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Best Road Trips in Iowa

Hit the road and see the Mississippi River this summer, have a snowy adventure in Hawkeye Country this winter, and just plain enjoy yourself any time in between.

Why not start with the Great River Road? The glaciers that ironed out much of the Midwestern landscape missed a large chunk of land in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota where the Mississippi River flows today, and what is now known as the Driftless Area offers terrain unlike any you’ll see for hundreds of miles around.

The Lincoln Highway is the first officially designated transcontinental highway in the United States, and runs around 350 miles starting in Clinton along the Mississippi River.

The Dragoon Trail follows the path of the first U.S. Dragoons through central Iowa, stopping in Fort Dodge, Des Moines, Pella, and several other Iowa cities.

The Avenue of the Saints connects St. Louis, Missouri with St. Paul, and features Iowa’s second largest city, one of its major universities, one of its largest festivals, a historic church, and even the crash site of three early rock ‘n' roll icons.

The Northwest Iowa Loop offers the “Ice Cream Capital of the World,” the World’s Largest Cheeto and Grotto, a planetarium, museums, and miles of open road for relaxing, enjoyable biking or driving.

If you're ready for the covered bridges of Madison County, John Wayne’s birthplace, wineries, a museum dedicated to balloons, and the stunning Iowa Capitol, check out the Des Moines Heartland Loop.