Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

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jaj2276
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Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by jaj2276 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:16 pm

We pull a state name out of a hat each year and this year Iowa was pulled. We're going the week after July 4th. Does anyone have any ideas on things to do/places to visit? We've filled out our itinerary so far, planning on spending a night in Burlington, two nights in Dubuque, two nights in Des Moines, and two nights in Omaha.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by nhdean » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:28 pm

Field of dreams :D

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by Soaker » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:34 pm

If you like baseball, three of those have a minor league team. That's a fun evening for me when I'm in an unfamiliar town in the summer.

Iowa Cubs, in Des Moines (Chicago Cubs AAA affiliate)
Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City Royals AAA affiliate)
Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels Class A affiliate)

When traveling through last year, I also enjoyed the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, right off I-80 east of Iowa City.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by Random Poster » Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:40 pm

See the State Capitol and State history museum in Des Moines.

Walk over the Missouri River on the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge between Omaha and Iowa.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by seersucker » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:04 pm

Check out Okoboji.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by TylerS7 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:05 pm

You just missed the college World Series in Omaha. You can see if there are any concerts at centurylink center, or shows at the Orpheum theater. If staying downtown check out the old market for dining and shopping. Omaha has great restaurants, look for places in Old Market, Dundee, Blackstone, and Midtown crossing. The Henry Doorly zoo is world class and probably a must see. Just outside of town is the Strategic Air Command museum which is really neat. What kinds of things do you enjoy doing?

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by livesoft » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:23 pm

Maybe you can tour the headquarters of the Strategic Air Command south of Omaha and play with the red phone? I've done that at least twice. Watch "Dr. Strangelove" before you go.
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by Flobes » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:36 pm

Harper's Ferry IA (@ 1.5 hrs north of Dubuque):

1) Effigy Mounds National Monument
From the website: "Sacred Space. The mounds preserved here are considered sacred by many Americans, especially the Monument's 20 culturally associated American Indian tribes. A visit offers opportunities to contemplate the meanings of the mounds and the people who built them. The 200 plus American Indian mounds are located in one of the most picturesque sections of the Upper Mississippi River Valley."
https://www.nps.gov/efmo/index.htm

2) Mississippi River Boat Tour: a few pleasant hours of tales, history, scenery and wildlife
http://maidenvoyagetours.com

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by triceratop » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:38 pm

Ask Mark Zuckerberg? Or alternatively, Mark Zuckerberg, is that you?

I spent some time in Omaha and Lincoln. The zoo is a good destination; one of the very best in the country. I enjoy the state fair but that's later in the summer. Definitely check out The Old Market in Omaha. (Lincoln is pretty boring, honestly; it's a nice college town but that is not of much interest to you. The tea shops are nice, I enjoyed them; anyway good choice not to go to Lincoln)

I'll second the recommendation to visit SAC; but then I'm a huge HILTSWALTB fan too...
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by pindevil » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:38 pm

Okaboji is excellent this time of year.

Check this out first:
http://blog.traveliowa.com

If your dates are flexible:
http://ragbrai.com
https://www.iowastatefair.org/

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by nisiprius » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:23 pm

We plan to be in Nebraska August 21st with the hope of seeing the total eclipse of the sun. I won't say you should delay your trip six weeks, though.
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by triceratop » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:34 pm

nisiprius wrote:We plan to be in Nebraska August 21st with the hope of seeing the total eclipse of the sun. I won't say you should delay your trip six weeks, though.
Be sure to check out Brad Paisley on the 25th! He's at the state fair this year. Yee haw!
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by Watty » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:04 pm

I have not been there for decades but the Amana colonies in Iowa would be worth considering.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... _Iowa.html

I never made it there but the Sand Hills are a very unusual large geographic feature, especially from the air, that you might want to read up on if you will be near them.

https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagega ... e_465.html

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by gkaplan » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:12 pm

This brings back memories. I was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in the early 1960s. Council Bluffs is right across the border in Iowa. I spent time there occasionally, I guess because I knew people there. It probably was cheaper to live in Council Bluffs than Omaha, so I imagine many airmen who lived off-base lived in Council Bluffs. We use to go up to Sioux City, South Dakota, because the drinking age was eighteen in South Dakota at the time. I think South Dakota has changed the drinking age to twenty-one.
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by Dwayne » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:30 pm

The Henry Doorly Zoo (http://www.omahazoo.com/) is (depending on who you ask) the best or second best zoo in the country. It's worth a visit if you like a that sort of thing. It's just off interstate 80 on the east side of Omaha. I visit the zoo a few times each year and enjoy the ongoing improvements they are making. You might enjoy a news report from three years ago about a young girl's experience in the gorilla habitat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UxoDRHmXfs.

