Iowa – Wide Country with Lovely Cities

By | July 5, 2022

Especially green cultural landscapes

The state of Iowa, abbreviation – IA -, is located slightly northeast within the United States, southwest of the “Great Lakes” in the American Midwest. The state is also referred to as – Corn State – because the cultivation of corn is widespread in the country. The name Iowa comes from a people of the “Native Americans” who used to live there. The area that is now Iowa was not a white settlement area until the 1830s. In 1830, Iowa became part of the United States. Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon Bonaparte sealed the agreement.

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Iowa State Capitol in the capital city of Des Moines


Iowa State Capitol in the capital city of Des Moines

Farmland and small towns

There are no larger metropolises to be found in Iowa. With approximately 216,000 residents in 2019, the capital, Des Moines, is the largest city in Iowa. Other major cities in the state include Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Sioux City. The landscape in Iowa can be described as slightly hilly to flat. In addition to very extensive agricultural areas, there are numerous recreational areas such as lakes and parks in Iowa. The climate in summer can be described as warm and humid with mostly a lot of rain. In winter it can get very cold with large amounts of snow.

Agriculture as economic factor No.1

Iowa can be described as an almost purely agricultural state. Pig farming is widespread. Corn, soybean, wheat and potatoes are the most commonly grown crops in Iowa. There are quite a few lakes to explore in the Northwest of the Midwestern US state. Iowa is bordered almost completely on the west by the Missouri River and on the west completely by the Mississippi River. Since nature is mostly quite monotonous, the country has no really extraordinary “natural spectacles and natural wonders” to offer, with the possible exception of the Effigy Mounds in the Mississippi region.

Historic Mill – Lidtke Mill on the Upper Iowa River

Iowa’s European past

As a cultural heritage, Iowa has the Amana Coloniesto show. This colony was founded by German immigrants. The Amana Colonies consist of a network of seven villages on the Iowa River. German heritage plays a big role in the Amana Colonies. There are German dishes in the restaurants, there are wine bars and even a beer brewery. Handicrafts, crafts in general, play a major role in the German-dominated settlements. Museums and historical buildings bring the history of these villages closer to the visitor. Iowa also became a new home for many Dutch people who had emigrated. The town of Pella in Iowa, for example, has a strong Dutch influence. Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, was founded by the French. As a special feature, the state capitol of the capital has a gold-plated dome.

Attractions Iowa

Two well-known panoramic roads lead through Iowa. The Great River Road on the Mississippi River has plenty of points of interest along the way, as does the Loess Hills Scenic Byway on the Missouri River. Away from the large, agriculturally used areas in Iowa – USA – the remains of natural landscapes worth seeing and protecting have been able to be preserved. The small cities in Iowa offer a little variety in terms of culture and leisure activities.

Rotary Riverwalk Park – footbridge over Des Moines River and artwork

Highlights of Iowa

The famous western actor John Wayne was born in Winterset in Madison County in Iowa. John Wayne’s birthplace can be visited. Madison County is known for its iconic covered bridges. Visitors to Maquoketa Caves State Park can learn more about Iowa’s past as the home of the “Native Americans”. Aside from hiking trails, there are caves in Maquoketa Caves State Park where valuable ancient Native American artifacts have been found. Iowa City has a number of historic buildings and museums worth seeing. On the University of Iowa City campusare five historic buildings, including the former Iowa State Capitol. The five buildings on campus are referred to as the Pentacrest. The National Balloon Classics take place regularly in Indianola every year in July / August. Balloonists from all over North America meet in Indianola for ballooning. A spectacle well worth seeing for visitors. The world-renowned manufacturer of tractors and other agricultural machinery ” John Deere ” has larger production facilities in Waterloo and Davenport. Tours of the John Deere factory floor are available in the city of Waterloo.

Sights in Iowa

  • Amana Colonies
  • Blank Park Zoo – Des Moines
  • Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
  • Chestnut Mountain Resort
  • Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
  • Credit Island
  • Des Moines Art Center
  • Devonian Fossil Gorge
  • Englert Theatre
  • Field of Dreams Movie Site
  • Figge Art Museum
  • Grotto of the Redemption
  • Grout Museum at Waterloo
  • High Trestle Trail
  • Horseshoe Council Bluffs
  • Hoyt Sherman Place
  • Iowa Events Center
  • Iowa Great Lakes
  • Iowa Old Capitol Building
  • Iowa State Capitol
  • Iowa State Fair
  • Ledges State Park
  • Living History Farms
  • Lost Island Water Park
  • Maquoketa Caves State Park
  • Mines of Spain – Dubuque
  • National Farm Toy Museum
  • Pikes Peak State Park
  • Prairie Meadows
  • Principal Park in Des Moines
  • Putnam Museum
  • Reiman Gardens
  • Sioux City Art Center
  • Snake Alley
  • Terrace Hill
  • Van der Veer Botanical Park
  • Wells Fargo Arena
  • West Okoboji Lake
  • Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
  • Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
  • Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
  • Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum
  • nat. Czech & Slovak Museum – Cedar Rapids
  • nat. Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
  • RailsWest Railroad Museum – Council Bluffs
  • Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area
  • Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum

Cities in Iowa – USA

  • Des Moines
  • Cedar Rapids
  • Davenport
  • Sioux City
  • Waterloo
  • Iowa City
  • Council Bluffs

See Countryaah for more cities in the state of Iowa.

Lakes in Iowa

  • clear lake
  • Spirit Lake
  • West Okoboji
  • East Okoboji

National Monuments

  • Effigy Mounds National Monument

Iowa Map

Map of Iowa in the American Midwest. The map shows the neighboring countries, the largest cities in the country, the rivers, lakes, as well as the courses of the highways and the most important roads. It can be seen that the agricultural area is very rich in water. The country is bounded on the east by the huge Mississippi River. The area of ​​Iowa is 145,743 km². About 3.2 million people currently live in Iowa, located in the fertile Midwest.

Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa

Native American burial sites

Effigy Mounds National Monument is located in northeastern Iowa, United States, on the Wisconsin border. Located in the fertile Mississippi Valley, Effigy Mounds National Monument protects a vast burial ground and cult buildings of Native American cultures. Effigy Mounds National Monument was designated in 1949. About 80,000 tourists visit the Effigy Mounds in Iowa every year. The size of the protected area is 10.2 km².

A Proud Warrior – Last Horse – Sioux

Historically significant burial ground – Effigy Mounds

The cemeteries originally extended to southern Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa. The Effigy Mounds National Monuments today only protects the best, mostly somewhat younger and well-preserved burial mounds of past Indian cultures ( Effigy Mounds culture ). It is unfortunate that only the graves in the Mississippi Valley have been so well preserved. Before the arrival of the “whites” there were other such burial and cult sites in the region. This was ruthlessly destroyed by agricultural and forestry measures.

Woodland Americans

About 3,000 years ago, during the so-called ” Woodland Period “, this region of the USA was home to the ” Native Americans “. The National Monument is located in the extended Great Lakes catchment area, a region that was settled by humans soon after the end of the last Ice Age.

Burial Mounds – Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa

Indian cemeteries and places of worship

Most of the extant mounds are quite small, as the dead were buried in a seated position with numerous burial objects. The built mounds of Effigy Mounds National Monument, on the other hand, were not built solely as burial sites; they are about 800 to 1,300 years old, i.e. somewhat more recent. Contours of animals are also often depicted, symbolized with the help of hills in the landscape. The agency responsible for protection has traced the outlines of the figured mounds with white chalk paint to make it easier to see the figure of the mounds depicted.