I recently shared some of the things we’re looking forward to about living in Iowa, but I wanted to go more in-depth with our travel goals for the next 3 years!
1. Badlands/Black Hills/Mount Rushmore/Wounded Knee, South Dakota
I had never heard of the Badlands until I watched that infamous two-on-one date on The Bachelor between Chris, Kelsey, and Ashley. I remember watching that episode and deciding that someday, I’d go there. I also want to visit Mount Rushmore. Andy, the history buff, wants to visit Wounded Knee.
2. Yellowstone National Park (Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho)
This is another place I’ve always wanted to visit! There is just something so American about seeing Ole Faithful in person!
3. North Dakota
I will be 100% honest, I know only three things about the entire state of North Dakota: Bismarck, Fargo, and Minot AFB (why not Minot? ‘Cause freezin’s the reason!) But I do want to visit all 50 states, so even if I just drive across the border, I have to hit this one somehow!
4. Laura Ingalls Wilder Museums in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, Pepin, Wisconsin, and De Smet, South Dakota.
Anyone that knew me as a child knows I was obsessed with Laura Ingalls. I dressed up as her for many, many Halloweens. Her “Little House” series were the first books I ever bought with my own money. I always dreamed of visiting at least one of her homes as a child, and now I finally can– and will be close enough to visit a couple of them! De Smet, South Dakota hosts a Laura Ingalls pageant every July, which would be neat to attend!
5. Chicago, Illinois
Surprisingly, I’ve never been to Chicago! I’ve always wanted to see my reflection in The Bean and walk along the Navy Pier. I always wanted to attend a taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show but that just wasn’t meant to be 🙁
6. Omaha, Nebraska
I will be totally awesome, I have absolutely no idea what fun things there are to do in Omaha. But it’s a major Midwestern city, and I’ve never been to Nebraska before either!
7. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
It may be because a certain blogging BFF of mine will be in Kansas for a year 😉 The Criminal Justice major in me thinks it would be really interesting to see the U.S. Federal Penitentiary (albeit it from a distance.) It helps that Leavenworth is only 5 hours from our new home and is the closest active-duty Army base, because we’ll be there on occasion.
8. Mackinac Island, Michigan
Mackinac Island is on Michigan’s northern peninsula and is a famous tourist destination because the island bans all motorized vehicles. Your only transportation options are walking, riding a bicycle, or riding in a horse-drawn carriage. How neat! I first heard about Mackinac Island by reading Maria and Rob from Crazy Together’s recap of their vacation to the island. At first, I didn’t think this trip would be feasible since Michigan seems so far from Iowa, but then I read Kate’s recap of taking the SS Badger ferry from Wisconsin to Michigan. The SS Badger is pricey (it would be about $350 for round-trip for 2 adults and a vehicle) so we will have to consider that. (Otherwise, we might just drive through Canada to get to Mackinac Island!)
9. Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Prairie School” architecture houses and Park Inn Hotel
Right in our new backyard is a hidden gem in American architecture! A number of homes in Mason City are built in the “Prairie School” architecture style. The last remaining Frank Lloyd Wright hotel is even in Mason City! Staycation, here we come!
Do you have any suggestions on where we should visit?