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  1. #1
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    Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Can't afford a big getaway this year so thinking about doing a couple smaller, more local vacations. We are outdoors types. I Like Hiking, Biking, Fishing, Camping, Kayaking, Nature. Wife likes artsy stuff, Music, Art, Checking out Downtown Shops, Coffee Houses, Good or Interesting Restaurants.

    Any suggestions? What do you consider some "Hidden Gems" of Iowa.



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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations



    Somehow I "wound" up in Traer one time... sickkkkkkkkk spiral staircase that leads to a wall on Main St.

    bet that "winding stairs festival" is a good time tho




    Self proclaimed 2012 CF Newcomer of the Year

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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Hardly a "hidden" jem, but Okoboji would probably be Iowa's biggest summer vacation destination. Plenty of outdoor activities to do there also.



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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    We went kayaking on the Nishnabotna River last summer. We put in north of Avoca and ended in Hancock at Botna Bend park. Botna Bend is a pretty nice camp site and has buffalo and elk penned up.

    The first half of the kayak trip there were occasional sand bars where people often find mamoth remains and on occasion an arrowhead.



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    Re:Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    The grotto, dude, the grotto.



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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Never been up there myself, but NE Iowa/Allamakee County is pretty cool if you're into natural scenery. I'm sure you could find a nice campground up there to spend a couple days at.


    edit: NE Iowa, not NW. There ain't **** up in NW Iowa.


    Last edited by dtclones; 04-13-2012 at 09:26 AM.

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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Olin- Oldest town in Jones County (just southeast of Anamosa). Is your scene is meth labs and mosquitos this could be the spot for you. Highlights include 6 ft tall wooden gorilla on main street.

    Events calendar: On Halloween the local kids steal hundreds of pumpkins and smash them on bridge until there is a 2 inch slick ofgoo on the road. The rest of the townfolk that are not under house arrest bring beer and lawnchairs to watch the festivities. I guess its cheaper than a fireworks display.

    Stay progressive my friends.



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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Yellow River.
    Maquaota Caves.

    great places for outdoor activities.
    -keep


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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Ledges - great for hiking.

    Waterloo - water park/casino.


    @RandomGeoFacts

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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Though not Iowa, Savannah and Galena, IL just on the Mississippi river is a real interesting area. There is an old river plantation that makes a nice tour in that area.

    Northeast Iowa near Wisconsin is pretty interesting. There are a couple older towns in that area that are really quaint.

    Actually, starting in Clinton and going up the Mississippi River drive on both sides of the state line is worth a few days exploring. Lots of trails, parks, etc. in that region.



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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Agree with those suggesting northeast Iowa. There are lots of things for those who like the outdoors. Dubuque is pretty close to everything of interest up there and makes a decent home-base to go out and do stuff. Plus you'll find the most lodging options of anyplace if you don't find camping facilities that you're happy with.


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  12. #12
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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Quote Originally Posted by dtclones View Post
    Never been up there myself, but NE Iowa/Allamakee County is pretty cool if you're into natural scenery. I'm sure you could find a nice campground up there to spend a couple days at.


    edit: NE Iowa, not NW. There ain't **** up in NW Iowa.
    Quote Originally Posted by twistedredbird View Post
    Though not Iowa, Savannah and Galena, IL just on the Mississippi river is a real interesting area. There is an old river plantation that makes a nice tour in that area.

    Northeast Iowa near Wisconsin is pretty interesting. There are a couple older towns in that area that are really quaint.

    Actually, starting in Clinton and going up the Mississippi River drive on both sides of the state line is worth a few days exploring. Lots of trails, parks, etc. in that region.
    You know, a river road weekend/week would be a good one, I think more naturally north to south. If you're into wine, you could combine it with the wine trail over there:

    Iowa Wine Trail -

    Other thoughts: Cabela's in Prairie du Chein, WI, try and find Waupeton, Iowa, Breitbach's restaurant in Balltown, IA (it's just a hair away from Dickeyville, WI), Mississippi River museum in Dubuque, Kalmes' store and restaurant in St. Donatus, Iowa, "Tug fest" in Le Claire, IA/Port Byron, IL (they have a tug of war across the Mississippi River) Le Claire is also home of the American Pickers. There's more, I'm sure, just what I thought of off the top of my head.



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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Quote Originally Posted by 00clone View Post
    You know, a river road weekend/week would be a good one, I think more naturally north to south. If you're into wine, you could combine it with the wine trail over there:

    Iowa Wine Trail -

    Other thoughts: Cabela's in Prairie du Chein, WI, try and find Waupeton, Iowa, Breitbach's restaurant in Balltown, IA (it's just a hair away from Dickeyville, WI), Mississippi River museum in Dubuque, Kalmes' store and restaurant in St. Donatus, Iowa, "Tug fest" in Le Claire, IA/Port Byron, IL (they have a tug of war across the Mississippi River) Le Claire is also home of the American Pickers. There's more, I'm sure, just what I thought of off the top of my head.
    (Snicker)...you said tug fest.


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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Lake Rathbun around Centerville, and Albia.



  15. #15
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    Re: Iowa's Hidden Gems - Iowa Vacations

    Quote Originally Posted by keepngoal View Post
    Yellow River.
    Maquoketa Caves.

    great places for outdoor activities.
    -keep
    FIFY. When I was in boy scouts we camped here a couple of times and had a blast exploring the caves.

    I would also agree that there are plenty of shops and small things to do in Dubuque. I would also add the Amana Colonies have quite a few shops around too but you are getting pretty close to Hawkville.



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