Iowa Road Trips to Take with One Tank of Gas
Many parents are concerned the high price of gas on the pump will prevent them from taking family road trips during upcoming holiday weekends and in the summer. Don’t let the cost of gas hamper your activities. There are many trips your family can take within the state of Iowa on just one tank of gas, depending on which part of the state you live.
Here are some places worth visiting in different parts of the state:
The Amana Colonies, located in east-central Iowa, is composed of seven villages on 26,000 acres. Founded by German immigrants in 1855, the Amana Colonies have been named a National Historic Landmark. Tour different sites to get a glimpse of the Amish religion and their way of communal living.
Madison County, located southwest of Des Moines, is known as the Covered Bridge Capital of Iowa. Five of six bridges built between 1870-1880 are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The area became famous after the movie “The Bridges of Madison County,” a moving love story starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. You can take a tour of the bridges that includes information on their history and construction and sites of the movie production. In nearby Winterset you can visit John Wayne’s birthplace, other historical attractions, museums, parks, and wineries.
In northwestern Iowa, you can tour the Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend. Often referred to as the “eighth Wonder of the World,” the grotto was built in 1912 by Father Paul Matthias Dobberstein, a German-American priest and architect. It is the largest manmade grotto in the world with one of the largest collections of semiprecious stones and gems. Thousands of visitors from all over the country and the world visit the Grotto each year.
Old Fort Madison, located in southeastern corner of Iowa, is the first U.S. military fort in the upper Mississippi region. A replica of the original fort stands along the river in Riverview Park. This was also the site of Chief Black Hawk's first battle against U.S. troops, the only real War of 1812 battle fought west of the Mississippi. The state's maximum-security prison for men is also located here. The Downtown Historic District is a collection of well-preserved historic storefronts from the late 19th Century.
As always, before taking any road trip, make sure your gas tank is full and that your car is serviced and well-maintained. For more sites to visit, see suggestions in this Des Moines Register article.
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