Latest travel news across Iowa - April 2023

April 13, 2023

Tulip Time, Pella
Tulip Time, Pella
From premier hiking destinations, to vibrant arts and culturefamily fun and so much more, Iowa has the perfect spring and summer destinations for every type of adventurer. For more travel inspiration, order a copy of the free Spring and Summer Travel Guide
Memorable Road Trips
Lincoln Highway
There is no better way to enjoy the summer season than to pack up the car and hit the open road. Travelers can celebrate the 110th anniversary of the first transcontinental road by embarking on the Lincoln Highway, which takes visitors to charming small towns and through stunning rural landscapes. Discover 16 stops along Iowa's portion.
Family-friendly Excursions
Lost Island Theme Park, Waterloo
Lost Island Adventure Park (Waterloo) is the perfect destination to add to your summertime itinerary. The first full season of the theme park will include a new hydraulic launch roller coaster, the fourth of its kind in the country. Iowa’s largest outdoor waterpark features 14 major slides, a lazy river and wave pool, Monaleo Speedway, adventure golf and more! The theme park opens May 20, the waterpark opens June 2. 

Adventureland Park (Altoona) opens May 6 with two brand new rides. The Flying Viking spans 1,200 feet and offers just the right amount of excitement for adults and children alike. Draken Falls is a log flume, voyaging riders through a river and plunging them down two waterfalls. 

In celebration of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium’s (Dubuque) 20th anniversary, a new exhibit debuted this spring, highlighting 100 new animal species and the global connections between the rivers of America and the one big ocean. This summer, the museum welcomes “POPnology,” a fantastic blend of science fiction and science fact from pop culture — featuring icons like R2D2, the DeLorean and more.
Arts and Culture
Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake
Clear Lake’s iconic Surf Ballroom & Museum will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year on July 1. The Rock 'n' Roll and National Historic Landmark is where Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens played their last show.

Vesterheim Commons will open this summer in downtown Decorah, offering a beautifully integrated campus for the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum and a connection to folk art traditions.

Those looking to experience authentic Dutch culture will discover it at Pella’s Tulip Time festival. The 88th annual event is May 4-6 and will feature delicious Dutch foods, performances, museum tours and hundreds of thousands of blooming tulips.
Mark your Calendar
Charles City Whitewater Challenge, Charles City
Maifest, Amana Colonies (May 6)
Orange City Tulip Festival, Orange City (May 18-20)
Ice Cream Days, Le Mars (June 14-17)
Charles City Whitewater Challenge, Charles City (June 23-25)
Lily Fest 3.0, Glenwood (July 15)
Hy-Vee Indy Car Race Weekend, Newton (July 21-23)
RAGBRAI, statewide (July 22-29)
Nordic Fest, Decorah (July 27-29)
National Balloon Classic, Indianola (July 28-August 5)
Great River Tugfest, Le Claire (August 10-12)
Iowa State Fair, Des Moines (August 10-20)
Onabike XXXI, Onawa (August 26)
The Newsstand
Dunning's Spring, Decorah
The Washington Post: 7 travel mistakes to avoid in 2023 (November 2022)
Travel Awaits: 12 Fabulous U.S. Cities That Feel Like You’ve Gone to Europe (January 2023)
Travel + Leisure: The best waterfall in every U.S. state (February 2023)
Trip Advisor: 7 reasons to plan a trip to Iowa in 2023 (February 2023)
Midwest Living: Nine adventures you can only have in Iowa (March 2023)