Arts & Entertainment, Features

Places to go before you’re old

by Chloe Pieper–As college students, we may not prioritize traveling. People think it’s something to do when you’re older and have the money. However, when you hit your 50s, or later, traveling may not be a priority. That’s why it’s best to do it while you are young. 

Although we are college students, there are places in Iowa that are not as expensive but still worth visiting. All it takes is travel time and making memories with your best friends; or alone if you’d like. It’s not just corn fields around here. 

The Grotto of The Redemption is located in West Bend which is about two and a half hours from Sioux City. It is frequently described as the eighth “Wonder of the World.” It is a series of nine grottos that each depict a scene from the life of Jesus. The Grotto features more than $4 million worth of minerals and rocks. 

Maquoketa Caves State Park is a great place to see if you are interested in hiking and don’t mind getting dirty. The muddy trails and caves will give you an underground adventure to explore. Maquoketa Caves State Park, Iowa’s largest collection of caves, will fill almost any visitor with a sense of adventure. This area also has one of the few remaining outdoor movie theaters as well. This state park covers 111 acres and is located about five hours from Sioux City. 

Pella, about three and a half hours away, could be one of the prettiest sights in Iowa. It is home to scenic canals, windmills, and tulips. People who have visited have thought they were in Amsterdam or Utrecht rather than Iowa.

The small town prides itself on its rich history and heritage. Its “Historical Village” has over 20 traditional buildings to wander around, with a church and blacksmiths lying beside the fully functional Vermeer Windmill, one of its main sights. One of the best times to visit Pella is during the annual Tulip Festival. Festive parades and performances take place, with everyone kitted out in traditional attire. At this time of year, its gorgeous gardens and parks are full of thousands of beautiful blooming tulips for visitors.

Okoboji is more known than the other destinations mentioned. Beachside lake adventures can be found in Iowa when the weather is right, and one of the best places to enjoy the sunshine and waves is in Okoboji, located on the Iowa Great Lakes. When it comes to waterside entertainment, Arnolds Park is the go-to destination, often renowned as the Okoboji version of Coney Island. It is about a two hour drive from Sioux City. 

If you want to splurge a little bit, you could visit Adventureland Park in Altoona. It is about a three hour drive from Sioux City. It features more than 100 rides, making it the largest park in Iowa. The park’s overall theme is Iowa’s past and the Wild West, with sub-themes across the park to host the various rides. There are five roller coasters, 24 water rides, and children’s rides. During your visit, be sure to catch one of the live shows, such as circus performances, live music, and magic shows.

College classes, work, and practices do not last forever. You might as well get out there and explore while you can. 

April 24, 2022

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