Need a quick weekend vacay from the city? If you’re looking to explore another state, why not check out Iowa? The Hawkeye State is less than four hours by car from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and is home to several destinations that are sure to please, no matter what you like to do or see.


Where are the best places to go? Read on for three of the top road trip destinations in Iowa.


Dubuque, Iowa

If you’re up for a decent drive (about 250 miles), definitely check out Dubuque, the oldest city in Iowa. The town is full of interesting things to see and do, so no matter what you enjoy, there’s likely something for you.


You can:


  • Visit the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
  • Check out the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
  • See the Mines of Spain Recreation Area
  • Check out the Fenelon Place Elevator (the shortest and steepest railway in the world)
  • Pay a visit to the Field of Dreams Movie Site (it’s about 30 miles from the city)


As a standalone road trip destination, Dubuque has something for just about everyone. But if you have some time to spare, you can also make the city a stop along Iowa’s Great River Road, another excellent road trip from the Twin Cities area.


If you’re making this trip, chances are you’ll need to fuel up somewhere along the way. Before you take off, check out Should You Use a Gas Station Squeegee on Your Windshield? to learn about the hidden hazards of cleaning your auto glass when you fuel up.


Iowa’s Great River Road

If you’re looking to plan a road trip longer than just a weekend, Iowa’s Great River Road is about 175 miles from the Twin Cities area and meanders down the state’s eastern border. The route is roughly 325 miles long once you reach its starting point, so this trip will likely require a few days.


If you’re up for the drive, you’ll enjoy gorgeous vistas of the Mississippi River and swaths of super-green farmland throughout the trip. You’ll also run into several small, charming towns that you can stop and check out along the way. 


If you’re traveling at a leisurely pace, consider lingering in Dubuque and Le Claire to see the sites, visit unique local eateries, and get a few steps in. As you make your way south, you’ll eventually end up in Pikes Peak State Park, which marks the end of the route. There, you can hike the half-mile boardwalk trail to Bridal Veil Falls and even set up camp for a laid-back evening under the stars. 


Maquoketa Caves State Park

If you’re up for a five-hour drive, Iowa’s Maquoketa Caves State Park is well worth the trip. Every year, thousands of visitors from both the Midwest and all over the U.S. visit this impressive natural wonder to hike through the caves’ stunning and almost otherworldly trails. You can make your trip to the caverns a day visit and stay the night in nearby Maquoketa (an eight-mile drive) or enjoy a peaceful sleep under the stars in the park’s designated campground.


Need Windshield Repairs Near Blaine, MN?

If you’re getting ready to take off on a weekend road trip and need any type of auto glass repair, it’s in your best interest to schedule service before you hit the road. And when you need an auto glass repair team you can trust, look no further than Centennial Auto Glass! We specialize in windshield repairs and replacement, sunroof repair and replacement, and car window repair and replacement and have proudly served Twin Cities drivers for more than 25 years.


To learn more or get a free service quote, call us at 651-653-1777 or request a quote online, and we’ll get in touch!