16 days in Iowa Itinerary

16 days in Iowa Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Iowa trip maker
Make it your trip
Des Moines
— 4 nights
Cedar Rapids
— 3 nights
— 2 nights
— 3 nights
Council Bluffs
— 2 nights
Drive to Eppley Airfield, Fly to Milan


Des Moines — 4 nights

Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. Bring the kids along to Iowa State University and Capitol Building. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Des Moines: Reiman Gardens (in Ames) and Fun Valley Ski Area (in Montezuma). The adventure continues: walk around Pappajohn Sculpture Park, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Blank Park Zoo, cool off at Adventureland, and see the interesting displays at World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.

To find out how to plan a trip to Des Moines, use our trip itinerary maker.

Milan, Italy to Des Moines is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 7 hours traveling from Milan to Des Moines. Traveling from Milan in January, things will get slightly colder in Des Moines: highs are around 0°C and lows about -11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Cedar Rapids.
Parks · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Cedar Rapids — 3 nights

Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. Family-friendly places like Brucemore and University of Iowa will thrill your kids. Get out of town with these interesting Cedar Rapids side-trips: A J's Copper Garden (in Amana), Old Capitol Museum (in Iowa City) and Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum (in West Branch). And it doesn't end there: have fun and explore at The Iowa Children's Museum, see the interesting displays at National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, and hunt for treasures at NewBo City Market.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the Cedar Rapids day trip site.

You can drive from Des Moines to Cedar Rapids in 2 hours. January in Cedar Rapids sees daily highs of -1°C and lows of -13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Dubuque.
Museums · Historic Sites · Childrens Museums · Shopping
Side Trips

Dubuque — 2 nights

Dubuque is the county seat of Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, located along the Mississippi River. Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Fenelon Place Elevator Co., admire the striking features of Clock Tower, and then get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Mon): fly down the slopes at Sundown Mountain and then walk around Eagle Point Park.

For ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Dubuque trip planner.

You can drive from Cedar Rapids to Dubuque in 1.5 hours. In January, daytime highs in Dubuque are -3°C, while nighttime lows are -14°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) early enough to drive to Davenport.
Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Museums · Outdoors

Davenport — 3 nights

Davenport is the county seat of Scott County in Iowa and is the largest of the Quad Cities, a metropolitan area with a population estimate of 382,630 and a CSA population of 474,226, making it the 90th largest CSA in the nation. Family-friendly places like Figge Art Museum and The Putnam Museum & Science Center will thrill your kids. There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, walk around Vander Veer Botanical Park, explore the engaging exhibits at Family Museum of Arts and Science, and pick up a one of a kind souvenir at Antique Archeology.

To see maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Davenport road trip website.

You can drive from Dubuque to Davenport in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Davenport can reach 0°C, while at night they dip to -11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Council Bluffs.
Museums · Childrens Museums · Shopping · Parks
Side Trips

Council Bluffs — 2 nights

Council Bluffs is a city in and the county seat of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States. Start off your visit on the 14th (Fri): admire the landmark architecture of Historic General Dodge House and then examine the collection at Union Pacific Railroad Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: explore and take pictures at Loess Hills Scenic Byway and then stroll through Hitchcock Nature Center.

For ratings, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Council Bluffs trip itinerary builder tool.

Traveling by car from Davenport to Council Bluffs takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. In January, plan for daily highs up to 1°C, and evening lows to -11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to fly back home.
Museums · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks
Side Trips

Iowa travel guide

Casinos · History Museums · Historic Sites
The Hawkeye State
Part of the American heartland, Iowa is marked by a strong agricultural heritage, with farmland encompassing around 90 percent of the state's land. However, a holiday in Iowa offers more than corn and cows: you'll also discover charming towns, beautiful lakes, and a handful of vibrant cities. Iowa City, a university town, provides a healthy dose of culture and nightlife, with a youthful and artistic vibe fueled by a sizable student population. A trip to some of Iowa's small towns provides a true American experience. Fortunately, the welcoming residents bear very little resemblance to the dour Iowans portrayed in Grant Wood's famous painting "American Gothic."