Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center
Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

The Loess Hills landform is a true Iowa treasure, one that is great to explore with the whole family. Spanning more than 1,080 square miles along the eastern edge of the Missouri River flood plain, this unique area offers one of Iowa's most extraordinary landscapes of prairie and forest covered steep bluffs, narrow ridges and rolling hills and memorable attractions, making it a perfect place for a beautiful road trip.

Loess Hills Lavender Farm
Loess Hills Lavender Farm

Where to Go

1. Loess Hills Lavender Farm

Discover a peaceful experience by visiting the Loess Hills Lavender Farm, where you can cut your own lavender bouquet. Considered a mystical and magical herb, you can tour the lavender fields and test this idea for yourself. Take a piece of the Missouri Valley farm home after a visit to the gift shop selling lotions and bath products or sit and enjoy some tea, finger food, lemonade and dessert.

2. Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

Visit this thrilling nature center in Sioux City for exceptional hands-on learning about our natural environment. Featuring great interactive exhibits about the Loess Hills' geological formation and native plants and animals and live birds of prey exhibits and a discovery forest nature playscape, learning has never been more fun.

3. Todd House

Get a taste of history and learn about Iowa's connections with the Underground Railroad with a visit to the Todd House. Located in Tabor, the home then belonging to Congregational minister Rev. John Todd and his family was a station on the Railroad and helped those traveling through Iowa to free states and territories. Visitors can tour the home by appointment.

Where to Eat

1. Bodega Victoriana Winery

Relax with a glass of wine and a tasty tapa or charcuterie board at the largest vineyard in western Iowa. Located in Glenwood, this winery features a rustic tasting room in a large post-and-beam Eastern-style barn and offers great views of the Loess Hills.

2. Dave's Old Home Cafe

This Pisgah restaurant is a unique find. Known as the place from CW McCall's famous 1970's ballad, Dave's Old Home Cafe's comfort food lives up to the legend and will satisfy even the pickiest eater.

Where to Stay

The Hole N' the Wall Lodge

Don't let the name scare you! Located in Akron, this lodge is a state-of-the-art high tech facility built new to look old. Framed in by an 1890's vintage notch and peg style barn, the Grand Hall features a 40-foot stone stacked wood burning fireplace and cozy furniture. On top of all that, the lodge has a fully-loaded game room and several authentic Native American teepees.