From wild roses to historic landmarks, Iowa has plenty of attractions and fun facts to learn about. Investigate the state’s official symbols to see what makes the land and its residents so distinct.
The city of State Center is known as the “Rose Capital of Iowa,” and is always alive with celebrations honoring the state’s official flower, the wild rose. If you can’t make it for the annual main event – the State Center Rose Festival
– you’ll still enjoy the city’s beautiful rose garden, open from May until November. The garden features a variety of roses, as well as an old-fashioned gazebo in which visitors can relax and enjoy the surroundings. The State Center Rose Garden is even lighted in the evening for late-night strolls. Visit www.iowabeautiful.com for hours and contact info. To learn more about the charming city of State Center, visit www.statecenteriowa.org.
Iowa’s official state rock is the geode, often found in southeastern parts of the state. Within the hard shell of a geode, you’ll find sparkling mineral crystals including beautiful quartz. At the 1,640-acre Geode State Park in Danville, the whole family will have fun exploring trails and campgrounds, and you may just stumble upon your own geode. Go fishing in Lake Geode, or spend the afternoon picnicking. You can find wildlife photos and park maps at www.stateparks.com/geode.html. For campground reservations, call 877-427-2757.
Learn all about Iowa’s history with a Capitol Tour in Des Moines. The capitol building was built between 1871 and 1886, and it offers ornate architectural details that impress visitors from all over the country. You’ll see different types of marble, artistic masterpieces and the famous golden dome. Designed with steel, brick and 23-karat gold leaf, the dome stands as a symbol of Iowa’s strength and beauty. Tours are available every hour Monday through Saturday with advance scheduling requirements for groups of 10 or more. Don’t forget to enjoy the monuments and artwork of the capitol grounds before you leave. Want to discover the Iowa state capitol from home? Visit www.legis.state.ia.us/Pubinfo/Tour for online tour information.
The Hawkeye State has attractions you won’t find anywhere else. Both natural and manmade wonders showcase Iowa’s interesting history and culture, so start exploring the state at www.iowa.gov.