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The Hawkeye State has fields of corn stretching for miles and one of the most popular state fairs in the nation. But Iowa offers so much more. Its ethnic diversity is celebrated with such attractions as the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids, and the Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah. The Amana Colonies were founded as a commune in the mid-1800s and preserve seven German villages. The Dutch colony of Pella is well known for its windows as well as it tulips, musical clock and sweet treats.

Becoming the 29th state in 1846, Iowa got its name from its Native ...

The Hawkeye State has fields of corn stretching for miles and one of the most popular state fairs in the nation. But Iowa offers so much more. Its ethnic diversity is celebrated with such attractions as the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, the National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids, and the Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah. The Amana Colonies were founded as a commune in the mid-1800s and preserve seven German villages. The Dutch colony of Pella is well known for its windows as well as it tulips, musical clock and sweet treats.

Becoming the 29th state in 1846, Iowa got its name from its Native American tribe. Nestled between two mighty rivers — the Mississippi and the Missouri — and dotted with hundreds of miles of smaller streams, Iowa has a vibrant steamboat history and a wealth of water activities. Tour the bridges of Madison County and John Wayne's birthplace in Winterset and reflect on the Field of Dreams in Dyersville. Learn about Iowa's past in its capital city of Des Moines with its 23-carat, gold-domed Capitol featuring many war memorials and a poignant statue of Abraham Lincoln and his youngest son Tad reading a book. Iowa school children contributed to the cost of the statue through a statewide penny drive.

Most of all, appreciate that Iowa, with its flat and rolling farmland, is a friendly, welcoming place, with many surprising attractions for locals and visitors alike.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Mississippi River separates Iowa from Illinois and Wisconsin to form the eastern boundary of the state. The Missouri River on the west edge of the state forms the boundary with Nebraska.
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
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