The top 9 best attractions in Iowa include caves, a movie and death


What are the best attractions in Iowa? While much of the country may only think of corn, pigs and the Hawkeyes, Iowa has much more to offer residents and tourists.

Check them all out and then let us know if the list is accurate.

#9 – Buddy Holly Crash Site

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Yes, the list starts with death. The day the music died. The site where Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper died when their plane crashed in Clear Lake on February 3, 1959 is number 9 on this list. Not a good start for Iowa's top attractions.

#8 – Eagle Point Park

City of Dubuque website

City of Dubuque website

Ok, that looks better! Eagle Point Park in Dubuque is one of the best parks in Iowa and the Midwest, offering breathtaking views, the Trolley Line Trail, a spray pool, a rock garden and fish pond, and much more.

#7 – Capitol Building

It's a pretty building. And for some people, politics and government are appealing. That's why the Capitol in Des Moines is number 7 on the list of top attractions in Iowa.

#6 – National Mississippi and Aquarium

The river only makes up a quarter of the Iowa border, but it plays such a large role in the state. You can learn more about it and what lives in and around it at the museum in Dubuque.

#5 – Grotto of Salvation

This isn't as well known as some of the others on this list, but it's up there. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 and has been featured in Roadside America and Disney's The Straight Story. In West Bend, Iowa, thousands make pilgrimages to see the shrine every year.

#4 – Field of Dreams Movie Page

MLB at the Field of Dreams – Chicago White Sox vs. New York Yankees

Getty Images

You were wondering where this would be on the list. I would argue that this is actually number 1. I actually visited the Field of Dreams on a school trip from Wisconsin about 30 years ago. What it began, what it became and what it will become is far removed from the film. But something that baseball fans young and old still enjoy seeing firsthand.

#3 – Pikes Peak State Park

Now you might be thinking, “Isn't Pike's Peak in Colorado?” Well, it is. But there is also a state park in the northeast corner of Iowa near McGregor. Hike, camp and explore another Iowa attraction along the river.

#2 – Maquoketa Caves

Ryan McCredden

Ryan McCredden

Maquoketa Caves State Park has more caves than any other state park, but it is much more than just a few caves. It has been a popular destination for picnickers and hikers since the 1860s. Be sure to bring your hiking boots and flashlights and prepare to lose cell service in some of the area's coolest caves.

#1 – Effigy Mound

National Park Service

National Park Service

Effigy Mounds National Monument features more than 200 prehistoric mounds built by pre-Columbian mound builders. The sacred site is unique not only in Iowa but also in America. Located in Harpers Ferry, Iowa, it is the top attraction in Iowa (on this list).

What do you think? Are these the best attractions in Iowa? The folks at IowaBets compile the ranking based on search volume. So maybe it's more about interest in the places than people actually visiting them.

Leave a comment on the platform you are reading this on to let everyone know about the best places to visit in our state!

LOOK: Top-rated free things to do in Iowa, according to Tripadvisor

Gallery credit: Stacker

LOOK: What films were filmed in Iowa?

Stacker compiled a list of films filmed in Iowa using data from Movie Locations and collected additional information about each film from IMDb.

Gallery credit: Stacker