Friday, July 8, 2016

Summer Activities in Iowa

Being a Southern gal, I didn’t think there could be anything better than a windy road through a tall pine tree forest. But… after marrying my sweet Iowan man, I have found beauty in the square grid of roads lined with golden corn fields and blue skies that span for miles. I had a lot to learn about giving directions using N,S, E, and W, driving in the snowy winters, familiarizing myself with names of all the small towns, and discovering what to explore. 

Over the last 3 years we have definitely had our share of adventures including the World Food and Music Festival, Corks & Caps, Boone Scenic Railroad, the famous Iowa State Fair, and most recently the Pella Tulip Festival. But there is still a lot to see! Here are the 3 places I want to go this summer:

1. Field of Dreams, Dyersville - Who remembers the inspirational movie The Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner? While I am not the biggest baseball fan, I do enjoy this wholesome family movie. Plus, it is always fun to see where a movie was filmed. Well, the beautiful green field is located out in one of Iowa’s beautiful rural farm lands. The admission is free, but on weekends, visitors can pay to enjoy different events like baseball games, Father’s Day Catch, or even a Ghost Comedy Show. It is an easy day trip out from Des Moines or Dubuque, or it can be a fun mid trip stopover if we are just passing through.

2. Maquoketa Cave, 30 minutes south of Dubuque  - When we are visiting the field of dreams, we are considering camping near by at the Maquoketa Caves State Park. Most people think that Iowa is one flat farm land... I know I did! But in fact, there are steep ledges and cliffs, rivers, major rolling hills and yes, even caves. Being one of the most unique parks in Iowa, the caves are free to explore and easy to access for a day trip from the city. Visitors are required to attend a brief presentation about bats and white noise syndrome. Other than that, we are free to explore from 8 AM to 8PM starting at the end of May to the middle of October! 

3. Hot Air Balloon Festival, Indianola -  A couple of summers ago, my husband and I travelled to Turkey and stayed the area of Cappadocia which is well-known for sunrise hot air balloon rides. In the mornings and evenings you can see all of the colorful balloons up in the sky. Instead of figuring out how to return to Turkey, we can have a similar experience just down the road! Iowa celebrates a 40 year old tradition with an annual nine day festival just for hot air balloons which includes live entertainment, Kids Land, food, fireworks, and (what I am most looking forward to) the Nite Glow Extravaganza!

We have 2 of the 3 already in the works to see over the gorgeous Iowan summer. What do you have planned? Have you been to Iowa before? What other places or activities would you suggest to others to visit on a road trip to Iowa?

If you get a chance to pass through the midwest this summer, Iowa is an absolute must stop on your list!

About the Author

Currently, Jason and his southern gal, Catie, live in small town Iowa. Catie is a study abroad coordinator by day and a blogger at in her free time. Jason owns a software consulting business called Tough Space. Together they host a podcast that discusses their intentional dreaming for international living as well as their recent travels experiences. Together we like cook all types of food, play board/card games (Sequence, Bananagrams, and Cover Your Assets are our favs right now), and travel.

This website is here to share with friends and family our ‘normal’ lives, glimpses of daily lovelies, and roadie ramblings about our adventures as we transition to life overseas.

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