After being inspired by a post written by my friend Connie at the Midwest Wanderer,I decided to share some fun facts about Iowa that I’ve learnt from my travels and being an expat in this state! To be completely honest, as a Brit, Iowa isn’t really on the radar as somewhere that people have even heard of, let alone know anything about it! So here are some facts that you may not know about Iowa, because after all, a huge part of travel is the knowledge that you learn along the way!
There’s nothing that a British person loves more than to moan about the weather. It’s in our blood. So you can imagine my joy (using the term loosely) when I discovered that Iowa was going to be hit with wind chill temperatures of -50c. All those people back home on my Twitter and Facebook feeds going “It’s -6c/21f!! I’ve never been so cold in my whole life!!”…and I’m sat here like “…well…hold my tea, I’ve got news for you!”. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the Midwest Polar Vortex 2019.
I’m all for trying unique experiences and when I first heard about floatation therapy and float tanks, I had to try it out! I had seen something similar in a hotel lobby in Las Vegas a while back, it was a kind of water bed in a pod which moved in a way that massaged you. This is a little different though, a float tank is like a giant bath filled with a saline/epsom salt salution which allows you to float in just a few inches of water, similar to the dead sea!
In December, me and some of my Midwest Travel Blogging buddies were invited to Red Cedar Lodge in Charles City Iowa, for a winter glamping girlfriend getaway in their beautiful cabins along the Cedar River!
Currently there are 4 breweries in Dubuque Iowa: Dimensional Brewing Co, 7 Hills Brewing, Jubeck New World Brewing and Catfish Creek. They cover a good spread of the Downtown Dubuque area so here’s my guide to each brewery!
As an expat, there’s not many typical American ‘holidays’ that I celebrate, we don’t have Thanksgiving or the 4th of July in England and Halloween is no where near on the same scale that it is here! HOWEVER, I have spent my whole life celebrating Christmas! So here are some Dubuque Christmas events in East Iowa that you should check out this year!
Since living in the Midwest, I’ve discovered the joy of State Parks. Think of National Parks (such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone etc) only on a much smaller scale and they are usually free to enter! The state DNR (Department of Natural Resources) are in charge of maintaining the state parks and their websites will have handy information about visiting and any current park closures etc. Some may have a bit of a lakefront, a camp ground, walking trails or just simply be a woodland area that offers a means to escape and find some people. I’ve come across some state parks though that have had something a little extra about them, making them a little more unique compared to some of the others! So in this post I share my top Midwest State Parks that are perfect for adventurous travellers!
Since moving to the USA, I’ve had to rely on visiting small towns to get my travel fix. I’m 3 and a half hours away from the nearest two large cities (Chicago and Des Moines), which make just trying to get to the airport a chore. In the UK I was spoilt living 20 minutes from one of London’s airports, I could get from my front door and to a major city IN ANOTHER COUNTRY within 3 and a half hours. I can’t even drive across a state in that time! So if I want to get away for a quick weekend break, I’ve had to train myself to view anywhere and everywhere as a tourist destination, no matter how big or how small.