The Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa
Back in the early 80s my college roommate was from western Iowa. I remember that he always looked forward to seeing a serious electrical storm when he was back home in Iowa. He didn't think much of the storms in Michigan (We were at Calvin College.)...
I'll second a visit to Pella. If you can be there in early May they have an amazing tulip festival. Definitely worth the drive.
The historic American Gothic House located in Eldon, IA is an interesting visit too. They loan clothes and a pitchfork so you can take a photo like the painting.
If you do get to Eldon, hop over to Ottumwa to the Canteen Lunch in the Alley for a loose-meat hamburger. Best sandwich in town.
While I don't know the status of the Amana furniture shop mentioned earlier, you can visit Schanz Furniture (www.schanzfurniture.com) in South Amana. It is a sixth-generation family owned shop. I used to live in the area and knew Mike Schanz. He is a great guy and he might give you a tour if you ask!
Last edited by Todd Willhoit; 02-04-2013 at 9:53 PM.
Originally Posted by Todd Willhoit
Everyone in Iowa knows that the best loose-meat sandwich is at Maid-Rite. Several locations around Iowa including my hometown of Marshalltown and at the welcome center at exit 4 on I35 on the sourthern border. The Welcome center also has a large selection of Amish handmade products for sale to include baskets, quilts, candles, etc.
Antoher blasphemous act would be to ask for ketchup/catsup while at the Maid-Rite restaurant.
I've had both. While Maid-Rite kept me full, the Canteen kept me happy! It is truly one of a kind.
Originally Posted by John Pratt
Lots of good suggestions. My votes:
1. Amana (even if the wood shop is closed; great German food)
3. Living History farm. They take you out on a tractor pulled trailer and you walk back through farm settings at different times in history from the original Indians to 1950's farm house. In the summer the reenactors will probably be there.
The Des Moines Zoo. Only has one animal.............a pig with a thousand disguises.
Matt I live in Moline and am from this area. I definitely agree with all the suggestions here. The two furniture makers in Amana have some amazing quality stuff (with less than amazing prices though). If your family likes to shop, a cool sporting goods store is Scheel's in Coralville and Tanger outlet mall in Williamsburg, both are on I-80 near Iowa City. There is also Adventureland in Altoona, near Des Moines, which is Iowa's micro-version of Disney World. You will see Casey's General Stores (gas stations) everywhere -- it is an Iowa staple -- good pizza. Hy-Vee grocery stores are everywhere too.
Since you intend to stay in Moline, I would recommend you stay downtown at the Radisson or Stoney Creek Inn, both are near the John Deere Pavilion with is definitely a must-see. There are some great restaurants nearby all within walking distance, let me know if you have something in mind. If you like craft beers go to Bent River (if you like beer and coffee try the Uncommon Stout!). If you like candy check out Lagomarcino's, a 100 year-old chocolate shop. John Deere's world headquarters campus is a short drive away on the outskirts of town and it also has a museum. If you are a military history buff: the Rock Island Arsenal. A gambler: Jumer's in Rock Island (for non-smokers) or the Isle in Bettendorf, IA (for smokers). Bowling and laser tag: QC Entertainment Center. A cyclist: 60-mile paved great river trail from your hotel upriver to Savanna, IL. Concerts: i-wireless Center.
PM me if I can help with your stay or trip thru eastern Iowa. And one last suggestion, I-80 and I-35 can be pretty bland outside of the towns. If you have any extra time, take a detour along the Mississippi River -- always scenic -- especially north of the QC which I don't think is on your way.
Many good thing in Iowa, as some mentioned
a couple others would be
Bily Clocks Museum & Antonin Dvorak Exhibit Spillville
Effigy Mounds Harpers Ferry, Iowa
then just because they are there
Winnebago Industries Factory Tour Forest City, Iowa
Largest Strawberry in the World 111 E. Mission St., Strawberry Point, IA
+1 for Amana. My sister in law live there. Spent a lot of time there. Make sure to see the smokehouse butcher shop and millcreek micro brewery there. There is a vinyard trhat is just west of Amana that has tours and wine tasting.