29 days in Iowa Itinerary

29 days in Iowa Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Iowa tour planner

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Route & dates

29 days in Iowa Itinerary

Start: New York City
Fly:  6​h 15​min
1
Council Bluffs
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Winterset
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Ames
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Mason City
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
5
McGregor
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Dubuque
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Cedar Rapids
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
8
Le Claire
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  7​h 15​min
End: New York City

3
nights
Council Bluffs

Council Bluffs ©
Council Bluffs is a city in and the county seat of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Council Bluffs: Sioux City (Trinity Heights, Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center, & more) and Desoto National Wildlife Refuge (in Missouri Valley). There's lots more to do: try to win big at Horseshoe Council Bluffs, steep yourself in history at Golden Spike Monument, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Kanesville Tabernacle, and take an in-depth tour of Union Pacific Railroad Museum.

For maps, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Council Bluffs road trip tool .

New York City to Council Bluffs is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Traveling from New York City in October, plan for little chillier nights in Council Bluffs, with lows around 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to travel to Winterset.

Things to do in Council Bluffs

Fun & Games Casinos Museums

Side Trips

Sioux City, Desoto National Wildlife Refuge
Highlights from your plan
Horseshoe Council Bluffs ©
Horseshoe Council Bluffs
Union Pacific Railroad Museum ©
Union Pacific Railroad Museum
Desoto National Wildlife Refuge ©
Desoto National Wildlife Refuge

4
nights
Winterset

Winterset ©
Winterset is a city in Madison County, Iowa, United States. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Winterset: Des Moines (Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, & more) and The Freedom Rock (in Menlo). There's more to do: steep yourself in history at John Wayne Birthplace & Museum and take in the views from Imes Covered Bridge.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Winterset online trip planner .

You can drive from Council Bluffs to Winterset in 2 hours. In October, daily temperatures in Winterset can reach 66°F, while at night they dip to 47°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) early enough to go by car to Ames.

Things to do in Winterset

Parks Museums Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Des Moines, Imes Covered Bridge, The Freedom Rock
Highlights from your plan
Pappajohn Sculpture Park ©
Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Capitol Building ©
Capitol Building
John Wayne Birthplace & Museum ©
John Wayne Birthplace & Museum

4
nights
Ames

Ames ©
Ames is a city located in the central part of Story County, Iowa, United States. Explore Ames' surroundings by going to Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Iowa (in Madrid), High Trestle Trail (in Ankeny) and Grotto of the Redemption (in West Bend). Next up on the itinerary: take in nature's colorful creations at Reiman Gardens, deepen your understanding at Iowa State University, sample the tasty concoctions at Reclaimed Rails Brewing Company, and immerse yourself in nature at Clear Lake State Park.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, read our Ames trip builder site .

Getting from Winterset to Ames by car takes about 1.5 hours. Traveling from Winterset in October, plan for slightly colder nights in Ames, with lows around 42°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Mason City.

Things to do in Ames

Parks Nature Theme Parks

Side Trips

Clear Lake, Antique Carousel, Grotto of the Redemption, High Trestle Trail, Reclaimed Rails Brewing Company
Highlights from your plan
Grotto of the Redemption ©
Grotto of the Redemption
Reiman Gardens ©
Reiman Gardens
Iowa State University ©
Iowa State University

3
nights
Mason City

Mason City ©
Mason City is a city in and the county seat of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States. Mason City is known for historic sites, museums, wildlife, nightlife, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the long history of Stockman House Museum, explore the world behind art at Charles H. MacNider Art Museum, identify plant and animal life at Lime Creek Nature Center, and admire the landmark architecture of Historic Park Inn Hotel.

For traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Mason City trip builder tool .

Traveling by car from Ames to Mason City takes 2 hours. In October, daily temperatures in Mason City can reach 62°F, while at night they dip to 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) to allow time to travel to McGregor.

Things to do in Mason City

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Fossil & Prairie Center
Highlights from your plan
Stockman House Museum ©
Stockman House Museum
Historic Park Inn Hotel ©
Historic Park Inn Hotel
Lime Creek Nature Center ©
Lime Creek Nature Center

2
nights
McGregor

McGregor ©
McGregor is a city in Clayton County, Iowa, United States. Start off your visit on the 31st (Thu): admire the majestic nature at Backbone State Park, then pause for some photo ops at Effigy Mounds National Monument, and then admire the majestic nature at Pikes Peak State Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Fri): cruise along Motor Mill Historic Site, then admire the sheer force of Dunnings Spring Park, and then examine the collection at Vesterheim.

To find traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read McGregor route planning tool .

Drive from Mason City to McGregor in 2.5 hours. In October, daytime highs in McGregor are 62°F, while nighttime lows are 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Dubuque.

Things to do in McGregor

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Decorah, Effigy Mounds National Monument, Motor Mill Historic Site, Backbone State Park
Highlights from your plan
Pikes Peak State Park ©
Pikes Peak State Park
Effigy Mounds National Monument
Effigy Mounds National Monument
Dunnings Spring Park ©
Dunnings Spring Park

4
nights
Dubuque

Dubuque ©
Dubuque is the county seat of Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, located along the Mississippi River. When in Dubuque, make a side trip to see St. Francis Basilica in Dyersville, approximately 36 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: observe the fascinating underwater world at National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, admire the natural beauty at Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, walk around Mines of Spain, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Luke's United Methodist Church.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Dubuque holiday planning app .

Traveling by car from McGregor to Dubuque takes 1.5 hours. In November, daytime highs in Dubuque are 45°F, while nighttime lows are 27°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) so you can drive to Cedar Rapids.

Things to do in Dubuque

Parks Fun & Games Nature

Side Trips

Maquoketa Caves State Park, St. Francis Basilica
Highlights from your plan
Fenelon Place Elevator Co. ©
Fenelon Place Elevator Co.
Eagle Point Park ©
Eagle Point Park

5
nights
Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids ©
Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. Venture out of the city with trips to Terry Trueblood Recreational Area (in Iowa City), West Branch (Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum & Herbert Hoover National Historic Site) and National Motorcycle Museum (in Anamosa). And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, trek along Cedar Valley Nature Trail, test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms, and have some family-friendly fun at The Play Station.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Cedar Rapids trip planner.

Traveling by car from Dubuque to Cedar Rapids takes 1.5 hours. In November, daytime highs in Cedar Rapids are 47°F, while nighttime lows are 28°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) early enough to travel to Le Claire.

Things to do in Cedar Rapids

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Amana, Cedar Falls, West Branch, Terry Trueblood Recreational Area, National Motorcycle Museum
Highlights from your plan

3
nights
Le Claire

Le Claire ©
Le Claire is a city in Scott County, Iowa, United States. When in Le Claire, make a side trip to see Snake Alley in Burlington, approximately 1h 30 min away. There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, explore the world behind art at Figge Art Museum, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Green Tree Brewery, and brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Mississippi River Distilling Company & Cody Road Cocktail House.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, use the Le Claire trip planner .

You can drive from Cedar Rapids to Le Claire in 1.5 hours. In November, daytime highs in Le Claire are 50°F, while nighttime lows are 30°F. On the 13th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Le Claire

Museums Shopping Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trips

Walcott, Davenport, Snake Alley
Highlights from your plan
Iowa 80 Trucking Museum ©
Iowa 80 Trucking Museum
Antique Archeology ©
Antique Archeology

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