Iowa is the 29th of the 50 U.S. states, sometimes referred to as the 'American Heartland'. Located in Midwestern United States, Iowa is bordered by Minnesota to the north, Nebraska and South Dakota to the west, Missouri to the south, and Wisconsin and Illinois to the east. Iowa is also the only U.S. state whose eastern and western borders are entirely made up of rivers; the Mississippi River is on the east, while the Big Sioux River is on the west. The capital is the city of Des Moines. Iowa is known to be one of the safest states to live in.
What to see & do
Iowa State Fair - The Iowa State Fair is an 11-day event held annually in the city of Des Moines. It is one of the largest state fairs in the U.S.A. The fairgrounds are over 450 acres in size, with the main attractions being the Butter Cow sculpture by Sarah Pratt, a double Ferris wheel, the state's largest arts show, and one of the world’s largest livestock shows. The fair also features agricultural contests and shows, nearly 200 food stands, live shows such as music concerts, demolition derbies, and auto races. Also held during the fair is the Bill Riley Iowa State Fair Talent Search, which debuted in 1959 and features Iowans aged 2-21.
Adventureland - Adventureland is an amusement park located in Altoona, northeast of Des Moines. The family-owned park is spread over 180 acres and features over a hundred rides, shows, and other attractions. The themed areas are Adventure Bay, the German-themed Bavaria, The Boulevard, the rural-themed County Fair, Dragon Island, Iowa Farm, and the Main Street. The most notable rides include the largest open-gondola Ferris wheel, a large wooden rollercoaster, and the Dragon roller coaster. Adventureland prides itself as “Iowa's Largest and Most Complete Family Resort Complex”.
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden - Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, formerly the Des Moines Botanical Centre, is a 14-acre botanical garden on the east bank of the Des Moines River. It features over 1,200 taxa from around the world.
Blank Park Zoo - On the south side of Des Moines is the only accredited zoo in the state. The 25-acre zoological park aims to promote the appreciation of the natural world. It houses a wide variety of wildlife organised into several exhibits: the Discovery Centre, the Meredith Alpine Exhibit, The Cave, Free Range Aviary, Aquarium of the Discovery Centre, African Boardwalk, Kids' Kingdom, Tom and Jo Ghrist Big Cat Complex, Hub Harbor Pinniped Pavilion, and other individual exhibits for bald eagles, white-handed gibbons, king vultures, Aldabra giant tortoise, and other animals.
How to get around Iowa
The most common means of transportation is by car. Most of the rural areas have a rough grid pattern, so navigating the roads is relatively easy. There is also bus service, but are not as extensive and tend to only serve the major cities.
How to get there
To get into Iowa, book a flight from select airports in Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, Denver, Houston, Newark, Charlotte, Phoenix, or Washington. The airlines Allegiant Air, American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Airlines, Delta Connection, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, United Express, US Airways, and US Airways Express offer flights to Iowa's primary international airport, Des Moines International Airport. The airport is located three miles southwest of the city of Des Moines in Polk County, Iowa.