31 days in Iowa Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Iowa route planner
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Make it your trip
Drive
1
Council Bluffs
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Mason City
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Cedar Rapids
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Dubuque
— 6 nights
Drive
5
Davenport
— 5 nights
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6
Des Moines
— 7 nights

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Council Bluffs — 3 nights

Council Bluffs is a city in and the county seat of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States. Explore Council Bluffs' surroundings by going to Sioux City (Trinity Heights, Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, &more) and Desoto National Wildlife Refuge (in Missouri Valley). And it doesn't end there: take an in-depth tour of Union Pacific Railroad Museum, try your luck at Horseshoe Council Bluffs, and take in panoramic vistas at Lewis and Clark Park.

To see where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Council Bluffs driving holiday website.

Des Moines to Council Bluffs is an approximately 2.5-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 85°F in August, and nighttime lows around 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) early enough to drive to Mason City.
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Museums · Casinos · Fun & Games · Wildlife
Side Trips

Mason City — 4 nights

Mason City is a city in and the county seat of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States. Change things up with these side-trips from Mason City: Decorah (Dunnings Spring Park, Vesterheim, &more) and Grotto of the Redemption (in West Bend). And it doesn't end there: make a trip to Historic Park Inn Hotel, get to know the fascinating history of Music Man Square, take in nature's colorful creations at Central Gardens of North Iowa, and admire the masterpieces at Charles H. MacNider Art Museum.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Mason City using our trip planner.

Getting from Council Bluffs to Mason City by car takes about 4 hours. Traveling from Council Bluffs in August, things will get a bit cooler in Mason City: highs are around 80°F and lows about 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to drive to Cedar Rapids.
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Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Nature
Side Trips

Cedar Rapids — 5 nights

Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. Bring the kids along to Lost Island Water Park and National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. Explore Cedar Rapids' surroundings by going to John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum (in Waterloo), National Motorcycle Museum (in Anamosa) and West Branch (Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum & Herbert Hoover National Historic Site). The adventure continues: explore the engaging exhibits at The Iowa Children's Museum, don't miss a visit to Grant Wood Window in Veteran's Memorial Auditorium, contemplate the long history of Brucemore, and get your game on at The Play Station.

For ratings, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, read Cedar Rapids online vacation planner.

Traveling by car from Mason City to Cedar Rapids takes 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 81°F in August, and nighttime lows around 60°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can drive to Dubuque.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Theme Parks · Parks
Side Trips

Dubuque — 6 nights

Dubuque is the county seat of Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, located along the Mississippi River. Kids will appreciate attractions like National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Fenelon Place Elevator Co.. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Dubuque: Effigy Mounds National Monument (in Harpers Ferry), Motor Mill Historic Site (in Elkader) and McGregor (Pikes Peak State Park & Spook Cave). There's lots more to do: stroll around Eagle Point Park, examine the collection at National Farm Toy Museum, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Francis Basilica, and pause for some photo ops at Julien Dubuque Monument.

Discover how to plan a Dubuque trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Drive from Cedar Rapids to Dubuque in 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 79°F in August, and nighttime lows around 60°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Davenport.
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Parks · Nature · Fun & Games · Theme Parks
Side Trips

Davenport — 5 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. Bring the kids along to The Putnam Museum & Science Center and Vander Veer Botanical Park. Explore Davenport's surroundings by going to Clinton (Eagle Point Park & Wide River Winery) and Burlington (Mosquito Park, Snake Alley, &more). The adventure continues: get advice or help at Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, explore the engaging exhibits at Family Museum of Arts and Science, pause for some photo ops at Soldier's Monument, and browse for treasures at Antique Archeology.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Davenport trip planning app.

You can drive from Dubuque to Davenport in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 83°F, and evening lows to 62°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sat) so you can drive to Des Moines.
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Parks · Museums · Childrens Museums · Theme Parks
Side Trips

Des Moines — 7 nights

Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. Bring the kids along to Capitol Building and Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Venture out of the city with trips to Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Iowa (in Madrid), Ames (Textile and Clothing Museum, Iowa State University, &more) and Winterset (Roseman Covered Bridge & John Wayne Birthplace & Museum). The adventure continues: cool off at Adventureland, admire the masterpieces at Salisbury House, take in nature's colorful creations at Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, and stroll around Gray's Lake Park.

To see more things to do and tourist information, go to the Des Moines trip itinerary planning website.

Drive from Davenport to Des Moines in 3 hours. Expect a daytime high around 84°F in August, and nighttime lows around 65°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) so you can travel back home.
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Parks · Theme Parks · Museums · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Iowa travel guide

4.1
Casinos · Historic Sites · Specialty Museums
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."
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