Here are suggested itineraries to consider when planning your group tour to Iowa!
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Big Time Attractions - Small Town Feel
Day 1: Urbandale - Ames - Boone
Tour Time - 8 hours
- Start the day off by experiencing life on the farm at Living History Farms in Urbandale. Tour three, real life working farm eras as you touch, hear and see the transformation of Iowa farm life.
- For lunch, eat a hearty, home-style cooked meal right next to Living History Farms that is dedicated to the American farmer a nd portrays agriculture at its best.
- Urbandale to Ames.
Drive Time - 45 minutes - 43 miles.
- As one of the largest gardens in Iowa, Reiman Gardens showcases beautiful garden designs, practices, and of course, plants that educate and influence people from all over. Tour the indoor and outdoor gardens and conservatory, butterfly wing and stop by the gift shop for an enjoyable and relaxing adventure.
- Ames to Boone.
Drive Time - 20 minutes - 16 miles.
- Fine dine as your train winds through the scenic valley with the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad & Museum. Enjoy a meal in a dining car while taking in the view of the outdoors on this two tour excursion.
- Boone to Des Moines.
Drive Time - 52 minutes - 35 miles.
- Stay the night at a local hotel.
Day 2: Des Moines
Tour Time - 8 hours
- Enjoy a hot breakfast.
- Explore downtown and find out why New York Times noted Des Moines as a must-see cultural destination when you visit the sculpture park downtown. The 4.4 acre park has 27 different sculptures from the most celebrated artists worldwide.
- Eat lunch downtown at a healthy and socially responsible restaurant that serves the best homemade potato chips and your favorite lunch time sandwiches.
- Des Moines Performing Arts is home to some of the best Broadway plays you can find. With shows like Wicked, The Lion King and West Side Story hitting the stage, the Des Moines Performing Arts is sure to have something for everyone. This afternoon, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the stage and see what goes into a production. If available, do a meet and greet with the cast beforehand.
- Travel to the hotel and freshen up before tonight.
- Contact the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB) for downtown restaurant options. With plenty of restaurants to choose from, finding the right meal will be effortless.
- Tonight, enjoy a show at Des Moines Performing Arts.
Day 3: Des Moines
Tour Time - 8 hours
- After breakfast at the hotel, tour one of Des Moines' best, the Des Moines Botanical and Environmental Center. Home to specially designed gardens that are sure to educate and inspire the gardener everyone. Take a behind-the-scenes look at where the plants are grown and watch the gardeners work.
- Once your tour is complete, eat at the Des Moines Botanical and Environmental Center's restaurant that looks out into the gardens.
- For the rest of the afternoon, get in touch with your wild side and check out Blank Park Zoo. With over 1,400 animals, the Blank Park Zoo is Iowa's largest zoo. For a group tour, take a behind the scenes look at the zoo. Contact GDMCVB for more information.
- Who wouldn't enjoy a mini cruise with a view of Downtown Des Moines? As an extra bonus, add dinner! Contact the GDMCVB and find out how you can take a boat ride with dinner on the Des Moines River.
- Before ending your tour day, take a nighttime stroll across the river by walking one of the many bridges downtown. Enjoy the scenic lights of Des Moines at night as you stroll along the $12.5 million dollar lighted display while walking the bridge.
Day 4: Des Moines
Tour Time - 3-4 hours
- Honor those who served the United States by visiting a museum and education center that reiterates the history of African American soldiers who served in WWI and the women who served in WWII.
- Continue your patriotic mood to another museum that dedicates itself to the Iowa veteran. Displaying artifacts and telling stories from Iowa veterans that date back to the Mexican War of 1846 to the present day, this museum is a great attraction that honors those who fought for our freedom.
- Before leaving Des Moines, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants nearby. Contact the GDMCVB for options.