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30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

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What are the biggest things Iowa is known for? Iowa has a lot going for it and is a fascinating place to visit. In this article I introduce you to 20 different inspirational things Iowa is known for, and I’ve thrown in a few fascinating Iowa facts too! Ready to learn more? Keep reading…

Things Iowa is known for

things Iowa is known for

Whether you want to munch on chilli with cinnamon rolls or stroll across the lake, Iowa State has everything for everyone. Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota border the beautiful Midwestern state of Iowa. Vast farmlands raised hills, and lush fields make Iowa a favourite place among tourists. Things in this underrated state are worth taking advantage of for many reasons…

Below is my list of 30 inspirational things Iowa is known for, whether you’re curious to know or planning your next visit there.

Iowa Food

When considering the different things Iowa is known for, food should definitely be part of the list. In fact, they have such a unique variety of foods here that some may classify it as a food tourism destination! Lets take a look at some of the most interesting dishes found in Iowa…

Taco Pizza

You might have heard about tacos, but you might not know about taco pizzas in Iowa. Taco pizza is one of the most delicious things Iowa is known for. As the name suggests, it consists of ground beef, lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes. You can find it at almost every pizzeria across Iowa.

Chilli with Cinnamon Rolls

30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

During the winters, chilli with cinnamon rolls has been one of the most flavourful things Iowa is known for. From the name, you can guess that it contains chilli besides cinnamon rolls. The combination here is a weird one; however, it tastes super delicious and is a popular winter food in the state.


Scotcheroos might sound like the name of a fancy dish, but for the residents of Iowa and tourists, it is one favourite pastime snack. This dessert is a must-try in the Midwest region, especially in Iowa state, and is made with peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch.

If you visit there, you will find Scotcheroos being served on various occasions and even as treats for the school-going children.

Pork Meat

30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

Iowa State is also known for the US’s surplus amount of pork production. A lot of pork meat from here is exported to various states across the US because of its peculiar flavours. If you ever visit there, you will find farms with numerous pigs.


30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

Besides pork meat, some other delicious things Iowa is known for is corn. It is a significant crop and is produced in a considerable amount in Iowa compared to other US states.

Corn from Iowa state is often exported to various countries outside the US. If you visit this beautiful agricultural state, don’t forget to pay a visit to the corn farms available across the state.

Quaker Oats

30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

If you consume oats daily, then you definitely know about Quaker oats. The oats we have been having for years are produced in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Not many of you might be aware that Cedar Rapids mill is the largest milling facility in the world. And this milling facility is among the exciting things Iowa is known for.

Birth Place of Sliced Bread

30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

The commercial bread-slicing machine was first invented in Iowa, and because of this, the state is known as sliced bread’s birthplace. The machine was soon available across the country and made the bread-baking industry excel.

With time consumer preference for sliced bread quickly spread, and it became the norm for packing bread at bakeries. Slowly and gradually, sliced bread was available all across 50 states.

Red Apple

30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

Many of you might believe that corn and pork are the everyday things Iowa is known for. However, a lesser-known fact about Iowa is that it produces delicious red apples. Moreover, these delectable apples were discovered in Iowa and are cultivated here in a massive amount.

You will find many apple gardens around the state if you visit Iowa. And if you ever come across those red apple trees, click a picture around them.

Iowa Exports

Another one of the major things Iowa is known for is their world-famous exports. What does Iowa export? Lets take a look…


30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

One noteworthy thing Iowa is known for is ethanol fuel production. This one-of-a-kind fuel is produced using corn and other materials from plants. Not only is the corn made here used for eating purposes, but it is also used to produce ethanol. The byproduct known as ethanol can be used in vehicles and trucks as a fuel.

Agriculture Sector

30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

As discussed before, Iowa is mainly known for corn and red apple production. And because of this reason, one of the most amazing things Iowa is known for is its farmlands that stretch across 30 million acres.

Besides corn and red apples, Iowa also produces oats and soybeans in large amounts. With lots and lots of farmlands covering the state, driving across these lush green fields is indeed a sight to get hold of.

Iowa Events

Iowa holds many noteworthy events each year. Lets take a deeper look at what these are…

Iowa State Fair

30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

Iowa State Fair is among the most fun things Iowa is known for and has been running since 1854. Because it has been a long time since the fair was celebrated, the festival is known as the most significant and oldest industrial and agricultural expositions.

If you want to attend the Iowa State Fair, remember it takes place for 11 days in August at the Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. You can enjoy a wide variety of food, music, show, and rides at the Iowa State Fair.

Des Moines Art Festival

Another fantastic thing Iowa is known for is its Des Moines art festival. Like other festivities, it is a yearly event arranged in downtown Des Moines. This is one of the most significant art festivals organised in the Midwest region.

You can enjoy a lot of festivities at the Des Moines art festival. It includes music, rides, food vendors, and other fun activities. This is a perfect place to see artistic pieces and encourage local artists.


If you have a special love for biking, then the RAGBRAI annual bike racing is a must to visit if you are in Iowa. It is considered one of the longest as well as largest bike races all around the world. The event takes place every year in the last week of July.

Even though the race might cover various locations across Iowa, the trail is always kept 400 miles long. One of the most fantastic things Iowa is known for is its hospitality which is seen throughout the whole event of RAGBRAI.

Iowa’s Tradition and Culture

Iowa is also a popular cultural tourism destination, with lots to offer those who want an immersive or experiential tourism experience. Here are some of the most noteworthy things Iowa is known for…

Oak Trees

30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

In 1961, the oak tree was designated Iowa’s official state tree. The oak tree illustrates how Iowans value their family as an integral part of becoming strong individuals.

