Famous as the home of Iowa’s Great Lakes, this attractive corner of Iowa features 86 miles of shoreline for relaxing and having fun on the water. Sailing, boating, and jet skiing are always a hit. Find outdoor recreation hotspots at Gull Point State Park, Black Hawk State Park, and Big Spirit
Lake. Discover rugged trails, boat ramps, fishing, swimming, and premium R&R. Running south from Sioux City, the soaring Loess Hills provide some of the most dramatic scenery in the state.
You’ll also encounter a colorful collection of one-of-a-kind attractions in Northwest Iowa. Order a double scoop at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor and Museum, which is in Le Mars - the Ice Cream Capital of the World. Tiptoe through the tulips every spring in Orange City at an authentic Dutch tulip festival.
Get your culture fix at the Sioux City Art Center. This excellent modern museum features an airy, three-story atrium and is known for its works by regional landscape artists, including Grant Wood’s Corn Room Mural. In West Bend, explore the largest man-made grotto in the world: The Grotto of the Redemption.
Traveling with kids? Families love the Kaleidoscope Factory in Pocahontas and King’s Pointe Waterpark in Storm Lake.
Sioux City, Iowa
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Do you have a sweet tooth? Be sure to stop by Le Mars, the Ice Cream Capital of the World. Fifty-five ice cream cone sculptures adorn the city, which is the home of the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor and Museum. Grab a seat at the marble ice cream bar and enjoy an old-fashioned malt, sundae, or cone - there are more than 40 flavors to choose from.
Have a blast at one-of-a-kind celebrations in Northwest Iowa, such as the Great Akron Scarecrow Festival and the Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival. In the summer, everyone comes out for the Cherokee County Fair - a classic country fair with crafts, livestock, family shows, carnival games, and rides on the Midway. Visit the petting zoo and watch a demolition derby. Beauty pageants, tractor pulls, and funnel cakes complete the Blue Ribbon fair experience.
With rolling hills, babbling creeks, and plenty of tree-lined fairways, Iowa’s Great Lakes region is a picturesque place for golfing. Play through 27 holes on open fairways and wetlands at Willow Creek Golf Course in Le Mars. Sioux Golf and Country Club is a popular 9-hole course with a restaurant and lounge. Landsmeer Golf Club offers a full-service experience with a putting green, driving range, and lessons.