The best place to visit in Iowa
Tourist Attractions

12 Best Places to Visit in Iowa

Iowa is a land of incredible diversity, with something to offer everyone who visits. There are many great places to visit in this city, but if you are looking for the ultimate Iowa experience, then you need to head to one of the places below. Whichever part of Iowa you choose to visit, you’re sure to have an amazing time.

The Best Place to Visit in Iowa

Adventureland Park

  • Address: 3200 Adventureland Dr, Altoona, IA 50009, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.4 (7111)
  • Phone: +1 515-266-2121
  • Website: Link
The best place to visit in Iowa
The best place to visit in Iowa

5 Replies to 12 Best Places to Visit in Iowa

  1. I was hesitant on coming after seeing so many bad reviews. I’m glad we came anyways! It’s under new management as of 2022. Parking was $20. Tickets online are $15 cheaper than at the gate. It’s a cute little town feeling park. Not too many thrill rides but perfect for younger. Most are 36in or taller to ride alone and some are allowed shorter with an adult. The park was clean and rides were short lines which was nice. Many workers seen throughout and all were helpful to find rides the littler kid could ride. There is a small playground area with two rides and a sandbox and many shaded picnic tables. Only thing that would make that area better would be shade for the playground as the slides and toys were hot in the sun. The water park is nice. Cabanas we’re $175 or $300 if you want wait service. There are tubes to rent for the lazy river for $6 or if you ride a slide that requires a tube it comes with it. The water was warm and the lines were short. There is a kid splash pad area and a larger one with slides.

    There are ample places to purchase alcohol all around the park.

    Overall the park was wonderful and great for our young kids!

  2. Great amusement park! It’s not quite 6 flags, but still has a great selection of rides for kids and adults. Went with wife and 5 & 8 year old boys and we all had a great time. Prices for food and other “extras” are ridiculous. Save some money by bringing your lunch and a few water bottles. We will be back!

  3. It was an average amusement park but it is well-maintained and the staff are friendly. There are a few roller coasters but quite a fee carnival level rides. There’s am arcade as well as a good variety of food options.

    If the price of admission didn’t include the water park I would say it is overpriced. However the $54/person seemed okay with the water park.

    Probably a once and done for our family but it was a fine day out at the park.

  4. This was an absolutely wonderful family friendly and fun activity. There were plenty of rides and activities for people of all ages. The circus is $5 to see and parking is $20. There are several water refill stations throughout the park so bring a reusable water bottle. The food at the is expensive so be aware that you will pay $12 for a cheeseburger. The park is completely cashless place so bring cards and e-pay options. The staff is very friendly and attentive and the park is clean.

  5. We went to Adventureland Phantom Fest with a group of 7 people & it was okay. Not bad, not great. The haunted house lines moved really quickly which was awesome but the haunted houses were pretty bland. Some of the park rides were open but many of them were closed. Some of the food stands had humongous lines & others had almost none. It was an alright experience that was kind of fun but probably not worth the price of admission. I probably wouldn’t do this again unless they offer substantially discounted or free tickets.

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Top 12 Tourist Attractions in Iowa

The best place to visit in Iowa
The best place to visit in Iowa

Blank Park Zoo

  • Address: 7401 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.5 (5286)
  • Phone: +1 515-285-4722
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Went on a Tuesday, and not crowded at all. Easy to park, enter and get around. Could see it perfect for strollers or even wheelchairs. Great for toddlers, and younger children. We enjoyed seeing the giraffes and lions most of all.
    Staff was very friendly in the gift shop and as we excited.
    Very clean park overall. From the restrooms to the walking paths.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By A (3 months ago)
    This is a nice little zoo that you can easily take in over the course of a couple hours. We went in when it opened, saw pretty much everything, ate a picnic lunch outside the zoo, and then went back in for the sea lion show before ending our time there. The zoo keeper woman we talked to after the sea lion show was excited to answer our questions and a joy to talk to.

    We didn’t do everything there is to do (feed the giraffes, play on the playground, ride the train), so you could do more than we did and easily stay longer (and spend more money).

    It’s certainly worth a trip, especially if you are either in the area or live nearby.

