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Featured Destination: Iowa

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Amana Colonies Founded by a group of German pacifists in 1855, the religious group of the Community of True Inspiration leads a quiet, community-oriented lifestyle in this area between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. The seven separate villages are evidently quite prosperous and is said to remind one of a ski resort without the mountains, although there is a very strong Midwestern pioneer presence.

Iowa City This town with its art feel used to be the state capital. Today it is home to the University of Iowa. A great attraction is the nearby Quaker town of West Branch.

Des Moines The state capital has been home to celebrities like John Wayne and Ronald Reagan. The city has great architectural appeal, especially if one looks at the many office buildings dating from the 1980s.

Winterset This little town has not been great attraction until the release of the 1995 movie, Bridges over Madison County that was filmed here. The six 19th Century bridges attracts quite a great amount of interest.

Moving around

The I-80 Interstate runs through Iowa, which makes it quite accessible by bus or car. Des Moines has a small airport, but many people love to do cross-state cycling through Iowa, because the terrain is not greatly challenging.

Festivals

RAGBRAI cycle tour July. An annual cross-state cycle tour.

World Pork Expo June. This expo in Des Moines puts on the biggest industries in Iowa on show. Apparently there are more pigs than people in central Iowa!

Iowa State Fair mid-August. The state parades its livestock, crafts and food at this annual event in Des Moines.

Jazz in July Des Moines. Throughout the city there's a free jazz concert every day of July. Schedules can be obtained from any of the restaurants.