If you want to see a new place over the summer or the weekend in Iowa City but can’t really afford some to travel too far out, here are some great destinations close by to make a road trip out of or spend a day at.
1. Amana Colonies, IA- The people in this colony still led an Amish lifestyle. This is a great place to check out how they live, some of the food, and enjoy the pretty views. For those of you who have some German in you, this place has strong German traditions.
2. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN- The Twin cities have so much to offer. Check out museums, a Twins game, great restaurants, music, attractions, theatre and so much more! The city is also close to the biggest mall in the U.S, Mall of America. You could spend an entire just at the mall since it has a movie theatre, restaurants, indoor amusement park, aquarium, and special events.
3. Pella, IA- This town’s saying is A Touch of Holland and you’ll be sure to find the Dutch feel here. Check out some of the great bakeries that have Dutch pastries, unique boutiques, and recreation trails.
4. Des Moines, IA- The capitol of the state of Iowa. Need I say more? This city has lots of things to offer from a great downtown food scene to the sculpture park to the Capitol building and fantastic views. There is also a great mall in West Des Moines to do some shopping.
5. St. Louis, MO- A little bit of a drive but it is definitely worth it. If you never had visited, do some of the classic tourist things like visiting the Arch, going to a Cardinals game, etc. There is a lot to do in this city!
6. Davenport, IA- The largest city of the Quad cities, this town has a lot to offer including a Ferris wheel next to the baseball park. How cool is that? The Mississippi River runs right next to the city so check out all that goes on near the river.
7. Waterloo, IA- If you want to go to a waterpark, head to Lost Island in Waterloo. There are lots of fun rides and a big wave pool. There is also mini golf and go-karts right next to it. Camping grounds are also located next to the waterpark so you can stay the night in a tent or rent a cabin if you wish.
8. Milwaukee, WI- Milwaukee has lots of festivals in the summer so pan out one like Summerfest or the Wisconsin state fair. Check out a Brewer’s game, take a boat tour, and enjoy some great food and museums.
9. North Liberty, IA- If you just want to get away from Iowa City for a bit, North Liberty is the place to go! This town is always growing and there are lots of great places to check out. Try a new restaurant or go on some of the trails for a hike, bike, or run.
10. Chicago, IL- Chicago. A lot of us are from there or know some one from the Chicago area so take a weekend to explore the city. You can do the tourist things like Navy Pier, Cubs game, the museums, Millennium Park, the Hancock tower, etc. If you want to have more of a local feel, ask your friends! See what they like to do besides the main attractions. There are so many things to do in the city, you’ll be sure to find something you like.
Written By: Shelsey Monroy