The perfect state for a men’s trip
At 199 miles long and 310 miles wide, Iowa is the 26th largest state in the United States, making it an obvious perfect candidate for a statewide road trip,It may not be possible to visit all 947 cities within the state in one go, but visiting the 99 counties, or at least driving through them, is definitely more realistic. The state is filled with rich history, including being part of the Louisiana Purchase, a deal arranged between President Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon Bonaparte of France in 1803??? that brought a vast tract of the continent under the control of the United States. Lewis & Clark also were among the first explorers to visit the area, and visitors to Iowa can retrace the steps of the famed duo as well as visit monuments and museums throughout the state that pay homage to theirjourney. Whether it’s history, outdoor adventures, hunting and fishing, arts & culture, wine and beer, baseball or scenic drives, there’s a little bit of everything in Iowa. Below are some ideas to help inspire your Iowa road trip for you and your men friends and/or your sons.
Field of Dreams
In 1988, the Lansing Family Farm exchanged its humble roots for a destiny few could have ever imagined when their property was featured in the box office hit, Field of Dreams, which has gained world-renewed accolades not only in film, but also as a beloved tourist destination for young and old alike. The Field of Dreams movie site house is now open for overnight stays or day visits. It’s not unusual to see a pick-up game on with people from multiple states on any given day. It’s also a place where fathers and sons can enjoy a game of catch, as it’s probably one of the most iconic places to do so.
Minor Leagues Baseball Parks
In keeping with the baseball theme, there are three minor league parks near the Mississippi River worth visiting. The Burlington Bees in Burlington, Quad City River Bandits in Davenport (they play at Modern Woodman Park, selected as the best minor league park in the country), Clinton Lumberkings in Clinton and Iowa Cubs in Des Moines. Other ballparks are in Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Waterloo and Clarinda.
Manchester Whitewater Park
Manchester Whitewater Park in Manchester is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round and, because of a gracious donor, the park is open to the public at no cost or admission to ride the river. Visitors can jump in anywhere they want–the ride spans about 800 feet in length with six 18-inch drops. There is a paved trail to walk back to the start of the course, or you can continue to float along the Maquoketa River as far as you’d like and make arrangements for pick-up with friends. The primary whitewater features are called “U structures.” These elements create waves or holes catering to recreational and freestyle kayakers and fishermen. The primary in-stream users are whitewater enthusiasts including kayakers, canoeists, rafters, tubers, swimmers and boogie board/surfers.
Backbone State Park
Iowa’s first state park, dedicated in 1920, is known for its “Devil’s Backbone,” a steep, narrow ridge of bedrock. The park includes 21 miles of trail, a lake, camping, cabins and rock climbing. There are 125 campsites located in two campgrounds within the park. Backbone State Park is well known for trout fishing in its cold, clear, quick-flowing stream. Richmond Springs, the source that feeds the stream, pumps out more than 2,000 gallons per minute and is located near the north end of the park. Anglers can explore the stream through a variety of shady and easy accessible trails, portions of which are paved. Backbone also has 21 miles of hiking and multi-use trails. Visitors can hike along trails winding through old twisted and windblown cedars and up rough, rocky staircases to one of the highest points in northeast Iowa, the “Devil’s Backbone.” Climbers and rappellers will find many challenging cliffs of rugged dolomite limestone throughout the park. The most popular rock escarpments to climb are located near the Backbone Trail.
For more ideas to help plan your Iowa road trip, visit TravelIowa.com.
Whether it’s history, outdoor adventures, hunting and fishing, arts & culture, wine and beer, baseball or scenic drives, there’s a little bit of everything in Iowa.