!
Iowas City Ghost Tour
Best Family Adventure: Spook Cave & CampgroundThis is one of the most family-friendly tourist attractions in Iowa because you can camp out our park your RV and explore some of the most amazing acts of nature known to the world.
Camping is a major event here, but so is taking boat rides through some amazing caves.
It may be called Spook cave, but that doesn't mean you're going to come out with a fright.
Do some research on that name before heading into this destination and you could turn this trip into an educational experience.
It is called Spook Cave for a reason!
A great addition for your road trip with kids.
Spook Cave & Campground
Best Historical Site: Historic Park Inn HotelMason City is the place to go on your Iowa family vacations if someone in the family is into architecture. This amazing hotel was created in 1910 by an amazing architect who was believed to greatly influence European architecture. You might prefer your RV to hotels, but this is one hotel you may want to pay a visit.
Historic Park Inn Hotel
Best Place to Act like a Kid: Arnolds ParkThis unique amusement park is one of the best summertime tourist attractions in Iowa for families. No matter what age your children are or how young you are at heart, you will find something worth doing in this park. There is a beach where you can build a sandcastle or rent equipment and get out on the water.
There are also rides, carnival style games, and of course those delicious foods that you expect to find at any amusement park. What more could you ask from one of the best tourist attractions in Iowa?
The park is open from late May to early September with day passes running $25 for adults and $17 for children. You receive unlimited access to all rides with this admission price.
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