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Road Trips from Des Moines, IA: Exploring the Scenic Beauty of Iowa's Surroundings

Posted on 02 Jun, 2023 at 09:53 am - by Sarah Johnson

Road Trips from Des Moines, IA

Des Moines, IA, serves as an excellent starting point for exploring the scenic beauty and hidden gems that lie beyond the city limits. Embark on these road trips to discover charming small towns, historic sites, picturesque landscapes, and cultural attractions that showcase the best of Iowa's surroundings.

 

The Bridges of Madison County

Follow in the footsteps of Robert James Waller's novel and the popular film adaptation as you journey through the Bridges of Madison County. Start your road trip from Des Moines and make your way to Winterset, where you'll find the famous covered bridges that inspired the story. Explore the bridges, stroll through the charming town, and immerse yourself in the romance and nostalgia of this scenic road trip.

 

Ames and Boone

Take a short road trip to the neighboring towns of Ames and Boone for a delightful day trip from Des Moines. In Ames, visit the Iowa State University campus and explore the Reiman Gardens, a beautiful botanical garden with stunning displays of flowers and plants. Head to Boone and ride the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, which offers scenic excursions through the picturesque Des Moines River Valley.

 

Decorah and the Driftless Area

Escape to the scenic beauty of northeast Iowa by embarking on a road trip to Decorah and the surrounding Driftless Area. Decorah is a charming town known for its Norwegian heritage and stunning natural landscapes. Visit the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, explore the trails of the Decorah Fish Hatchery, and hike through the breathtaking terrain of the nearby Effigy Mounds National Monument.

 

Clear Lake and Mason City

Discover the musical history and natural beauty of north-central Iowa with a road trip to Clear Lake and Mason City. Clear Lake offers a picturesque lakefront setting, perfect for water activities and relaxation. Explore the Surf Ballroom, known for its connection to the final concert of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper. In Mason City, visit the historic Park Inn Hotel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and explore the Rock Crest-Rock Glen Historic District.

 

Mississippi River Scenic Byway

Embark on a road trip along the Mississippi River Scenic Byway, which stretches along the eastern border of Iowa. Follow the winding roads and soak in the beauty of the river, passing through charming river towns like Dubuque and Bellevue. Enjoy panoramic views, visit historic sites such as the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, and savor the local flavors of the region.

 

Conclusion

Des Moines, IA, is the perfect starting point for exploring the scenic beauty and diverse attractions that surround the city. Embark on these road trips and discover charming small towns, historic sites, picturesque landscapes, and cultural gems that showcase the best of Iowa's surroundings. Hit the open road, create unforgettable memories, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Iowa's hidden treasures.

About Author
  • Sarah Johnson

    Sarah produces creative and informative content based on her travel experience. She keeps her blogs up-to-date with the latest information. 

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