Because it can thrive in various soil and climatic conditions, the oak tree is a native of Iowa and a popular choice for landscaping. It would be impossible to miss these majestic oak trees standing tall in the woods. So, snap at least a picture if you spot them anywhere near!

Goldfinch State Bird

30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

One of the most beautiful things Iowa is known for is the Goldfinch. Not many of you would be aware of this fact, but the Goldfinch is Iowa’s official state bird. This American Goldfinch was chosen as Iowa’s official bird in 1933.

If you visit Iowa, you can often see Goldfinch in the meadows, identified by their small size and bright feathers. The best time of the year to spot these birdies in the fields is probably during the winter and spring.

Iowa Travel Destinations

Where do people travel to when they visit Iowa? Lets take a look…

Des Moines

30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

Des Moines is one of the most populated cities in Iowa State and is considered its official capital. This city is magical, including its spacious museums and beautiful parks. The town has numerous attractions to keep you busy throughout your stay,

You can try hanging out at the Des Moines art centre, the State Capitol building, and the science Centre of Iowa. If you are not an indoor person, you can also hang out in outdoor parks like Gray’s Lake Park or the Trestle Bridger Trail.

Iowa City

Iowa’s central city is an additional exciting destination you can’t miss out on exploring. The Iowa City Public Library, the oldest public library west of the Mississippi River, is only one of the several historical and cultural landmarks in Iowa City.

The city has numerous art galleries, boasting a thriving arts community. And for those who like being outside, there are many parks and trails to discover, like the Coralville Reservoir and the Iowa River Corridor Trail.

Navigable Lakes and Rivers

With so many lakes and rivers that may be navigated, Iowa is a perfect location for boaters and anglers. Clear Lake, Spirit Lake, and Okoboji Lake are a few of Iowa’s most well-known lakes. The Mississippi and Missouri rivers also border the state. Additionally, there are over 90 state parks in Iowa that welcome tourists and provide a range of fun activities.

The Amana Colonies

If you love exploring sculptures full of cultural heritage, don’t miss out on the Amana Colonies. It constitutes a group of seven villages that are in Iowa county. Because German refugees founded the town, you can sense the German heritage in every architecture.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

Located in the state of Iowa, the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium is enriched with many cultures, history, and science information. Besides information on various exhibits, it also hosts a lot of animal habitats, including aquariums and many others.

Strawberry Point

Want to see the world’s largest strawberry? If yes, then head towards Clayton City, Iowa. The area is known for the largest fiberglass strawberry, which is 15 ft tall. Make sure to try out the strawberry shortcake when you are there.

Pikes Peak State Park

Nearly 1,000 acres of hiking trails with breathtaking vistas may be found in Pikes Peak State Park. This state park offers magnificent views of the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers from a 500-foot hilltop.

Visit the Bridal Veil Falls cascade while you’re at the state park, and go along the paths that overlook bluffs and valleys teeming with wildlife, woodlands, and vegetation.

The Iowa Speedway

If you are someone who loves to enjoy live races, then Iowa has a special spot for you. Approximately 30 miles east of Des Moines in Newtown is where you’ll find the 7/8-mile Speedway racetrack of Iowa. It hosts a number of races throughout the entire year, including those for the NASCAR Gander RV, the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Outdoors Truck Series, and the IndyCar Series.


30 inspirational things Iowa is known for

Most people associate Iowa with corn, so they are startled when they find that the state is also well-known for wine tourism. Perhaps one of Iowa’s craziest facts is that superb grapes may be grown on its rich soil. The state has 100 wineries and more than 40 distinct varieties of grapes. Wine country in Iowa receives an estimated 358,000 tourists annually.

Iowas’s Historic Landmarks

There is a lot of history in Iowa. Here are some of the most famous things Iowa is known for historically…

The Grotto of the Redemption

In West Bend, Iowa, there is a Catholic shrine called the Grotto of the Redemption. It is a well-liked tourist spot and one of the giant grottos in the entire world. There are nine grottos in the Grotto of the Redemption, each of which depicts a different event in the life of Jesus.

Herbert Hoover National Historic Site

West Branch, Iowa, is where the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site is situated. The location houses Herbert Hoover’s boyhood home and the Presidential Library and Museum. The graves of both President Hoover and his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, are located at the location. You can visit there to enjoy the historical aura.

Maquoketa Caves State Park

In Iowa’s Jackson County, there is a state park called Maquoketa Caves. You may find a network of caverns throughout the park, the largest of which is the Dancehall Cave. Maquoketa Caves State Park offers camping, hiking paths, and picnic spots in addition to the caves.

Stockman House

The first and only grassland schoolhouse-style building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the state is the Stockman House, built in 1908. You can tour this and neighbouring homes in the Crest-Rock Glen Historic District any time of the day.             

Reiman Gardens

Reiman Gardens, which has 17 acres of indoor and outdoor lawns, is on the Iowa State University campus. You can examine the architectural intricacies of the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing and other prairie school buildings in addition to the exquisitely planned gardens.

The Bridge of Madison County

The Madison County Bridge movie was filmed in Winterset, which is roughly 30 miles away from Des Moines. A guided tour will help you explore other bridges in the area and learn about their history and architectural details.

Bottom Line- Things Iowa is known for

So, here we wrap up today’s list of 30 inspirational and wonderful things Iowa is known for. Hopefully, you enjoyed the list and knew what to discover in Iowa. Want some more helpful tips on traveling, then check out the recommendations below:

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