About 30 miles to the west (half way to Lincoln) is the Strategic Air Command museum (https://sacmuseum.org/). They have an excellent indoor aircraft exhibit. They have an SR-71 Blackbird hanging in the atrium as you walk in. It's almost, but not quite, close enough to reach out and touch it.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:10 pm

Clear Lake, IA - 100 miles north of Des Moines: Buddy Holly crash site + Surf Ballroom with great displays. It's not a bad town in itself apart from the snow storms. Nearby Mason City has a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed hotel. Des Moines has a solid art museum.

Nebraska - I believe Warren Buffett's home is a minor tourist attraction, and you could also retrace the steps of Charlie Starkweather.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by Nate79 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:35 pm

Lincoln is a pretty nice town to visit. UNL is a pretty nice campus to walk also. Otherwise I think the other posters gave good suggestions for Nebraska. If it was later in the year I would say Husker football game.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by galectin » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:39 pm

For Omaha, in addition to the zoo and the SAC museum as mentioned by others, the Durham Museum is good if you are a train buff.

Also the Lauritzen gardens, near the zoo. The gardens have a model train exhibit that is a hit with kids.

Right before the gardens there are two train locomotives in a display up ~50 steps to the South. One is a "Big Boy", the most powerful steam locomotive made. No entry fee for this.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by Jacotus » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:37 am

nisiprius wrote:We plan to be in Nebraska August 21st with the hope of seeing the total eclipse of the sun. I won't say you should delay your trip six weeks, though.
This is my plan as well. I am traveling to Colorado for work that week, and luckily that brings me a lot closer to the eclipse than where I live. A quick detour to Nebraska for the eclipse will be well worth it.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by 22twain » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:13 am

If you're into classical music at all, you might arrange your route to pass through Spillville, Iowa. Antonin Dvorak spent the summer here to take a break from his duties at the conservatory in New York during his visit to the US, and composed some of his more famous works here. There's a small museum with exhibits about his stay, and you can visit the church where he played the organ.

Iowa is dotted with small towns of specific European-ethnic heritage: Czechs in Spillville, Norwegians in Decorah, Dutch in Pella, etc.
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by CoinCounter » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:30 am

The last time I was in Omaha I enjoyed the scenic countryside across the river on the Iowa side:

http://www.visitloesshills.org/

Definitely worth your time if you enjoy pastoral settings.
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:48 am

En route from Burlington to Dubuque you could stop in at the Herbert Hoover Library in West Branch. It's just a 20-minute detour, same mileage.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by 2comma » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:29 am

I love this approach.

Have done many impromptu vacations, even parts of our honeymoon and they were the best. When I was younger worked a summer in Yellowstone NP, decide to do some potato harvesting in Idaho and literally drove to a T intersection once and had to decide to go left (West to adventure) or right (East and home). No idea what would have happened if we had turned the other way. We called it "brave new world" and it was.
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by Cigarman » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:52 am

Perhaps ask Warren Buffet to lunch?

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by jaj2276 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:23 am

nisiprius wrote:We plan to be in Nebraska August 21st with the hope of seeing the total eclipse of the sun. I won't say you should delay your trip six weeks, though.
We'll be in Charleston, SC for that ;)

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by jaj2276 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:24 am

nhdean wrote:Field of dreams :D
On the itinerary, thanks. I hope it's not crowded though so I get to spend some time imagining some favorite ball players out on the field. Heck, I'd like to run the bases, not sure if that's allowed. In my mind the thing is going to look just like I remember it in the movies and it probably will disappoint, but here's hoping.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by jaj2276 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:27 am

Soaker wrote:If you like baseball, three of those have a minor league team. That's a fun evening for me when I'm in an unfamiliar town in the summer.

Iowa Cubs, in Des Moines (Chicago Cubs AAA affiliate)
Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City Royals AAA affiliate)
Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels Class A affiliate)

When traveling through last year, I also enjoyed the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, right off I-80 east of Iowa City.
Thanks, we love minor league baseball (we have a team in Charleston, SC that we go to often). Hopefully we can catch a game (or three) while we're there.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by jaj2276 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:28 am

seersucker wrote:Check out Okoboji.
You had me at Boji Brewhaha.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by jaj2276 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:30 am

TylerS7 wrote:You just missed the college World Series in Omaha. You can see if there are any concerts at centurylink center, or shows at the Orpheum theater. If staying downtown check out the old market for dining and shopping. Omaha has great restaurants, look for places in Old Market, Dundee, Blackstone, and Midtown crossing. The Henry Doorly zoo is world class and probably a must see. Just outside of town is the Strategic Air Command museum which is really neat. What kinds of things do you enjoy doing?
I know, and my team is still in it! I wanted to do our trip now but the wife had other plans for June. Strategic Air Command! That sounds awesome!

