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Adventures Close to Home

Sometimes we forget that you don’t have to travel far to experience diverse cultures, discover new foods and participate in exciting activities. 

Travel Iowa partnered with four Midwest adventure seekers and invited them to report on their experiences visiting various cities in Iowa. They proved Iowa has plenty to explore. 

Cedar Rapids

“Cedar Rapids — it’s the perfect quick jaunt from Kansas City, with plenty of unique finds to discover, delicious food and lots of local shopping,” said travel blogger Anna Petrow.

There is an exciting energy surging through Cedar Rapids, whether it is modern restaurants or unique attractions. One of Petrow’s favorite attractions included the Czech village with vintage shops, local artisans and bakeries. She also loved climbing Mount Trashmore, a landfill transformed into a beautiful park with stunning views of Cedar Rapids

Favorite food spots included Rawlicious, Lion Bridge Brewing, Sykora Bakery and Rodina
“I have Iowa friends that promised Rodina was worth the trip alone — and wow, did this restaurant deliver.” 


“Here in Iowa, you don’t have to travel far to experience fun adventures!” said Iowa native Becky who took a daytrip to Knoxville

“Knoxville has a small town feel with fabulous shopping [and] delicious dining from the quaint Coffee Connection to the classic Kone Korner to the trendy One Eleven Public House.”

After enjoying local shopping at Raiment and Candi’s Flowers, Becky and her crew also spent some time at Lake Red Rock’s beach. They finished up the day checking out unique cars at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum


“Ottumwa is only a five-hour drive … who knew there was so much to see and do right over the border from Minnesota?” asked Kim Ly Curry.

According to Curry, the American Gothic House, the house that inspired Grant Wood’s classic painting, is a must see. She also enjoyed the Antique Airplane Association Airpower Museum, the Wapello County Freedom Trail and The Beach Ottumwa Water Park

Curry noted that Ottumwa offered some impressively tasty and large entrees including the Diet Starts Monday platter at Warehouse BBQ, which was a favorite, along with a massive burrito from Taqueria Mimi’s.


“This isn’t a mini vacation; this is a whole vacation!” said Bethany Sy of Reality Daydream regarding her recent trip to Muscatine

Located along the Mississippi River, Muscatine offers a variety of attractions and outdoor parks. One highlight of the trip included looking at the aquariums and natural history exhibits at the Muscatine County Environmental Learning Center. Bethany and her family also enjoyed outdoor time at Deep Lakes Park and window shopping around the historic downtown area. 

“Who knew there were so many hidden gems and gorgeous lakes in Iowa? It has been such a pleasure to share some of the beautiful landscape of our home state of Iowa!”

Published August 27, 2021

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