Places in Iowa to Visit during 2024 Summer Break

Route 175, Arthur, Iowa (1987)

My children are on their final week of school, and I know like most, getting excited for summer break. As I prepare for things we can do, I’ve been creating my own bucket list for the season. I love to surprise them with day trips where they don’t know where we are going until we get there. We’ve visited the Amanas on several occasions and absolutely love exploring as a family.¬†While we’ve made a list of places in Iowa to visit, I’ve decided to make another list of places we hope to visit this Summer! Hopefully this will help you make your own Summer Bucket List of places to consider checking out.

Places in Iowa to Visit

Maquoketa Caves State Park While this spot is East of Central Iowa, it’s been a bucket list spot I’ve wanted to take the kids for awhile. With about 13 caves to explore, I’ve known I’d love to hike the area and take it all in. We all enjoy being outside when we can and hiding from the sun hiking the caves would make it a bit easier of an outing for our family.

Blue Zoo Interactive Aquarium While this is a brand-new attraction that just came to Des Moines, I’ve been watching updates on Facebook that caught my attention and offers several options for any age to have fun with some hands-on learning. You can find Blue Zoo Des Moines in the Jordan Creek Town Center.

Grout Museum District Located in the Waterloo area, you can find several museums worth checking out as a family including:

Niland’s Cafe Located in Colo, this historic spot is a short drive from our home. While it might seem like a small little building, you will find a historic cafe, motel, and gas station museum still full of energy, history, and the chance to make your own memories.

Historic Squirrel Cage Jail If you’ve ever been interested in paranormal and watch those shows, it’s likely you’ve heard of and/or seen this location in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It is one of only eighteen revolving jails ever built. This landmark will catch anyone’s interest with it’s history and architecture.

Grant Woods American Gothic House. We all know the historic painting and you can see the house in person with a drive to Eldon, Iowa.

High Trestle Trail Bridge While the High Trestle Trail runs from Ankeny to Woodward, taking in the sights from the High Trestle Trail Bridge is located between my hometown of Madrid and Woodward. You can take in nature from a gorgeous view while getting those extra steps in.

The Flying Elbow This wrestling-themed burger and hot dog joint might be the fun you need for part of your trip! We’ve seen lots of posts from friends that have headed to said restaurant and of course, any professional wrestling fan would get a kick out of the experience!

Mahanay Memorial Bell Tower Over the weekend, Nick celebrated his 20th Year Class Reunion and we headed to Jefferson for the Bell Tower Festival. This tower is 168 ft. 2 inches high and I wanted the kids to experience the Bell Tower and take a ride to the top. We officially have marked one location off our Summer List!

Viewing rooftop art from top of Bell Tower, Jefferson Iowa

Viewing Roof Art from Bell Tower, Jefferson, Iowa

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