Road Trip Ideas

There’s plenty to see and do on your way to Des Moines if you’re planning a road trip. Here are a few fan favorites:

Travel the Tenderloin Trail: Iowa leads the nation in pork production. Travel the Iowa Tenderloin Trail to enjoy a favorite Midwest treat: the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. (Location: statewide)

Enjoy the “Bridges of Madison County”: Movie fans will love Winterset, Iowa – home to the gorgeous covered bridges that were the backdrop of the film. You can also take a seat in the Northside Café booth where the book was written. (The café was also featured in the film.) Winterset is also home to a John Wayne museum. (Location: about 30 minutes southwest of Des Moines)

Tip Your Hat to the World’s Tallest Concrete Gnome: Look up while touring Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University in Ames to find find Elwood, a 15-foot-tall concrete garden gnome. You’ll also find a butterfly conservatory, children’s garden, and antique rose garden. Enjoy a new collection of larger-than-life outdoor games too. (Location: about 30 minutes north of Des Moines)

Imagine Life in an Architectural Wonder: Architecture lovers can tour two properties designed by the renowned Frank Lloyd Wright that are open to the public in Mason City, Iowa: the Stockman House and the Historic Park Inn Hotel.  (Location: north of Des Moines)

Wish Captain Kirk a Happy Birthday: We’ll be a few weeks too late for TrekFest at the end of June, but Star Trek fans can still stop by the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk in Riverside, Iowa. (Location: west of Des Moines)

While In Des Moines...

Looking for new things to do in Des Moines? Here are some of the hot places for food and drinks:

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Bridges of Madison County
Elwood_credit Reiman Gardens