Iowa is making a name for itself throughout the meeting and event industry … And rightfully so. Some of the largest U.S. cities are located in America’s heartland and offer great options for meetings.

The greater Des Moines area has become a magnet for various activities over the last few years. Its regional economy is growing as a result of its talented workforce and competitive cost of doing business — both of which have built an economic momentum that has grabbed the attention of global companies looking for a state-of-the-art destination for their next event. From Des Moines’ River Center to the Iowa Events Center, there is ample flexible event space for gatherings of all sizes.

Of course, Iowa’s other claim to fame is its idyllic riverfront gem, Dubuque. Located along the mighty Mississippi River, the city is overflowing with unique venues that are ideal for groups looking for a combination of charm and innovation.

And when the meetings have ended, and it’s time to relax and unwind, attendees will enjoy Iowa’s breathtaking landscapes and abundant history. Attendees can try iconic Iowa foods, sample craft breweries and wineries, and explore the cultural events found within the state’s largest cities.

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6 Places to Check Out

  1. Backbone State Park, Dundee
    Iowa’s first state park consists of a steep ridge of bedrock from the Maquoketa River, which forms a high point called The Devil’s Backbone. Take a walk through history by checking out the Civilian Conservation Corps museum or explore the 21-mile trail system.
  2. Arnolds Park Amusement Park, Arnolds Park
    This historic amusement park hosts 23 rides on 20 acres. The full-fledged amusement park also includes go-karts and river cruises on The Queen, a large steamer, on West Okoboji Lake. Be one of the many groups that have their events at the park every summer.
  3. Templeton Distillery, Templeton
    History buffs, whiskey aficionados and adventurists can all find something to enjoy on this tour. Begin in the museum, then explore the distillery and see where the whiskey is bottled. Finish in the tasting room sampling premium whiskies.
  4. The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Dubuque
    An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, this museum and aquarium allows you to explore the history, culture, animals and conservation found along the Mississippi River. Enjoy dynamic aquariums, historical exhibits, a boatyard, the William M. Black dredge boat and a wetland area along the 14-acre campus.
  5. Wildcat Den State Park, Muscatine
    Visitors will find both historical and natural treasures at this park, which features 75-foot cliffs, rock formations, and the 1848 Pine Creek Gristmill and Pine Mill Bridge. Trails wind through a variety of terrain, leading to natural geological formations.
  6. Ackerman Winery, Amana
    Iowa’s oldest winery has been handcrafting fruit and grape wines in the Amana Colonies since 1956. It’s a beautiful place to relax, savor a glass of wine and make memories. Choose from an array of standard wine-tasting options, or enjoy a guided experience by booking a private wine tasting or tour for your group.