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by jaj2276 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:34 am

Flobes wrote:Harper's Ferry IA (@ 1.5 hrs north of Dubuque):

1) Effigy Mounds National Monument
From the website: "Sacred Space. The mounds preserved here are considered sacred by many Americans, especially the Monument's 20 culturally associated American Indian tribes. A visit offers opportunities to contemplate the meanings of the mounds and the people who built them. The 200 plus American Indian mounds are located in one of the most picturesque sections of the Upper Mississippi River Valley."
https://www.nps.gov/efmo/index.htm

2) Mississippi River Boat Tour: a few pleasant hours of tales, history, scenery and wildlife
http://maidenvoyagetours.com
Effigy is on the list. I got their America the Beautiful quarter a few months ago and saw it and knew that I should see it. I'll see if we can fit the boat tour in, seems like a good way to get a bit of history.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by jaj2276 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:35 am

Watty wrote:I have not been there for decades but the Amana colonies in Iowa would be worth considering.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... _Iowa.html

I never made it there but the Sand Hills are a very unusual large geographic feature, especially from the air, that you might want to read up on if you will be near them.

https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagega ... e_465.html
The wife has the Amana colonies on the list. I'll read up on Sand Hills, might make it on the list if we can at least drive through the area from point to point.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by jaj2276 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:40 am

triceratop wrote:Ask Mark Zuckerberg? Or alternatively, Mark Zuckerberg, is that you?

I spent some time in Omaha and Lincoln. The zoo is a good destination; one of the very best in the country. I enjoy the state fair but that's later in the summer. Definitely check out The Old Market in Omaha. (Lincoln is pretty boring, honestly; it's a nice college town but that is not of much interest to you. The tea shops are nice, I enjoyed them; anyway good choice not to go to Lincoln)

I'll second the recommendation to visit SAC; but then I'm a huge HILTSWALTB fan too...
Let me ask about the zoo. As a kid, I enjoyed the zoo. As I've become older however, I've grown to think of the zoo as basically a prison for the animals. I know it's not entirely rational to think of it like that, but I've found that the zoos I've liked have been the ones where they have less variety of animals but for the animals they do have, the enclosures/exhibits are more native-like (to the animals). So is this zoo more like my description or more like "it has a lot of animals so you can see polar bears next to lions?"

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by racy » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:44 am

As you drive through Nebraska notice the amount of center pivot system irrigation going on around you. I've been through many states and it seems Nebraska is petty unique in this regard. The Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world's largest lies beneath. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogallala_Aquifer

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by jaj2276 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:47 am

Thanks to everyone who has chimed in! Now I'm worried we won't have enough time to do all the things we'll want to do!

My wife and I have been to (or have spent time in due to living there) 30 of the 50 states. Every single one of them has been enjoyable and has been a place where I could see myself living. My wife has a few climate restrictions so many of the states would be off limits for her, but I have no such restrictions.

Man this country is beautiful, I wished politics wasn't so important to so many people.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by BHUser27 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:01 am

If you are going to be in the Lake Okoboji area be sure to check out 'The Three Sons' clothing store in Milford Iowa. Huge close-out sales on name brand sports clothes & shoes (Patagonia, Royal Robin, Kuhl, etc)

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by F150HD » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:30 am


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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by galectin » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:38 am

jaj2276 wrote:
Let me ask about the zoo. As a kid, I enjoyed the zoo. As I've become older however, I've grown to think of the zoo as basically a prison for the animals. I know it's not entirely rational to think of it like that, but I've found that the zoos I've liked have been the ones where they have less variety of animals but for the animals they do have, the enclosures/exhibits are more native-like (to the animals). So is this zoo more like my description or more like "it has a lot of animals so you can see polar bears next to lions?"
The Omaha zoo is pretty good about this. They just built an expanded outdoor setting for African animals. There is a walk-in aviary and butterfly exhibit. The non-human primate section is relatively new and has a lot of space for the animals to go around in. They also have a big indoor exhibit for desert animals and one for jungle animals that you walk through. And, there is an aquarium with the walkthrough passage and an interesting jellyfish exhibit at the end. The aquarium has a good penguin colony as well.

