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Places in Iowa Only Locals Know About [PHOTOS]

Some of the best places are the ones that only locals know about. That holds true right here in Iowa. Only In Your State came up with a list of ‘9 Hidden Places in Iowa Only Locals Know About’. Here are a few of the places featured on the list.


1. Loess Hills

concept: you agree to meet me because I tell you I know where all the wild violets grow. rays of sun trickle through the woodlands, and the passing of time is measured by our stretching shadows. we read aloud from anthologies of nature poetry on an old gingham table cloth inherited by your homesteading gram and gramps, and laugh through mouthfuls of purslane and potato salad. we reminisce summers when kool-aid packs were always to be found in the cabinet, and the summer's heat was gauged by whether it was warm enough to run through the ticking sprinkler for hours. the day ends when the sun exhales on the back of the pickup where our salt-soaked skin sticks to the overstuffed bench seat and wildflowers have been thrown onto the dashboard in bouquets of disarray. the radio plays even as we walk up the painted steps to your covered porch, where the screen door is blocking the house flies and honey bees from your shaded abode. for sixty two years we write each other letters folded between the palms of pressed leaves and recipes for raspberry jam notated in splotchy cursive on pages from torn-out field journals. in the passing of time, life never stops. it only continues to reinvent itself. #foraging #loesshills #hiking #outdoors #wildviolets

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Who knew there was a beautiful lavender farm right here in Iowa!? Locals did. The farm was started by an Iowa couple who love making their visitors feel like family. Not only is there a lavender farm but Loess Hills also is home to a scenic byway. Check out the beautiful picture of the byway below:


2. Codfish Hollow

There’s a barn in the rolling corn fields of Iowa near Maquoketa that holds one of the most unique music venues in the state. It’s called Codfish Hollow and essentially it’s a barn that was converted back in 2009 into an awesome place for concerts, especially in the summer. The parking lot is a cow pasture and you’ll get a short tractor ride up to the venue itself. Definitely a place you should check out this summer if you like live music!


3. Harmon Tunnel

07' #polaroids . near #wintersetiowa . #PammelPark . #HarmonTunnel . #1858

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Located in Winterset, Iowa is the Harmon Tunnel. The tunnel hold access to Pammel State Park, according to Only In Your State, and runs straight through a 100-foot limestone ridge. If you’re ever going for a nice Sunday drive or short road trip, this place is definetely one you’ll want to see.


4. Crystal Lake Cave

Check out these rock formations down in the cave! #iowa #crystallakecave

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According to, the cave was discovered in 1868 by miner James Rice and today is one of the most unique destinations in the area. If you’re ever in the Dubuque area, this is a place you’ve got to stop! It’s open May through October and they now offer guided tours of unexcavated areas. If you are unable to make it out that way, they have a little virtual tour on their website to give you a glimpse of what you’re missing out on.

These are just some of the places that only Iowa locals are familiar with. You can see the full list from Only In Your State right HERE. And if you have a gem that only the locals in your area know about, let us know in the comments. Or if you want to keep it private that’s ok too…. Somethings are better kept secret.
[Only In Your State]

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