30 days in Iowa Itinerary

30 days in Iowa Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Iowa itinerary planner

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Dubuque
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Davenport
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Iowa City
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Waterloo
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Decorah
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Mason City
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Des Moines
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Sioux City
— 4 nights
Drive
9
Council Bluffs
— 2 nights
Fly

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Dubuque

— 3 nights
Dubuque is the county seat of Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, located along the Mississippi River. Explore hidden gems such as Sundown Mountain and Julien Dubuque Monument. Get out of town with these interesting Dubuque side-trips: Dyersville (St. Francis Basilica & National Farm Toy Museum), Park Farm Winery (in Durango) and Edinburgh Manor (in Scotch Grove). There's lots more to do: take in the waterfront at Riverwalk, admire the landmark architecture of Clock Tower, savor the flavors at Iowa Wine Tours, and relax and rejuvenate at Potosa Spa.

To see reviews, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read Dubuque travel route planner.

Columbus to Dubuque is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Columbus to Dubuque, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Columbus in November: high temperatures in Dubuque hover around 45°F and lows are around 27°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Thu) early enough to drive to Davenport.

Things to do in Dubuque

Historic Sites · Wineries · Tours · Spas

Side Trips

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. Discover out-of-the-way places like Wide River Winery and Great River Brewery. Explore Davenport's surroundings by going to Clinton (Eagle Point Park & The Sawmill Museum). There's still lots to do: do a tasting at Wide River Winery Tasting Room, look for gifts at The Shameless Chocoholic, have fun and explore at Family Museum of Arts and Science, and contemplate the long history of Pine Creek Grist Mill.

To see maps, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Davenport trip builder app.

Traveling by car from Dubuque to Davenport takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In November, plan for daily highs up to 50°F, and evening lows to 30°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Iowa City.

Things to do in Davenport

Museums · Wineries · Breweries & Distilleries · Childrens Museums

Side Trips

Iowa City

— 4 nights
Iowa City is a city in Johnson County, Iowa, United States. You'll discover tucked-away gems like The Iowa Children's Museum and Old Capitol Museum. Get out of town with these interesting Iowa City side-trips: Cedar Rapids (Indian Creek Nature Center, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, &more), Fireside Winery (in Marengo) and Amana (Amana General Store & Ackerman Winery). Next up on the itinerary: relax in the rural setting at Wilson's Orchard, browse the different shops at Coral Ridge Mall, brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery, and examine the collection at Antique Car Museum of Iowa.

To find other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Iowa City online road trip planner.

Drive from Davenport to Iowa City in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 49°F in November, and nighttime lows around 29°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Thu) early enough to travel to Waterloo.

Things to do in Iowa City

Museums · Wineries · Shopping · Parks

Side Trips

Waterloo

— 3 nights
Waterloo is a city in and the county seat of Black Hawk County, Iowa, United States. Explore hidden gems such as Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum and Big Woods Lake Recreation Area. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Waterloo: Cedar Rock State Park (Lowell Walter Residence) (in Independence), Matchstick Marvels Museum (in Gladbrook) and Backbone State Park (in Dundee). There's lots more to do: experience rural life at Hansen's Farm Fresh Dairy, shop like a local with Waterloo Center for the Arts, take in the architecture and atmosphere at LIttle Brown Church in the Vale, and grab your bike and head to Cedar Valley Nature Trail.

To find other places to visit, photos, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Waterloo online route planner.

You can drive from Iowa City to Waterloo in 1.5 hours. In November, daily temperatures in Waterloo can reach 46°F, while at night they dip to 25°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can go by car to Decorah.

Things to do in Waterloo

Parks · Museums · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Decorah

— 3 nights
Decorah is a city in and the county seat of Winneshiek County, Iowa, United States. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Trout Run Trail and Decorah Fish Hatchery. Change things up with these side-trips from Decorah: Eagles Landing Winery (in Marquette), Mount Hosmer Park (in Lansing) and Paper Moon (in McGregor). The adventure continues: sample the tasty concoctions at Pulpit Rock Brewing Company, examine the collection at Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, do a tasting at Winneshiek Wildberry Winery, and steep yourself in history at Masters Hotel.

For photos, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read Decorah itinerary planner.

Drive from Waterloo to Decorah in 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 44°F in November, and nighttime lows around 28°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Mason City.

Things to do in Decorah

Parks · Wineries · Breweries & Distilleries · Outdoors

Side Trips

Mason City

— 3 nights
Mason City is a city in and the county seat of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States. Discover out-of-the-way places like Charles H. MacNider Art Museum and Central Gardens of North Iowa. Get out of town with these interesting Mason City side-trips: Fort Dodge (Community Orchard & Soldier Creek Winery). Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Lime Creek Nature Center, admire the majestic nature at Clear Lake State Park, steep yourself in history at Rock Crest - Rock Glen Historical District, and get to know the fascinating history of Music Man Square.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Mason City online road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Decorah to Mason City takes 2 hours. In November in Mason City, expect temperatures between 45°F during the day and 24°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Des Moines.

Things to do in Mason City

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Wineries

Side Trips

Des Moines

— 4 nights
Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Seven Oaks Recreation and Museum of Danish America. Change things up with these side-trips from Des Moines: Marion County Fairgrounds (in Knoxville), Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge and Prairie Learning Center (in Prairie City) and Maytag Dairy Farm (in Newton). There's lots more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Clive Greenbelt Trail, make a trip to Courthouse Square, take in panoramic vistas at Clark Tower, and sample the tasty concoctions at 515 Brewing Company.

Plan trip to Des Moines with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

You can drive from Mason City to Des Moines in 2 hours. Traveling from Mason City in November, things will get somewhat warmer in Des Moines: highs are around 51°F and lows about 32°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to travel to Sioux City.

Things to do in Des Moines

Parks · Outdoors · Breweries & Distilleries · Museums

Side Trips

Sioux City

— 4 nights
Sioux City is a city in Woodbury and Plymouth counties in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Iowa. Discover out-of-the-way places like Stone State Park and Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center. Get out of town with these interesting Sioux City side-trips: Clark Museum of Okoboji Area & Iowa History (in Milford), Ice Cream Capital of the World Visitor Center (in Le Mars) and Okoboji Classic Cars (in Okoboji). There's lots more to do: explore the world behind art at Sioux City Art Center, get engrossed in the history at Sioux City Railroad Museum, stop by Palmer's Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe, and revel in the low prices at Palmer Candy.

To see photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Sioux City sightseeing planning site.

Drive from Des Moines to Sioux City in 3 hours. Traveling from Des Moines in November, Sioux City is a bit cooler at night with lows of 26°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Council Bluffs.

Things to do in Sioux City

Museums · Shopping · Nature · Parks

Side Trips

Council Bluffs

— 2 nights
Council Bluffs is a city in and the county seat of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States. On the 29th (Mon), take in panoramic vistas at Lewis and Clark Park, then pause for some serene contemplation at Kanesville Tabernacle, and then take a memorable drive along Loess Hills Scenic Byway. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll around Hitchcock Nature Center, tour the pleasant surroundings at Desoto National Wildlife Refuge, and then admire the striking features of Historic General Dodge House.

To find other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Council Bluffs trip planning website.

You can drive from Sioux City to Council Bluffs in 1.5 hours. In November, plan for daily highs up to 52°F, and evening lows to 30°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Council Bluffs

Wildlife · Parks · Scenic Drive · Outdoors

Side Trips

Iowa travel guide

4
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."