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Need a Vacation? Try Iowa


Des Moines Register

May 15, 2006

[Note: This material is copyright by the Des Moines Register, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of the Des Moines Register.]

You don't have to board an airplane to take a vacation. You don't even have to drive very far. With high gas prices and summer knocking, that's good news. There are plenty of opportunities to get away right here in Iowa. No travel agent needed.

Des Moines is an obvious destination, with a science center, zoo, shopping, restaurants and nearby Adventureland. Then there's the rest of the state.

Head to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque. Staying at Potter's Mill, a bed and breakfast in nearby Bellevue, lets you wake up to views of woodlands and the Mighty Miss. There's the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, riverboat cruises in Iowa Falls and the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend. Lake Okoboji offers everything from nature trails to water sports, and Davenport offers the River Music Experience museum.

Iowans may take for granted the very things that draw visitors here, like the Iowa State Fair and RAGBRAI. Besides, a good vacation is about spending time away with family and friends.

You don't have to travel 1,000 miles for that. There will be no delayed flights, rental cars, traffic hassles or long amusement-park lines - stresses that make you wish you were back home in Iowa anyway.