homepage logo

Fall Travel Experiences

By Staff | Sep 7, 2016

Did you know: Tourism-related expenditures in Iowa in 2015 totaled $8.06 billion, according to a new study from the U.S. Travel Association. This marks the second consecutive year expenditures have topped the $8 billion mark.

Additional data from “The Economic Impact of Travel on Iowa Counties” shows travel-generated state tax receipts at a record $466.7 million, a 25 percent increase over 2014. Tourism in Iowa also supported 67,400 jobs, comprising 4.2 percent of total state non-farm employment in 2015.

Pretty impressive statistics, right? No doubt, Palo Alto County played a part in reaching such lofty heights.

The report goes on to talk about lower gas prices, which encourages travelers to go a few extra miles, stay the night, eat in restaurants, do a bit of shopping and seek out entertainment. Iowa has a lot to offer.

Jessica O’Riley, Tourism Communications Manager for Iowa Tourism, keeps us well informed about special happenings in the state. Here are a couple of her suggestions that might make a good weekend trip:

Civil War Reenactment, Mason City – September 9-11

Soldiers reenact battles in which Iowa troops participated, including the Battle of Pleasant Hill. Other activities include medical demonstrations and camp life, live music, a military dress ball and ladies tea.

Tri City BBQ Fest, Denison – September 16-17

Teams from Des Moines, Sioux City, Omaha, Council Bluffs and the surrounding areas vie for Best Metro as well as Grand Champion during competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. In addition, there will be live entertainment and activities for kids.

UCI World Cup of Cyclo-cross, Iowa City – Sept. 23-25

Iowa City will be only the second city in North America to host the World Cup of Cyclo-cross. Professional and amateur athletes from across the world will compete on technical and hilly circuits, sometimes requiring them to carry their bikes over sections. Iowa City’s well-known Jingle Cross race, typically held in November/December, will move to this weekend to coincide with the World Cup race.

Harvest Spoon Tour:

Set for October 1, the tour was created by a collective of local businesses and organizations in Pottawattamie and Harrison counties in western Iowa to promote and increase awareness and passion for local foods. Participating locations include Loess Hills Lavender Farm, Doe’s & Diva’s Dairy, Hodge Greenhouse, Hitchcock Nature Center and the Harrison County Historical Village and Welcome Center.

Driftless Area Education and Visitor Center, Lansing: Interpretive displays in the 10,000-square-foot facility will teach visitors about the natural sciences, conservation and history of the area. Two observation decks will offer views of the Mississippi River and bluffs. The building is scheduled to open in fall 2016.

Get the maps out and go see Iowa.