And there is a overhead tram and a train that winds through some of the exhibits, both for extra money.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by mikepru » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:59 am

The night to go to the Iowa Cubs game is Friday --- fireworks after the game. Very nice park with a great view of the Capitol. Music in Des Moines--Noce for jazz, and Gaslamp for rock and blues. Both are located near downtown. 801 Grand is a great place to eat , but pricey. Latin King on the east side is a very good Italian restaurant. If you're in DSM on the weekend, there is always an event downtown; also, the farmers market Sat AM is very cool -- food, music, coffee, people, etc etc. There are also lots of cool new places near downtown--Bar Taureau, Hello Marjorie, AC hotel bar. Great bike trails, Waterworks park, Gray's Lake park, Sculpture park.

Clear Lake is lots of fun--always busy on the weekends. Only problem is not really anywhere real good to eat.

If you're looking for something specific, let me know.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by moneywise3 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:05 am

Back in 2000, we had a great time with friends visiting Nebraska. Omaha was awesome with the zoo, aquarium et al. Those were the days without internet, and exploring places was a different kind of fun. I have great memories, and highly recommend it.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by FrugalInvestor » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:14 am

seersucker wrote:Check out Okoboji.
+1 for Okoboji and Galena (yes, Galena is technically in IL but just 20 minutes from Dubuque). Both are touristy areas with much to do but also with a lot of character, charm and history. Also very different from one another.
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by Random Poster » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:35 am

galectin wrote:For Omaha, in addition to the zoo and the SAC museum as mentioned by others, the Durham Museum is good if you are a train buff.
I forgot about trains.

Council Bluffs, Iowa, is home to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum. Parking isn't free, but if you like UP train history, the museum is worth a stop. Google says most people visit for an hour and half---it took me about 3 hours to get through it and I felt somewhat rushed to get through it all.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by new2bogle » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:46 am

As others mentioned, the Zoo is really nice. One of the best in the nation.

Lincoln is a fast hour drive away. The state capitol there is supposed to be one of the tallest in the nation. In Lincoln, you can also visit Nebraska's third largest city - Memorial Stadium.

SAC is a nice place too.

I would also stop at Nebraska Furniture Mart - we would stop there during our drive throughs of the midwest on our cross country trips when I was a kid. That place was huge.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by gettingsmarter » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:48 am

Ultimately, the answer to this question is how both states retain their tax base. :D

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:55 am

jaj2276 wrote:We pull a state name out of a hat each year and this year Iowa was pulled. We're going the week after July 4th. Does anyone have any ideas on things to do/places to visit? We've filled out our itinerary so far, planning on spending a night in Burlington, two nights in Dubuque, two nights in Des Moines, and two nights in Omaha.
Someone who lives in southeast Iowa here. Recommendations for your itinerary. In Burlington, drive up or down Snake Alley which was once the crookedest road in America according to Ripley. If you have kids, Funcity is a regional destination but I wouldn't say it is better than other waterparks near where ever you are from. Not far across the river and south is Navoo, Illinois where you can learn everything about the Mormons before their trek out to Nevada.

As you are heading north to Dubuque, if you end up in Buffalo, Iowa just south of Muscatine along the river, stop in at Clark's Landing restaurant for great American burgers type cuisine. North of Davenport in LeClaire, you can visit the home of "American Pickers" History channel television show and also see the the Buffalo Bill Museum down by the river.

In Dubuque, ride the Fenelon Place elevator up the river bluffs. Also visit the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. It is a favorite of mine. There are also a couple places along the river that offer boat tours of the Mississippi.

In Des Moines, Living History Farms is a good place to check out. There are also lots of museums. Again if you have younger kids, the Science center is a great place for them to burn off steam and learn a bit. I would skip the zoo for the one in Omaha which is much bigger and better. If you are there during Saturday morning, you must check out the Farmer's Market downtown. It is huge and a lot of fun. If you have toured state capitals before, Des Moines is no different. Instead check out the Governor's mansion at Terrace Hill. There are some really unique places to eat in Des Moines. Zombie Burger is a unique gourmet burger joint offering all kinds of unique burgers/topping combinations you might not normally thing about. Another unique place is Fong's pizza where you can get unique pizzas never seen in other pizza places. One of my favorites there is Crab Rangoon pizza. If you are more adventurous, A'Dong's serves Vietnamese food and their hot pots are really superb. The Flying Mango serves up Caribbean BBQ and Centro serves high end Italian. Splash Raw Oyster bar serves great sushi.

