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Iowa Heritage Tourism; My Home State

Updated on June 27, 2014

The Hawkeye State provides historic, cultural and natural experiences in abundance

The State of Iowa is a great state 'to be from' such as I am. My parents and grandparents spend their entire adult lives in a fairly small radius of miles in the heart of west central Iowa farm country. Iowa is certainly rural and agriculturally based - but, the capital city of Des Moines is second only to Hartford, Connecticut as home to insurance company headquarters, over the years.

Over a third of the 99 counties are included in the National Heritage Area (NHA) of the northeast region of the state: Silos and Smokestakes NHA.

The Iowa State Capital building is not only distinctive it is indeed unique, with five domes; the central dome is gold.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iowa_State_Capit...

Useful Links for Learning and gaining new experiences

I like to start off, as you know, with links to any National Heritage Area (NHA) in the state because they focus on historic, cultural and nature issues in their area. Silos and Smokestack covers an enlarged northeast portion of the state, over a third of the counties in the sate.

Whiterock Conservancy is notable in its own right, but also as a wonderful example of what can be done with an area through a close private-public effort of land conservation and preservation along with regional recreational opportunities.

The Garst Homestead was visited by Soviet Premier Khrushchev in his historic 1959 visit to the USA.

Historic School House at Living History Farms
Historic School House at Living History Farms

Silos and Smokestakes NHA

Also known as America's Agricultural Heritage Partnership

This NHA includes 37 counties as well as the cities of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Waterloo, Dubuque and Iowa City.

Living History Farms, opened to the public in 1970, in Urbandale, Iowa, anchors the southwest corner of the HNA. This is a 500 acre open-air musuem.

The Amana Colonies are also included in the Silos and Smokestacks NHA.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silos_%26_Smokestacks...

The main intersection in Amana, Iowa

The main intersection in Amana, Iowa
The main intersection in Amana, Iowa

Visited Silos and Smokestacks NHA area in Iowa? - 37 counties to visit... ;-)

Have you visited the Silos and Smokestacks NHA area?

A Typical Iowa Farm Scene - Maytag Dairy Farm near Newton, Iowa

A Typical Iowa Farm Scene - Maytag Dairy Farm near Newton, Iowa
A Typical Iowa Farm Scene - Maytag Dairy Farm near Newton, Iowa

Iowa has three public universities - Cyclones, Hawkeyes and Panthers

Iowa has always been a leader in literacy and education, led by their outstanding three state universities - and a strong community college system. There are also many fine private schools, as well.

Des Moines, Iowa, skyline - the capital city
Des Moines, Iowa, skyline - the capital city

Be sure to visit Iowa on Wikipedia

Iowa is part of the American Heartland

Iowa became a state in 1846. Iowa is in the heart of the Corn Belt but has developed a diversifies economy in the later 20th century. Iowa is bordered on the east by the Mississippi River and on the west largely by the Missouri River.

Photo Courtesy of WIkimedia Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa

Your Comments are appeciated on this Iowa Heritage Tourism lens

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    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @takkhisa: They are really not that far apart... plan a loop and visit each! ;-)

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 5 years ago

      I have a dream to go to Kentucky someday but after reading this lens i think i would like to visit Iowa too.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @SayGuddaycom: Interesting take, Dale! Thanks for your visit and your subsequent note to me! ;-)

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      Great lens. The extent of my knowledge about Iowa before this lens was that it was/will be the birth place of Captain James T. Kirk! Good lens.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @Rangoon House: Thank you, so much! ;-)

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      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I lived in the Quad Cities (on the other side), but often visited the Circle Tap in Davenport for ribs! I have visited Amana and have a very dear friend (around your vintage) who is an Iowa State medicine graduate. All wonderful memories. Blessings.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @nomadic: Thanks for stopping by... very much appreciate several likes from you! ;-)

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      nomadic 5 years ago

      Nice lens, I'm from Nebraska and my Grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins all live in Iowa, a really nice state.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @WriterJanis2: Thank you, so much. Your comments help keep me going... ;-)

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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Another great lens by you!

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      I've lived in Iowa all my life ... and was a student and secretary at Iowa State for many years. Thanks for putting together this resource. I especially love the Amana Colonies, which are rich in Amish history.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @JohnTannahill: We surely invite you to visit the Heartland of the USA - very different experience from the coasts... I've lived in and visited all of those... and choose to live in the center of the country. ;-)

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      John Tannahill 5 years ago from Somewhere in England

      Like most people who don't come from the USA, and probably quite a few who do, my experience is limited to a few States only - New York, Florida and California. I would love to travel around other places like Iowa.

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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @pawpaw911: Just a touch... thanks for the visit! ;-)

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      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Thanks for the virtual tour.

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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @RinchenChodron: Great! I appreciate your comment! ;-)

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      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Yes, I lived in the "Golden Buckle of the Cornbelt" for a few years in Cedar Rapids. Great friendly people.

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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @vaigavenugopal: Thank you, I appreciate your comment and suggestion! ;-)

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      vaigavenugopal 5 years ago

      Love the place.thank you..please share more pictures..:)

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