Iowa Mancation: Eastern Iowa

John Deere Factory Tours, Waterloo

Go behind the scenes to see how some of the biggest agricultural machines are brought to life. Tours take you through each stage in the process of creating John Deere’s green machines. The Waterloo facility specifically works on engine blocks, heads and crankshafts – perfect for any gear head.

National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum, Waterloo

Dan Gable is one of the all-time wrestling greats with NCAA National Championships, World Championships and an Olympic Gold Medal all under his belt. Learn about Gable’s unprecedented career and the history of Iowa wrestling while in his hometown of Waterloo.

SingleSpeed Brewing Co., Cedar Falls

Stop in for a pint of handcrafted deliciousness in downtown Cedar Falls. The beer list rotates regularly and every Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m., SingleSpeed holds their Mid-Week BrewDebut when they unveil their newest creation. While you’re in the area, stop for lunch at any one of the restaurants on Main Street, like Toad’s Bar & Grill or The Pump Haus Pub & Grill.

Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch, Fredericksburg

The thrill of the open range hunt still exists. The Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch recreates historic hunts for buffalo – no blinds, tree stands or vehicles allowed. At the end, you’ll take home pure buffalo meat. If you don’t have time to schedule a full hunt (they take two days), you can still visit live buffalo and purchase buffalo steaks for dinner.

Backbone State Park, Dundee

Backbone has just about every outdoor recreation opportunity you can imagine – hiking, biking, boating, fishing (both lake and trout streams), climbing, rappelling and more. Visitors can hike up rough, rocky staircases to the “Devil’s Backbone,” one of the highest points in Northeast Iowa.  And it’s an ideal place to rough it for the night - camping spots are plentiful.

The Irish Shanti, Gunder

Before turning in for the night, make the quick trek up to The Irish Shanti, home of the Gunderburger – a full pound of locally-sourced, hand-pattied fresh Iowa beef. The restaurant also has a full beer and Irish whiskey menu.

Field of Dreams Movie Site, Dyersville

You wanna have a catch? The site of the classic movie still welcomes baseball fans to play a quick pick-up game. You’ll know exactly why Ray Kinsella felt compelled to build a baseball diamond in the middle of a corn field – it truly is a little piece of heaven.

Sky Tours, Dubuque

Thrill-seekers will revel in the high-velocity, high-altitude zipline rides offered by SkyTours at YMCA Union Park. Nine ziplines whizz you up to 75 feet above the ground among trees and limestone bluffs.

Breitbach’s Country Dining, Balltown

Iowa’s oldest food and drinking establishment opened in 1852 and the Breitbach family still makes all of their comfort food-style menu items fresh from scratch. Breitbach’s has received the “American Classics” award from the James Beard Foundation and can be found on almost every foodie’s list of places to stop in Iowa.

National Motorcycle Museum, Anamosa

Get your fill of the open road while browsing more than 300 rare and vintage motorcycles, dating from 1902. Rotating exhibits feature everything from scooters to dirt track racing. And each year, visitors can enter to win a new or restored antique motorcycle.

Maquoketa Caves State Park, Maquoketa

With a higher concentration of caves than any other Iowa state park, Maquoketa is an adventurer’s paradise. Explore 1,100-foot Dancehall Cave, Dugout Cave, the 50-foot Natural Bridge above Raccoon Creek and the 17-ton Balanced Rock.

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