In Omaha, definitely see the zoo here. Excellent. For a unique art scene, check out the Hot Shops Art Center. It is essentially an artist commune where you can walk around and talk to the artists while they are creating and can even buy their stuff. The Durham Train Museum is pretty neat.

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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by CyclingDuo » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:00 am

jaj2276 wrote:We pull a state name out of a hat each year and this year Iowa was pulled. We're going the week after July 4th. Does anyone have any ideas on things to do/places to visit? We've filled out our itinerary so far, planning on spending a night in Burlington, two nights in Dubuque, two nights in Des Moines, and two nights in Omaha.
That week after July 4th, you could catch one of the operas playing at the Des Moines Metro Opera while you are there. They're performing Billy Budd, Turnadot, and A Little Night Music.

http://desmoinesmetroopera.org/

Des Moines Farmers Market, Botanical Gardens, Outdoor Sculpture Park, Zoo, if you are bringing your bikes (or want to rent), there are miles and miles of scenic trails. Visit Court Avenue for a lively food, bar, and social scene. The Des Moines Social Club's calendar of performance, shows, and events will have things going on while you are in Des Moines.

http://desmoinessocialclub.org/

Catch a performance at the Des Moines Civic Center while you are there:

http://www.desmoinesperformingarts.org/

Golf, hiking, a walk by the river or one of the lakes, fine dining, unique dining - plenty to occupy your time while in Des Moines. Do you like BBQ? One of America's most celebrated grand champion BBQ pit masters can serve you up while you are here.

https://www.smokeydsbbq.com/

Des Moines ranks #9 of US News & World Reports 100 Metro areas in the US to live.

http://realestate.usnews.com/places/iowa/des-moines
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by dccboone » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:13 am

A few thoughts. Des Moines is an up and coming city and there is a lot of construction in the downtown area. The Des Moines farmers market is among the largest in the country. It occurs every Saturday morning during the summer in downtown and includes live music, lots of great food and thousands of people just having a good time. While in Des Moines, Living History Farm is a walk back in time that parents and kids would enjoy as is the zoo and the Science Center. If you are traveling in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area, the Amana Colony is interesting.

PoppyA
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by PoppyA » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:34 am

Boys town in Omaha
"La Bella Luna"

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TnGuy
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by TnGuy » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:08 am

In north-east Iowa is the Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum.


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NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:07 pm

The worlds largest train yard is in North Platte, Nebraska, and they give tours. Amazing place.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRev ... raska.html

LawEgr1
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Re: Things to do in Iowa/Nebraska

Post by LawEgr1 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:35 pm

I've lived a total of 26 years in Dubuque and Iowa City. I do not currently live in either city, but do miss Iowa City. I'm probably biased, but I'd recommend staying a night or at least driving through Iowa City to stop at the pedestrian mall and grab a bite to eat. It's absolutely great in the summer with less students. Perhaps take a look at Kinnick stadium :) and go to a brewery in coralville near the Marriott or winery in North Liberty. The winery is very peaceful. Just for fun, this is Hawkeyes country. Near Des Moines you'll be entering cyclone country.

Dubuque recommendations include:

IMO Galena is nice, but you're looking at a good 30 minutes to Galena from dubuque plus having fun trying to find a parking spot. If you have time, sure.

The fourth street elevator is a nice view of the city and fun with kids.

Eagle point park is a very nice park. Overlooks the big Mississippi.

Catfish Charlie's does river cruises. See website for details. Often drinking is the primary focus - FYI

Dubuque is an old river town with lots of revitalization in the past decade in the harbor area. Would recommend the Missippi museum in the harbor. There's a brewery / winery in that area also, just don't recall the winery name. The brewery is STAR.

Main Street is nice but small.

Two days will be plenty of time spent in Dubuque IMO. if you won't change the two days then Galena would be good, or adjust for Iowa City which is not far from Des Moines anyway.

Surprisingly I have only been to Des Moines three times. Nice city, but I have no clue what to recommend. Most folks are surprised by Des Moines / Iowa because individuals not from there tend to think of all the stereotypes.

I've always wanted to visit Lincoln / Omaha. Heard good things.

Shameless plug: Had a great time growing up in Iowa, miss my friends and absolutely miss a beautiful fall evening with fields and prairie. I left because I like a new challenge.

Have a great trip with whatever you choose!!

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