From the hubbub of its capital, Des Moines, to the tranquility of the wetlands surrounding the Upper Mississippi River, the so-called Hawkeye State has so many interesting sights and locations to explore. If you’re planning on taking your partner dating in Iowa, here are five of the most recommended spots which will make your time together memorable.
Effigy Mounds National Monument, Harpers Ferry
If you’re looking to start your midwestern excursion at a more sedate pace, the perfect destination is Effigy Mounds National Monument. This tranquil retreat in the northeastern part of the state is far removed from the bustle of many of the other locations. A fantastic place to get away from it all, you and your partner will marvel at the collection of over 200 mounds, originally constructed by Native Americans in prehistoric times, featuring carvings of exotic creatures, including birds and beers. Dating back to the first millennium, these eye-catching structures will present striking photo ops. The nearby visitor center is located in Harpers Ferry, providing many dining opportunities.
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines
This captivating location is perfect for providing a date in North Iowa that will linger in your memory. Starting off as a simple greenhouse by a riverbank, the gardens have evolved into a wonderful oasis, combining walkways through the verdant lawns, past colorful explosions of blooms. In complete contrast, the botanical garden has also been used as an impromptu venue for hardcore punk music, featuring the likes of Scream and Henry Rollins! Iowa is always full of surprises – and the gardens are undergoing further renovations to make them even more of a delightful tourist trap.
Fenelon Place Elevator Co, Dubuque
Located in scenic Dubuque, the Fenelon Place Elevator is advertised as the shortest but steepest railroad anywhere on the planet. It is almost 90 m (296 feet) high and angled at 41°. Provided you aren’t too squeamish about heights, the cable cars will transport you to its uppermost on a hill where you will receive commanding views across the tri-state area (Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.) The only issue you are likely to come across is having to drag yourself away from this observation deck. You can always look forward to enjoying lunch in one of the diners back on terra firma.
Hard Rock Casino, Sioux City
You and your partner can enjoy a couple of hours of non-stop entertainment over at the Hard Rock Casino. Here you can embrace all the fun and thrills of pitting your wits against over 850 slot machines and 28 table games, experiencing the brash atmosphere of Las Vegas casinos right here in the otherwise fairly sedate midwest. This venue is so much more than a casino, as it also hosts the Rock Shop, a world-renowned live entertainment outlet, as well as Anthem, a park where sensational outdoor events are staged. You are also surrounded by American grills and wine bars, so you have ample places to keep refreshed in between the games and music.
Lost Island Waterpark, Waterloo
Finally, if you want your date to finish on a high, head over to Lost Island Waterpark. You can participate in multiple waterslides or dip into splash pools, as well as taking advantage of numerous other adrenaline-fuelled activities, such as racing at speed around go-kart tracks. If you want to take a breather from all the frenetic action, pop over to the mini-golf course and sink a few putts. Don’t overdo the fast food, as you can plan to conclude your date in one of the numerous recommended restaurants nearby.