EXPLORE IOWA

CEDAR RAPIDS • DAVENPORT •  DES MOINES • SIOUX CITY

Sports, Smiles and Adventure:

So Much to Love About Iowa

Iowa is synonymous with cozy, small-town life. It’s packed with charming cities, flea markets, historic properties, and cultural attractions galore. If you’re booking a bus ticket to Iowa, be prepared to enjoy a little bit of everything—from agriculture to science to art, there’s something for everyone here.

A Look at Iowa History

Iowa was obtained by America in 1803 as a part of the Louisiana Purchase. Following this, President Thomas Jefferson requested that Meriweather Lewis and William Clark develop a map of the northern portion of the newly purchased territory. Among their stops was Iowa, for which they offered their approval. Before long, the enthusiasm drew hundreds of residents. Iowa entered the union in 1846, and Des Moines was named the capital in 1857.

Give yourself plenty of time to explore this great state!

Theme Parks
National Parks
Beaches
Shopping

Must See Places In Iowa

  • University of Iowa
  • Kinnick Stadium
  • Carver-Hawkeye Arena
  • St. Mary’s Church
  • Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area
  • Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
  • Waterloo Center for the Arts
  • Salisbury House and Gardens
  • Grand Opera House
  • Alluvial Brewing Company
  • Vander Beer Botanical Park

Named after former Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick, college football fans from all over Iowa travel to Kinnick Stadium to see the Hawkeyes play each fall.

Top Cities To Visit In Iowa

Iowa City

You may book a bus ticket to Iowa City with the intention of visiting the state capital, but this is not actually the capital! It is, however, among the most vibrant cities in the state. This is where you’ll find the University of Iowa, and if you’re a sports fan you can take in a football game at Kinnick Stadium or a basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. If you’re a politics buff, head to Hamburg Inn No. 2, where many candidates stop to make speeches while on the trail. There are also many Iowa City attractions listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Old Post Office, Park House Hotel, Johnson County Courthouse, St. Mary’s Church, and the five cottages on the Muscatine Avenue Moffitt Cottage Historic District.

Waterloo

There’s much to see and do in Waterloo, despite its relatively small size. It neighbors Cedar Falls, where the University of Northern Iowa is situated, so people visiting students may flock to the city for new things to do. Among the most noteworthy is the Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, a preserved space whose mission is to celebrate historic and modern farming and agriculture. It’s also worth a visit to the Waterloo Center for the Arts to browse the largest Haitian art exhibit in the country.

Des Moines

There’s much to see and do in Waterloo, despite its relatively small size. It neighbors Cedar Falls, where the University of Northern Iowa is situated, so people visiting students may flock to the city for new things to do. Among the most noteworthy is the Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, a preserved space whose mission is to celebrate historic and modern farming and agriculture. It’s also worth a visit to the Waterloo Center for the Arts to browse the largest Haitian art exhibit in the country.

Dubuque

A bustling manufacturing town, Dubuque is home to several locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Among them are the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, the Dubuque County Courthouse, and the Grand Opera House. For visitors who just want to relax and take in the scenery, a walk along the Mississippi River waterfront is a must. Here, you can try your hand at the Diamond Jo Casino and visit Ice Harbor.

Ames

Just north of Des Moines is Ames, a fairly low-key city with plenty of activities for families and solo travelers to enjoy. Pay a visit to the tap room at the Alluvial Brewing Company, learn about local life at Ames Historical Society, or check out the art exhibits at the Octagan Center for the Arts.

Davenport

The third-largest city in Iowa is Davenport, known largely for its broad arts and entertainment scene. Providing views of the Mississippi River, the Figge Art Museum offers a vast collection of local and international exhibits. Indulge your outdoorsy side with a walk through Vander Beer Botanical Park, a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy the earthy aromas and vibrant greenery.

No matter what you choose to do while in Iowa, you’re sure to have a great time. Check out prices for booking a bus ticket online and see how much money and time you can save.

Iowa Culture

Many associate Iowa solely with farming, but there’s so much more to this diverse state than meets the eye. Given its landlocked position, it’s certainly no surprise that outdoor life and agriculture take center stage here. The farm-state also has incredible historic ties. It was the birthplace of Herbert Hoover, the 31st president, and features a group of old-world American Indian ceremonial mounds. Multicultural festivals are held year-round, and there are wonderful art and history museums, farmer’s markets, and botanical gardens peppered throughout the state.

The real draw here, however, is the opportunity to experience “Iowa nice.” It’s hospitality at its best: cordiality, warmth, kindness, and generosity are the norm here, and you shouldn’t be surprised if you make an instant connection with the friendly person you meet at a restaurant, tourist attraction, or store.