Summer 2020 has finally arrived, which means people are spending a lot more time outdoors!

I recently came across a new article from Only in Your State called 'Here’s The Ultimate Bucket List For Iowans Who Are Obsessed With The Nature,' which outlines 11 popular scenic spots across Iowa. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I've only visited two of them, but the two that I've visited are a couple of my absolute FAVORITE places in the state.

Palisades-Kepler State Park in Mount Vernon is my go-to place when I need to clear my head. The scenery there is absolutely gorgeous and sometimes it makes me feel like I'm back home in Michigan. Here are some photos I've taken during my MANY visits these past few years:

The other place I've visited is Maquoketa Caves State Park in Maquoketa. I've only been there once, but I hope to take my family out there for a hike the next time they come to visit!

Some of the other popular places to make the list include Pikes Peak State Park in McGregor, the Mines of Spain in Dubuque, the Malanaphy Springs Waterfall in Decorah, and Okoboji Lake.

When you need to get away and escape into nature for some camping, fishing, canoeing, hiking, or all of the above, where do you go? Tell us about your absolute favorite place to enjoy nature here in Eastern Iowa (and share photos if you have them) in the comments below!