The US corn state stretches from the banks of the Missouri River in the west to the Mississippi in the east. Its countryside seems like an endless expanse of lush cornfields, wide, gentle hills, country churches, and old barns. Geographically, the state lies between America’s two main rivers, the Missouri and the Mississippi, while smaller rivers and streams run through its territory in great numbers. The area of Iowa has 145 thousand square meters. km, 88% of which are dense forests and golden fields. Iowa is a favorite location for filming Hollywood films that take place in today’s almost extinct rural America.
- Countryaah – Cities in Iowa: List of all municipalities in the state of Iowa, including cities and towns of Iowa.
The capital and largest city is Des Moines. This is actually the political, economic and cultural center of the state. Other largest cities in the state are Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, Iowa City, Waterloo.
Iowa is a favorite location for filming Hollywood films that take place in today’s almost extinct rural America.
How to get there
You can fly from Moscow to the main airport in Des Moines from Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo or Vnukovo. Get ready for one or two transfers and choose the most suitable transfer points for you – it can be Berlin, Düsseldorf, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Madrid and a number of other cities. If you are ready to shell out for a one-stop flight, New York or Houston are waiting for you. Flight time – from 16 hours to two and a half days.
The most convenient way to travel around the state is to rent a car. The roads here are mostly straight and even, so traveling on them is a pleasure. By the way, you can choose and book a car at home, sitting on the couch and gratefully remembering the creators of the World Wide Web, or right at the airport. Well, if you decide to take a break from the steering wheel, take the train and enjoy the comfort and views outside the window.
Weather in Iowa
Iowa, like most of the Midwestern United States, has a continental climate with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The average July temperature is +24 °C, the average January temperature is -7 °C.
Precipitation falls almost evenly throughout the state, mostly spring and summer rains. In spring and summer, Iowa is very often hit by the elements. On average, there are about fifty thunderstorm days in the state per year. Iowa is one of the US states that form the so-called Tornado Alley. It is estimated that destructive whirlwinds sweep through the state thirty-seven times a year. Therefore, when deciding to come here, do not forget to look at the weather reports and make sure that the weather forecasts are favorable.
Popular hotels in Iowa
Entertainment and attractions in Iowa
For tourists, Iowa is a very interesting place. Dozens of related companies offer guests a variety of stay programs and discover state attractions. There are places to go and things to see. In cities, these are, first of all, museums, exhibition halls, theaters, concert halls, monuments to historical figures and ancient buildings. But it will be a special pleasure to travel to state reserves and national parks, of which there are quite a lot in Iowa, because they value what is given by nature, and try to save it and, to the extent possible, increase it.
DeSoto National Preserve – located in the Missouri Valley in west central Iowa – is a paradise for migratory waterfowl, primarily geese and ducks. The reserve is spread over 34 sq. km and became home to more than 30 species of mammals and birds. It should be noted that bald eagles, the national symbol of the United States, winter in these places.
In DeSoto, you can observe the life of deer, beavers, coyotes, possums and our other “little brothers”. And with special permits, you can even hunt deer, turkeys and pheasants here and go fishing on the lake, along the banks of which several boat moorings have been built.
In the DeSoto Preserve, you can hunt deer, turkeys and pheasants and fish on the lake.
Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge and Prairie Learning Center are driving and walking tours of the realm of bison and elk, the magical world of the beautiful flowers and grasses of the American prairie. The majestic oak forests surrounding the reserve will make you feel like the hero of an amazing fairy tale and give you an unforgettable experience of traveling on the prairies in Neil Smith. At the Prairie Education Center, you can get acquainted with the state’s ecosystem, learn about the life of representatives of the local flora and fauna, and even play the role of a forester or gardener yourself and plant something. As you probably understand, such excursions are especially popular among children and those who want to return to childhood.
By the way, the entrance to the reserves is free, so all you need to do is get up early and go on a trip, expecting wonderful adventures.
Effigy Mounds National Monument Park
The Effidge Mounds are one of the largest groups of barrows in the United States that have survived to this day. Although prehistoric mounds created by the indigenous population of America are widespread in the territory from the Great Plains of the USA to the Atlantic coast, however, only here there are figured mounds in the form of animals, birds or reptiles.
Only in Effidzhi Mounds there are figured mounds in the form of animals, birds or reptiles.
The visitor center at the entrance to the park houses a museum display with archaeological finds and exhibits representing the local nature, as well as a conference room and a bookstore where you can buy books on the history of the state. There are 14 km of hiking trails in the park, various educational programs have been developed, which can be accessed by appointment, and hikes are conducted accompanied by local rangers. True, if you decide to stay for the night, you will have to use campsites in neighboring reserves. There are no campsites in Effigee Mounds, but there are friendly staff who will help you decide on a place to spend the night.
Excellent camping is available at nearby Pikes Peak State Park. And in the nearby cities, inexpensive cozy motels await you.
“City of Monks”
Des Moines, originally built as a fort, has grown into a large city in which history and modernity, culture and science have merged together. It is curious that the name of the city does not fit in with its capital status. “Des Moines” means “Monks” in French. Accordingly, Des Moines is the “city of monks.” Perhaps it was once so, but now, of course, there is much more mundane here.
At the beginning of the 20th century the Beautiful City project was implemented, thanks to which many beautiful buildings, fountains and parks were erected in Des Moines, paved roads and decorated the waterfront.
Be sure to check out the Iowa State Capitol – this magnificent building, built between 1871 and 1886, is, both inside and out, one of the finest examples of 19th century architecture. It is the only 5-domed capitol in the United States. Next to it is a landscaped area with several interesting monuments. The main one is a monument to soldiers and sailors.
The Iowa Capitol is the only 5-domed capitol in the United States.
Art and science lovers will love the Des Moines Art Center with a collection of paintings, sculpture, modern art of the 19th and 20th centuries, the State Historical Society of Iowa and the Science Center of Iowa with various laser shows, models of many advanced achievements of science and technology.
If you’re into sports, be sure to check out the Wells Fargo Arena, which hosts a variety of competitions, concerts and performances, and the Iowa Speedway, located 30 miles east of Des Moines in Newton.
Well, for those who appreciate communication with nature, Pappajohn Sculpture Park is open, which, by the way, in addition to flora, is fancifully decorated with creations of “human hands” – dozens of original sculptures. Don’t forget to feed the animals at the local Blank Park Zoo and enjoy the fragrance of the flowers at the Des Moines Botanical Center.