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Tyler Teske (6 months ago)
    This is just the right size zoo to enjoy an hour or two out with your family, or just by yourself. Many larger city zoos are just too big to get around and see what you’d like to see. At Blank Park, every exhibit is well done, on a natural circle path that allows you to see all the exhibits, and the animals are all very accessible and easy to see! A very good indoor tropical rainforest and aquarium exhibit which a lot of zoos don’t have. Definitely worth a visit.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Chuck Baumgart (3 months ago)
    I had a great time at this zoo. It’s a small zoo easily walked in 1-2hrs. All the animals were out and having fun in the sun. Lots of summer camp kids there today, who would occasional squeeze in too close. I recommend.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Michael (7 months ago)
    Nice little zoo! Don’t expect anything near the level of the Henry Doorly Zoo, but there’s plenty going on. It’s clean, the animals have quality enclosures, and the kids can enjoy playgrounds and other interactive pieces. Great way to spend an afternoon!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Jessica Biggs (3 months ago)

Pappajohn Sculpture Park

  • Address: 1330 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (4509)
  • Phone: +1 515-237-1386
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
    Tuesday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
    Wednesday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
    Thursday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
    Friday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
    Saturday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
    Sunday: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Reviews:
    Awesome park for people to enjoy some cool sculptures. Free admission, street parking all around the park for a small fee. The park is not very big but well maintained by the city. Some people complained in the reviews that all the sculptures are metals and plastics. It kinda has to be because the sculptures are outdoor and the materials has to be able to withstand the test of time. All the sculptures looks pretty new and it’s free to enjoy. The only thing that did bothered me was the amounts of homeless people walking and hanging around the park. I was alone at 9:30am and didn’t feel safe. When I got closed to the girl sculpture by one corner of the park; one homeless guy was yelling “it wasn’t me” repeatedly to me. I was a bit freaked out because there wasn’t anyone else close by at the moment. There was a few people on the other side of the park and some passing by cars though. Overall, I did enjoyed my visit at the sculpture park. I would highly recommend not going there alone if you are a woman.
    ✭✭✭✭ By m c (6 months ago)
    LOVED it. gorgeous views. great distance between all sculptures! kids took amazing photos! sculptures are giants & look even better in person! aBout 70degrees , nice breeze , sunset walk , good views of the downtown city. SUMMER NIGHTS – awesome! the lights coming on around 8/9:00 near sculptures was such a scene. super beautiful! PEACEFUL resting/break space also!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Kendra Harris (6 months ago)
    We stopped in on our road trip and were lucky enough that the art festival was going on the same weekend. We had such an awesome time, we spent most of the day there. The sculpture park is awesome. Def recommended.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Joel Collishaw (6 months ago)
    Beautiful park with quite a few sculptures in a large, open, green area. It was a great day to wander around and appreciate the artwork, even with the extreme winds.

    It’s funny what one person sees in art versus what the creator had in mind. I was sure one of the sculptures was a dog rolling over, but apparently it’s a person with one arm on the ground and a leg in the air.

    Several of the sculptures here appear very Burton-esque, like they could be in one if his movies, and we liked that very much.

    I highly recommend stopping here if you’re in the area. Give yourself at least an hour to really take everything in.

    Many Pokestops and gyms here. This would be an excellent place for events.

    ✭✭✭✭ By Nathan Flaminio (7 months ago)
    A nice green open park downtown with a lot of amazing sculptures to look at. There are some man made hill/ berms that are fun to walk up and enjoy the view. Great work on Des Moines for funding the arts and incorporating into a public park.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Trevor Hyatt (6 months ago)

