51 days in Iowa Itinerary

51 days in Iowa Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Iowa trip itinerary planner

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Des Moines
— 11 nights
Drive
2
Sioux City
— 6 nights
Drive
3
Arnolds Park
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Mason City
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Decorah
— 5 nights
Drive
6
Dubuque
— 7 nights
Drive
7
Davenport
— 6 nights
Drive
8
Cedar Rapids
— 8 nights
Fly

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Des Moines

— 11 nights
Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. Iowa State Fairgrounds has been added to your itinerary. Attractions like Capitol Building and Downtown Farmers Market make great kid-friendly stops. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Des Moines: Newton (Maytag Dairy Farm & Iowa Speedway), Ames (Brunnier Art Museum, Iowa State University, &more) and Imes Covered Bridge (in Saint Charles). There's much more to do: find something for the whole family at Adventureland, take an in-depth tour of State Historical Museum, take in the views from High Trestle Trail Bridge, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Blank Park Zoo.

For more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Des Moines day trip planning app.

New York City to Des Moines is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from New York City to Des Moines, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In June, daily temperatures in Des Moines can reach 84°F, while at night they dip to 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Sioux City.

Things to do in Des Moines

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Theme Parks

Side Trips

Sioux City

— 6 nights
Sioux City is a city in Woodbury and Plymouth counties in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Iowa. Venture out of the city with trips to Ice Cream Capital of the World Visitor Center (in Le Mars) and Onawa (Lewis and Clark State Park & Monona County Veteran's Memorial Museum). The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, pause for some photo ops at Sergeant Floyd Monument, stroll around Grandview Park, and see the interesting displays at Sioux City Public Museum.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Sioux City travel route planner.

You can drive from Des Moines to Sioux City in 3 hours. In June in Sioux City, expect temperatures between 84°F during the day and 60°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to travel to Arnolds Park.

Things to do in Sioux City

Museums · Parks · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Arnolds Park

— 3 nights
Arnolds Park is a city in Dickinson County, Iowa, United States. Family-friendly places like Arnolds Park Amusement Park and Okoboji Classic Cars will thrill your kids. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Arnolds Park: Living Heritage Tree Museum (in Storm Lake) and Grotto of the Redemption (in West Bend). Next up on the itinerary: get engrossed in the history at Abbie Gardner Cabin, look for gifts at Goodies Handmade Candies, see the interesting displays at Clark Museum of Okoboji Area & Iowa History, and contemplate the waterfront views at Spirit Lake.

For reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Arnolds Park itinerary builder site.

You can drive from Sioux City to Arnolds Park in 2 hours. In June in Arnolds Park, expect temperatures between 81°F during the day and 59°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) so you can travel to Mason City.

Things to do in Arnolds Park

Parks · Museums · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Mason City

— 4 nights
Mason City is a city in and the county seat of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States. Venture out of the city with trips to LIttle Brown Church in the Vale (in Nashua) and Floyd County Historical Society Museum (in Charles City). There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Stockman House Museum, admire the masterpieces at Charles H. MacNider Art Museum, tour the pleasant surroundings at Lime Creek Nature Center, and stroll around East Park.

For ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Mason City online vacation builder.

Getting from Arnolds Park to Mason City by car takes about 2.5 hours. In June in Mason City, expect temperatures between 80°F during the day and 58°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Decorah.

Things to do in Mason City

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Nature

Side Trips

Decorah

— 5 nights
Decorah is a city in and the county seat of Winneshiek County, Iowa, United States. Kids will enjoy Pikes Peak State Park and Spook Cave. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Decorah: Froelich Foundation Museum (in McGregor), Harpers Ferry (Effigy Mounds National Monument & Yellow River State Forest) and Driftless Area Wetlands Centre (in Marquette). The adventure continues: take in the dramatic scenery at Dunnings Spring Park, relax in the rural setting at Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm, steep yourself in history at Montauk Historical Site, and pause for some serene contemplation at Saint Wenceslaus Catholic Church.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Decorah fast, fun, and easy.

You can drive from Mason City to Decorah in 2 hours. June in Decorah sees daily highs of 77°F and lows of 59°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Dubuque.

Things to do in Decorah

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Dubuque

— 7 nights
Dubuque is the county seat of Dubuque County, Iowa, United States, located along the Mississippi River. Family-friendly places like National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Fenelon Place Elevator Co. will thrill your kids. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Dubuque: Manchester (Castle Theater & Manchester Whitewater Park) and Dyer-Botsford Doll Museum (in Dyersville). There's much more to do: stroll around Eagle Point Park, make a trip to Art on the River, Public Art Display, explore the landscape on two wheels at Heritage Trail, and stroll through Mines of Spain.

To see more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, use the Dubuque day trip tool.

You can drive from Decorah to Dubuque in 2 hours. In July, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 61°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can drive to Davenport.

Things to do in Dubuque

Parks · Nature · Museums · Outdoors

Side Trips

Davenport

— 6 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. Attractions like The Putnam Museum & Science Center and Sunderbruch Park Trail make great kid-friendly stops. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Davenport: Burlington (Mosquito Park, Snake Alley, &more) and Muscatine (National Pearl Button Museum & Weed Park). There's still lots to do: get engrossed in the history at Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, admire the masterpieces at Figge Art Museum, explore the engaging exhibits at Family Museum of Arts and Science, and stroll around Vander Veer Botanical Park.

To find reviews, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Davenport trip itinerary maker site.

Getting from Dubuque to Davenport by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 84°F in July, and nighttime lows around 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Cedar Rapids.

Things to do in Davenport

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips

Cedar Rapids

— 8 nights
Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa and is the county seat of Linn County. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Lost Island Water Park and Brucemore. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Cedar Rapids: Coralville (Clear Creek Trail & Iowa Firefighters Memorial), Cedar Rock State Park (Lowell Walter Residence) (in Independence) and Waterloo (Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, &more). The adventure continues: examine the collection at National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, get outside with Cedar Rapids Kernels, explore the striking landscape at Devonian Fossil Gorge, and don't miss a visit to Czech Village / New Bohemia District.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, read Cedar Rapids road trip site.

Traveling by car from Davenport to Cedar Rapids takes 1.5 hours. In July, daily temperatures in Cedar Rapids can reach 82°F, while at night they dip to 62°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) so you can catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Cedar Rapids

Museums · Parks · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Iowa travel guide

4.1
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."