Iowa, first explored by Europeans in the late 1600s, has a rich and storied history as the 29th state. That history continues to thrive throughout the “Hawkeye State,” from its many national landmarks to its museums and rare sites. Its history makes it a great place to visit, no matter your interests. If you’re visiting Iowa, here are several historic detours you won’t want to miss.
Explore the “Eighth Wonder of the World”
Hailed as a “miracle” by The Iowan magazine, your historic journey through Iowa won’t be complete until you’ve visited the Grotto of the Redemption. Located in West Bend, Iowa, the Grotto of the Redemption is one of the biggest man-made grottos in the country, a collection of nine distinct grottos. Crafted by a seminarian named Paul Matthias Dobberstein, each of the nine grottos showcases a scene from Jesus Christ’s life. In addition to its religious significance — the Grotto hosts masses as well as confession — the Grotto of the Redemption also is home to an immense collection of gems and precious stones.
Engage with 300 Years of History
Iowa’s Living History Farms are another must-see location during your visit to Iowa. This educational site, in Urbandale, Iowa, offers you the chance to engage with Iowa’s rich 300-year history through a variety of interactive activities and experiences. In addition to serving school-aged children, Living History Farms also offers classes and historic dinners for families of all sizes. For fans of museums, this dynamic, outdoor museum allows you to learn about rural life in the Midwest through myriad sensory experiences such as home tours, delicious meals, and a behind-the-scenes look at the Living History Farms’ special collections.
Before going on your excursion back in time, make sure your phone and cameras are in top shape. Make sure you can use your phone to record videos as well as to take photos of attractions. You will want to remember Iowa’s Living History Farms, send pictures to family, and upload your videos to social media. You’ll find plenty of AT&T stores in Iowa where you can make updates to your phone or purchase a new one that has more options. If you want more certainty, you can purchase accessories such as chargers and cases to make sure your phone is always ready to go and is well-protected.
Discover the History of President Hoover
Did you know that Iowa has a presidential library? Built in 1962 in West Branch, Iowa, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum contains a host of historic exhibits commemorating the 31st president of the United States. From a biographical film about President Hoover to his and his wife’s graves, there is plenty to learn and see at the Hoover Presidential Library. In addition to featuring information and exhibits about President Hoover, the museum also showcases a variety of temporary exhibits, such as a decorated tree exhibit entitled Holiday Traditions, which uses Christmas trees to help you learn about various Christmas traditions. The Presidential Library even features some other exciting pieces in its collections, such as five boxes of “Little House” papers, works and writing by Rose Wilder Lane and Laura Ingalls Wilder, known for the Little House on the Prairie book series.
With so much history to offer, you’re bound to learn a lot on your travels through Iowa. With beautiful sites of man-made wonder, like the Grotto of the Redemption, and ways to engage with our country’s history at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Living History Farms, Iowa offers something different to do with your travels. Iowa has many exciting places for you to visit on your historic journey.