105 miles, 3 hours
This is a nice, easy drive that offers something for the whole family. The views may not be spectacular but if you approach it in the right frame of mind, the huge open skies of eastern Iowa provide a real sense of freedom and escape.
Here are a few highlights to look out for along the way:
Cedar Rapids – Czech Village
How about starting the day with breakfast in Czech Village? These two blocks are home to host of traditional Czech stores including a bakery and tea rooms.
National Motorcycle Museum, Anamosa (mile 28)
If there’s a biker or bike fan in the family, then the National Motorcycle Museum is a must: a collection of more than 200 motorcycles from the early 1900s to the present day. Check the website before visiting though – the museum is so popular they’re planning to move into bigger premises.
Field of Dreams, Dyersville (mile 66)
If you build it, they will come. Field of Dreams is one of the great baseball movies and this is the official movie site. Take along your own bat, ball and glove and you can even hit a few balls yourself.
Dubuque (mile 91)
Dubuque is home to Iowa’s No.1 tourist attraction – the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. There are six aquariums, home to river creatures ranging from giant catfish and sturgeon, to otters, frogs and turtles so do allow at least a couple of hours if you can. If history is more your thing, take a ride on the nearby Fenelon Place Elevator.
Galena (mile 105)
A charming (if a little touristy) city, Galena’s main attraction is its picturesque and busy main street packed full of stores, cafes and restaurants. There are also a number of historic buildings, including the former home of 18th President, Ulysses S. Grant.
Main Street, the busy heart of historic Galena, Illinois
Photo by Peter Thody