Iowa Bucket List ~ Central Region

Today we head to the area of Iowa that is probably one of the more highly visited areas. The Central region is home to Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, and therefore is home to several popular attractions.


  • Reiman Gardens: Beautiful indoor/outdoor botanical garden located on the campus of Iowa State University.

Dallas Center

  • The Brenton Arboretum: Explore the native trees and plants located in this garden setting but walking along the trails.

Des Moines

  • Blank Park Zoo: Visit the only accredited zoo in Iowa!
  • Great Des Moines Botanical Garden: Visit this small garden area located near the river.
  • Iowa State Capitol: Take a tour of the gorgeous state capitol.
  • John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park: Check out this unique sculpture park located in the heart of downtown Des Moines. Lots of great photo ops!
  • Science Center of Iowa: Explore this interactive science museum.
  • State Historical Museum of Iowa and Research Center: This museum details out so many things unique to the history and culture of Iowa.


  • Matchstick Marvels: This museum features models made entirely out of wooden matchsticks.


  • Jefferson Rooftop Art: Several buildings in town have works of art painted on their rooftops.
  • Mahanay Bell Tower: Take an elevator to the top of the tower. It’s a great place to view the rooftop art!


  • High Trestle Trail: This 25 mile trail has an iconic footbridge located near Madrid.
  • Ledges State Park: One of Iowa’s oldest state parks, come explore this sandstone gorge and the surrounding cliffs.


  • Traer Salt and Pepper Shaker Gallery: Explore the Midwest’s largest collection of salt and pepper shakers!

All attractions found in the Travel Iowa Vacation Guide.


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