Whether the purpose of your Iowa vacation is to go hiking, enjoy the lakes, or do some business, you'll find worthwhile things to do and see at any time of year. As the state lies in the humid continental zone of North America, there are four distinct Iowa seasons as experienced in most northern and Midwest American states. There are generally wet springs, hot summers, brisk autumns, and cold winters. In spite of cold winters, travel to Iowa can be rewarding even at this time of year.
Special events and festivals are
held at many tourist attractions
in Iowa during the year, and many attractions are year-round Iowa
vacation destinations. Winterfest,
held in January throughout the seven historic villages that comprise the Amana
Colonies is one of the most popular festivals. It showcases the heritage
of the region with arts and handcraft demonstrations and outdoor cold weather
sports competitions. Even the respected Amana wineries
get in the act, serving hot spiced wine on an organized Wine Walk. Wherever
your trip to Iowa takes you during the winter, you are bound to find other similar
cold weather festivals. The crystal blue waters of Lake Okoboji may be a summer
playground, but this Great Lakes region also celebrates the coldest of Iowa
seasons with ice fishing tournaments,
cross-country skiing, and miles of snowmobiling trails.
Tourist attractions in Iowa include the state's scenic byways, revealing dramatic Mississippi River bluffs, acres of restored tall grass prairies, and beautiful farmland and rolling hills. Particularly attractive in the autumn—the most colorful of Iowa seasons—are the historic Bridges of Madison County in Winterset. The state's wildlife refuges are open and accessible throughout the year, highlighting different aspects in nature's ever-changing calendar. A trip to Iowa on the lands carefully overseen and managed by the state's Department of Natural Resources and the Federal Wildlife Service is rewarding throughout the year.
Indoor water parks are especially enticing when you travel to Iowa during the colder months. You'll find some of these at the Lake Okoboji and Amana Colonies resorts. One of the largest in the state is at the Grand Harbor Resort in Dubuque, ranging over 25,000 square feet. Another 20,000 square feet of indoor aquatic fun can be found at King's Pointe on Storm Lake in the western part of the state. If your trip to Iowa is in warmer weather, you'll find plenty of additional outdoor water parks.
Needless to say, warmer seasons are the best time to travel to Iowa if you want to enjoy the water on the many lakes. This is the ideal time for camping and swimming. This is also the best time to enjoy golfing on the state's nearly 500 courses and golf clubs.
If a cheap Iowa vacation is your goal, you should consider visiting during the the off season winter and the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn. Many of the resorts and luxury hotels will have cheaper rates at these times of years, and even the casinos and other tourist attractions in Iowa will offer lower prices. Many Iowa vacation packages are marketed at rock bottom prices, and admission tickets to places like Adventureland Park will be lowered.