Iowa Geographic Map Server

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Iowa Geographic Map Server

Iowa GIS Service Bureau March 2013
Iowa GIS Service Bureau March 2013
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Iowa Geographic Map Server is a great place for those who love outdoor adventures, historical landmarks, family-friendly activities, and off-the-beaten-path experiences. This travel guide will provide you with comprehensive information about Iowa’s top attractions, hidden gems, food scene, budget-friendly tips, natural wonders, vibrant nightlife, local markets, beaches and mountains, cultural immersion, art and music scene, walking tours, architectural marvels, historical sites, biking routes, wellness retreats, and adventure sports.

Top Attractions

1. The Bridges of Madison County

The Bridges of Madison County is a romantic novel by Robert James Waller, which was later adapted into a movie. The movie was filmed in Madison County, Iowa, and the bridges used in the movie still stand today. These six covered bridges are a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Iowa.

2. Effigy Mounds National Monument

Effigy Mounds National Monument is a prehistoric Native American monument located in northeastern Iowa. It contains 200 mounds, including some in the shape of animals such as bears and eagles. Visitors can explore the park and learn about the history of the Native American tribes who built the mounds.

3. Maquoketa Caves State Park

Maquoketa Caves State Park is a popular destination for nature lovers and adventurers. It has more than a dozen caves that visitors can explore, as well as hiking trails and camping facilities.

Hidden Gems

1. Snake Alley

Snake Alley is a steep, winding street in Burlington, Iowa. It is known as the “Crookedest Street in the World” and is a popular attraction for tourists. Visitors can walk or bike down the alley and enjoy the beautiful views of the Mississippi River.

2. Pella Tulip Time Festival

The Pella Tulip Time Festival is an annual event in Pella, Iowa, that celebrates the town’s Dutch heritage. Visitors can enjoy traditional Dutch food, watch parades and performances, and see the town’s beautiful tulip gardens in full bloom.

3. Backbone State Park

Backbone State Park is Iowa’s oldest state park, and it is home to some of the state’s most beautiful natural scenery. Visitors can hike, fish, camp, and enjoy the park’s many other outdoor activities.

Food Scene

1. Maid-Rites

Maid-Rites are a classic Iowa food that you won’t find anywhere else. These loose meat sandwiches are made with seasoned ground beef and served on a bun with mustard, pickles, and onions. They are simple but delicious.

2. Sweet Corn

Iowa is famous for its sweet corn, and you can find it at roadside stands and farmers’ markets all over the state. It is sweet, juicy, and perfect for grilling or boiling.

3. Dutch Letters

Dutch Letters are a traditional Dutch pastry that you can find in many Iowa bakeries. They are made with almond paste and puff pastry and are shaped like the letter “S”. They are sweet, flaky, and delicious.

Budget-Friendly Tips

1. Free Attractions

Iowa has many free attractions, including state parks, museums, and historical sites. These are a great way to explore the state without spending a lot of money.

2. Farmers’ Markets

Iowa has many farmers’ markets where you can buy fresh produce and other local products. These are often cheaper than grocery stores, and they are a great way to support local farmers and businesses.

3. Camping

Camping is a great way to save money on lodging while exploring Iowa’s natural beauty. There are many state parks and campgrounds throughout the state that offer affordable camping options.

Outdoor Adventures


RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) is an annual bicycle ride that crosses the state of Iowa. It is a great way to see the state’s beautiful scenery and meet other cycling enthusiasts.

2. Trout Fishing

Iowa has some of the best trout fishing in the Midwest. There are many streams and rivers throughout the state that are stocked with trout, and there are plenty of outfitters who can provide you with gear and guidance.

3. Kayaking

Iowa has many rivers and lakes that are perfect for kayaking. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, there are plenty of opportunities to explore Iowa’s waterways.

Historical Landmarks

1. Amana Colonies

The Amana Colonies are a group of seven villages founded by German immigrants in the mid-19th century. Today, they are a popular tourist destination, with many shops, restaurants, and museums that celebrate the area’s unique history and culture.

2. Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is located in West Branch, Iowa, and is dedicated to the life and legacy of Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States. Visitors can learn about Hoover’s life and presidency, as well as the history of the United States during his time in office.

3. Living History Farms

Living History Farms is an outdoor museum in Urbandale, Iowa, that tells the story of Iowa’s agricultural history. Visitors can explore the museum’s historic farms and see how people lived and worked in Iowa’s past.

Family-Friendly Activities

1. Adventureland

Adventureland is an amusement park in Altoona, Iowa, that has something for everyone. It has roller coasters, water rides, and other attractions that are perfect for families with children.

2. Blank Park Zoo

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa, is a great place to see animals from around the world. It has many exhibits and educational programs that are perfect for children of all ages.

3. Science Center of Iowa

The Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines is a hands-on science museum that is perfect for children who love to learn. It has many interactive exhibits and educational programs that make learning about science fun.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Experiences

1. Grotto of the Redemption

The Grotto of the Redemption is a religious shrine in West Bend, Iowa, that is made entirely of precious stones and minerals. It is a beautiful and unique attraction that is well worth a visit.

2. American Gothic House

The American Gothic House in Eldon, Iowa, is the famous farmhouse featured in Grant Wood’s painting “American Gothic.” Visitors can tour the house and see the iconic painting up close.

3. Villages of Van Buren

The Villages of Van Buren are a collection of small towns in southeastern Iowa that are filled with historic buildings and charming shops. Visitors can explore the area’s unique history and culture while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Natural Wonders

1. Loess Hills

The Loess Hills are a unique land formation in western Iowa that were formed by windblown soil. They are home to many rare and endangered plant and animal species, as well as beautiful hiking trails and scenic overlooks.

2. Pikes Peak State Park

Pikes Peak State Park is located in northeastern Iowa and is home to some of the state’s most beautiful natural scenery. Visitors can hike, fish, and camp in the park, as well as enjoy the stunning views of the Mississippi River.

3. Iowa Great Lakes

The Iowa Great Lakes are a group of lakes in northwestern Iowa that are popular for boating, fishing, and swimming. They are also home to many beautiful parks and beaches.

Vibrant Nightlife

1. Court Avenue District

The Court Avenue District in downtown Des Moines is a popular destination for nightlife. It has many bars, restaurants, and clubs that are perfect for a night out with friends.

2. Cedar Falls Downtown District

The Cedar Falls Downtown District is a vibrant area of shops, restaurants, and bars in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It is a popular destination for nightlife and entertainment.

3. Iowa City Pedestrian Mall

The Iowa City Pedestrian Mall is a lively area of shops, restaurants, and bars in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a popular destination for students and young professionals.

Local Markets

1. Des

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