Iowa may be a small Midwestern state, but it’s packed with unique and interesting features that make it stand out from the crowd.
From its role in bread-slicing history to its title as the Corn State, Iowa is full of surprises. Let’s take a closer look at some fun and quirky facts about Iowa that you might not know. From world-famous covered bridges to the world’s largest strawberry, Iowa has something for everyone.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to discover the many wonders of the Hawkeye State!
1. Corn, corn, and more corn!
Iowa is known as the Corn State for good reason – it produces more corn than any other state in the US! In fact, Iowa farmers grow so much corn that if it were all combined into one pile, it would reach a height of over 6,000 feet!
2. The birthplace of sliced bread
Iowa is also famous for being the birthplace of sliced bread! In 1928, a man named Otto Rohwedder from Davenport, Iowa invented the first bread-slicing machine, revolutionizing the way people eat bread. Today, you can visit the Iowa museum dedicated to sliced bread in Rohwedder’s hometown.
3. The Bridges of Madison County
Iowa is home to the famous covered bridges of Madison County, which were made famous by the book and subsequent movie, “The Bridges of Madison County.” These picturesque bridges were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s and are now popular tourist attractions.
4. The Hawkeye State
Iowa is also known as the Hawkeye State, named after a character in a novel by James Fenimore Cooper. The state’s flagship university, the University of Iowa, uses the nickname Hawkeyes for its sports teams, and the state’s license plates feature a stylized hawk.
5. Ice cream capital of the world
Le Mars, Iowa is known as the Ice Cream Capital of the World, as it is the headquarters of several major ice cream companies, including Wells Enterprises, makers of Blue Bunny ice cream. Le Mars also hosts an annual ice cream days festival, complete with a giant ice cream sundae.
6. The largest state fair in the US
Iowa’s state fair is the largest in the country, attracting over a million visitors each year. The fair features everything from agricultural exhibits and livestock competitions to carnival rides and live music performances. It even has its own famous food-on-a-stick, including deep-fried butter and bacon-wrapped hot dogs.
7. The world’s largest strawberry
Iowa is home to the world’s largest strawberry! Located in Strawberry Point, Iowa, the 15-foot-tall fiberglass strawberry statue was built in 1967 to commemorate the town’s status as the “Strawberry Capital of the World.”
8. The birthplace of John Wayne
Legendary actor John Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa, in 1907. The town is now home to the John Wayne Birthplace Museum, which features exhibits about Wayne’s life and career.
9. Maquoketa Caves State Park
Iowa’s Maquoketa Caves State Park is home to over a dozen caves and caverns that visitors can explore. The park also features hiking trails, camping facilities, and picnic areas, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
10. Snake Alley
Burlington, Iowa is home to Snake Alley, a twisty, steep, and narrow street that is often called the “crookedest street in the world.” The street was designed in 1894 to allow easy access to homes on the hillside and is now a popular tourist attraction.
FAQs about Iowa
What is the capital city of Iowa?
The capital of Iowa is Des Moines, which is located in the central part of the state. Des Moines is the largest city in Iowa and is home to a variety of cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries, and theaters.
What is the weather like in Iowa?
Iowa has a humid continental climate, which means that it experiences hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. Temperatures can vary widely depending on the time of year and location in the state, but generally range from the mid-20s in the winter to the mid-80s in the summer.
What are some popular tourist attractions in Iowa?
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Iowa include the Bridges of Madison County, the Iowa State Fair, the John Wayne Birthplace Museum, and Maquoketa Caves State Park. Iowa is also known for its agriculture and farming, and many visitors enjoy exploring the state's numerous farms and vineyards.
Do you know any fun facts about Iowa? Share them in the comments below!