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

  • Address: 350 E 3rd St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (3696)
  • Phone: +1 563-557-9545
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    INCREDIBLE PLACE!!! We (two people in their mid-20s) spent almost 4 hours there. With kids you could easily spend more. MANY hands-on science activities, animals to see, and PLENTY to learn about. Staff INCREDIBLY knowledgeable with questions. A FANTASTIC place to spend a morning 🙂
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Abbie Chronister (6 months ago)
    We loved our experience! So much to see and do for all ages. Our kids (5 and 3) had a blast. A lot of educational, interactive and live animals to enjoy. Highly recommend. We can’t wait to visit again and check out the 4D theater and pet the sting rays.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Sarah Pittner (6 months ago)
    Fun for the whole family great place buy the year pass saves money for Multiple trips. There’s another larger building where you can feed the stingrays. New exhibit featuring otters! Huge aquariums great hands activities & educational fun. They have a huge metal workshop that was used to build boat engines over a 100 years old that still works. They have a craft room featuring 3-D printers
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Dustin Bair (9 months ago)
    If you have time to read all the excerpts this museum has a ton of valuable information to offer. National and Regional museum and aquarium with lots of cool tanks and educational interactive exhibits. They really lay out Dubuque’s rich river history. The stingray tank, where you can pet a stingray or feed them at 11:30 and 2:30, is so great. This is only the second place I’ve ever been that I’ve been able to touch a live stingray, they are so cute! There are also tons of interactive educational play areas for kids.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Lillie Glenney (5 months ago)
    Great place for the family! So much to see and do. The museum and aquarium is very interesting. It’s two separate buildings and an outside part. My daughter really enjoyed coming here. Our favorite part was the aquarium/seeing the fish.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Martinez (9 months ago)

Maquoketa Caves State Park

  • Address: 9688 Caves Rd, Maquoketa, IA 52060, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2415)
  • Phone: +1 563-652-5833
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Tuesday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Wednesday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Thursday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Friday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Saturday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
    Sunday: 4:00 AM – 10:30 PM
  • Reviews:
    Went here with my sons Cub Scout group and had a blast. Definitely coming back again to venture off into some of the different caves. We had a full day of walking, hiking and climbing. The caves were awesome and many were easy to get into. Others you will need a smaller body and comfortable with tight spaces…which I’m not.

    They have a little shop/picnic/bathroom area right in the middle of the caves. Clean area and polite staff made this little shop and rest area. Highly recommend!

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Chris (4 months ago)
    Really nice caves and paths through them really cool that you can basically take your own tour through a cave. There are some holes in the cave that you can go into that are off the path they are really cool to look through with a light, so make sure you bring one. Stunning scenery too of the caves with the forest greenery around it. There are bathrooms out at the entrance of the trail and a pavilion, good for bringing a dinner or lunch there for eating with your family. Highly recommend!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Cal Robertson (5 months ago)
    Even with a little rain and mud we had a blast exploring the caves and God’s natural creation.

    You will want to have either boots or shoes that can be worn in water but grips definitely help. As well as head lamps. The caves are a little cooler but over not bad temp. On a hot day they feel great inside.

    There is a restroom at the entrance and a wash off area. On the weekends there is a little concession stand and a park ranger there. Several parking areas and picnic shelters.

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Becky Acheson (4 months ago)
    Love this park! The campground is small and shady with nice spots. The hiking is great and the caves a must see. We have three elementary age kids who loved exploring the caves and tromping through the creeks. Bring your head lamps and shoes that do well in the mud and water for the full cave experience. However, it’s not required for a nice hike on the main trails.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Jenny Pollard (8 months ago)
    Great time exploring the trails and caves. Lots of stairs and inclines, definitely was a leg work out.

    We went in August and the mosquitoes weren’t too bad, but lots of huge millipedes on the trails.

    No trash cans, which is fine.. .. Carry in, carry out.

    Bathrooms throughout the park. My only issue was it was hard to find the trailheads where we first parked. ( Which was where Google maps routed us).

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Heather Kizer (4 months ago)

Amana Colonies

  • Address: 622 46th Ave, Amana, IA 52203, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (2374)

Ledges State Park

  • Address: 1515 P Ave, Madrid, IA 50156, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2193)

Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption

  • Address: 208 1st Ave NW, West Bend, IA 50597, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2107)

Pikes Peak State Park

  • Address: 32264 Pikes Peak Rd, McGregor, IA 52157, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (2048)

John Wayne Birthplace Museum

  • Address: 205 S John Wayne Dr, Winterset, IA 50273, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (1550)

Iowa State Capitol

  • Address: 1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (1203)

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

  • Address: 110 Parkside Dr, West Branch, IA 52358, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (1054)

Living History Farms

  • Address: 11121 Hickman Rd, Urbandale, IA 50322, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (875)

Although Iowa is a large state with many amazing places to visit, these 12 locations stand out as the best according to traveler ratings and reviews. Did your favorite spot make the cut? Let us know in the comments above!