Once a wilderness of grassy plains, the state of Iowa emerged from a separte U.S. territory with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and became rightly famous as the Corn State when it was admitted to the Union a half-century later.
As a tourist destination, Iowa is perhaps more famous as the location for the Hollywood film Field of Dreams set in (where else?) an Iowa corn field.
Today, agriculture still plays an important big part in the economy with the annual summer Iowa State Fair -- one of the country's biggest and most popular -- located in the state capitol, Des Moines (population: 206,000).
In May, bacon makes everything better at
annual Baconfest in Des Moines featuring a bacon eating contest, the Bacon Queen Pageant, and lots of
weird and wonderul bacon creations.
2024 Iowa events and festivals
Just up ahead, check out our 2024 Iowa travel calender featuring memorable events and major festivals happening throughout the state with dates, locations and official links for more information. Happy travels!
May 10 - May 11, 2024 -- Baconfest Des Moines - Need we say more? Everything goes better with Baconfest including live music concerts and bacon competitions.
June 28 - June 30, 2024 -- Des Moines Arts Festival, Des Moines - Besides the juried art exhibit, there are live music conerts, a kids' art gallery, a film festival, and two food courts.
August 8 - August 18, 2024 -- Iowa State Fair Des Moines - One of the country's most popular state fairs includes a top name concert lineup, over-the-top Fair food, games, rides, competitions and lots more.
August 21, 2024-- Taste of Iowa City Iowa City - Head downtown for samplings from Iowa City's top restaurants plus live music entertainment.
October 12 - October 13, 2024 -- Madison County Covered Bridge Festival, Winterset, IA - Check out living history craft demonstrations, more than 140 food and arts & craft vendors, live music and entertainment, family-friendly activities, an antique car show, and the big parade.
Iowa's biggest city, Des Moines also boasts kid-friendly attractions like the Blank Park Zoo and the hands-on Science Center of Iowa for interactive fun for kids of all ages.
Elsewhere around the state, Iowa's "Second City", Cedar Rapids, is most famous for its collection of home-grown Americana at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art housing important works by artist and native son, Grant Wood.
In the state's northeast corner, Dubuque attracts visitors near and far during the winter months to a top Iowa ski resort, Sundown Mountain, located right within the city limits.