Plan a weekend of wine tasting, golf, spa treatments, caving, boating or hiking at one of these unique getaways in Iowa.

Spend a few days relaxing with a view of the Iowa Great Lakes, visit the flea markets, explore the Crystal Lake Cave just south of Dubuque, or play a game of mini-golf with the family. In the summer, attend outdoor concerts, hike along scenic trails with views of the Mississippi River, or simply relax surrounded by calm country views. Driving times from Des Moines to some of the best Iowa destinations are included to help you plan your trip.

1. Four Mounds Inn - 3 hours from Des Moines

Four Mounds Inn - 3 hours from Des Moines
© Four Mounds Inn

The Four Mounds Inn in Dubuque is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers three different lodging options, all located on the banks of the Mississippi River in a Dubuque Landmark Site that has been preserved since 1808.

The Grey House and The White House were both built in the early 20th century, and can be rented by room, or as a unit for a large gathering - with exclusive access to all the rooms and kitchen during your stay.

The Marvin Gardens pine cabin was built in 1954, and can sleep up to four people at a time. Each room is equipped with large comfortable beds, and astounding views of the neighboring historic buildings and trails.

A delicious hot breakfast is served each morning. Visitors can trek through the Four Mounds Hiking Trails, and explore the various outbuildings and monuments that are located in the park, including the four Native American burial mounds that give the park its name. If you are looking for affordable Iowa destinations, the Four Mounds Inn is a good choice.

4900 Peru Rd, Dubuque, IA 52001, Phone: (563) 556-1908, Map

2. Brookstone Lodge and Suites - 2 hours 20 min from Des Moines

Brookstone Lodge and Suites - 2 hours 20 min from Des Moines
© Brookstone Lodge and Suites

Brookstone Lodge and Suites is located in Algona, Iowa, and features many different rooms to suit every need. Guests can choose from modern style rooms or suites, all of which feature a microwave and refrigerator, coffee maker, ironing board and hair dryer en suite.

Travelers will also find a business center located in the building, which includes a guest computer for easy printing and faxing.

A complimentary pass to Anytime Fitness is available for those wishing to stay active during their stay. Coin laundry facilities are available on-site for guests’ convenience. A large continental breakfast is served each morning, and includes hot items like eggs and sausages as well as traditional fare like cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, pastries, and more.

The property is close to Ambrose A. Call National Park, which protects within it a beautiful old-growth forest- perfect for nature-loving travelers. More info

3408 Main St, Emmetsburg, IA 50536, Phone: (712) 415-1079, Map

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3. Hotel Julien Dubuque - 3 hour

Hotel Julien Dubuque - 3 hour
© Hotel Julien Dubuque

Hotel Julien Dubuque offers 133 spacious and elegant rooms to guests, with a variety of suites to suit every traveler, including those looking for spa getaways in Iowa. Each room comes equipped with luxury linens, pillow-top mattresses, complimentary Wi-Fi, LCD HDTVs, a walk-in shower, and spa-quality bath products. Hotel Julien Dubuque also offers specialty suites complete with Whirlpool baths, king-sized beds, and oversized rooms that comfortably sleep up to four adults.

The Potosa Spa is located on the lower level of the hotel, and their complete menu of services will ease tension and encourage relaxation.

Their treatments are inspired by the Native American Medicine Wheel, and include signature services only found at this location.

After your spa treatment, dine on American cuisine at Caroline’s Restaurant, or opt for cocktails and appetizers at the Riverboat Lounge. Located in the heart of downtown, guests can walk to the Mississippi River, or to Asbury Plaza shopping center. More info

200 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, Phone: (563) 556-4200, Map

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4. Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, Dubuque

Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, Dubuque
© Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark

Perfectly located on the Mississippi Waterfront, the Grand Harbor Resort offers easy access to many Dubuque attractions. That said, there is so much to do at the resort that you may never want to leave. For many visitors the Waterpark is the prime attractions, featuring a wide variety of exciting rides, slides and splashes. The indoor waterpark is fun all year round and there are activities for all ages. The guestrooms are spacious and modern offering free Wi-Fi, Coffee Maker, Microwave and Mini-fridge for your convenience. Your dining requirements are taken care of by the Tony Roma Restaurant where you can feast on delicious ribs, steaks, sea foods and more.

Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, Dubuque, 350 Bell St, Dubuque, IA 52001, 563 690 4000

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5. Mason House Inn - 2 hours 20 min

Mason House Inn - 2 hours 20 min
© Mason House Inn

Mason House Inn & Caboose Cottage is a charming bed and breakfast located in historic Bentonsport, Iowa. The hotel was built in 1846 by Mormon craftsmen, and the nine rooms and suites are all decorated in a unique themed style, intentionally void of any technology to encourage guests to relax and embrace the antique theme.

Adventurous guests can rent Caboose Cottage, formerly a working RS&P caboose, which now has a kitchen, dining area, and bedrooms that sleep up to 4 people. Most rooms in the house feature handmade quilts, carved bed frames, and other traditional handiwork, in addition to modern comforts like pillow-top mattresses and complimentary Wi-Fi.

A country breakfast is served by the proprietor each morning in the 40 foot dining room. Mason House Inn is centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, Omaha, Kansas City, and Minneapolis, and is the perfect distance away for a relaxing weekend retreat.

21982 Hawk Dr, Keosauqua, IA 52565, Phone: (319) 592-3133, Map

6. Kingsley Inn - 2 hours 50 min

Kingsley Inn - 2 hours 50 min
© Kingsley Inn

With modern comforts and superior service, Kingsley Inn is an integral part of the Fort Madison community. Each room is appointed with luxury and comfort in mind, and while each are decorated in a unique style, all rooms and suites include amenities like HD televisions, deluxe bedding, and generously sized bathtubs.

The Kingsley Inn High Tea offers the perfect combination of savory and sweet fare, along with delicate teas, every Saturday by reservation only. Stay & Play packages are available, which include the hotel booking as well as a round at Lake Cooper Golf Club, plus other activities, and dinner at the club restaurant. Although the hotel restaurant is currently closed for remodeling, when they reopen, Atlas Steak and Smokehouse Restaurant will focus on bistro cuisine such as steak, fish, and house-smoked bacon.

Fort Madison is a vibrant community, and is also the home of the longest double deck swing-span bridge.

707 Ave H, Fort Madison, IA 52627, Phone: (319) 372-2144, Map

7. Belmont Hill - 2 hours

Belmont Hill - 2 hours
© Belmont Hill

Belmont Hill Victorian Bed & Breakfast in Cedar Rapids is a stunning 1882 National Register home that has been renovated into a beautiful vintage getaway. The three guest rooms have been updated to include all the modern comforts like central air conditioning, satellite television, high speed Wi-Fi and private baths, while still staying true to the Victorian aesthetic of the original home.

Recycled wood elements and historic brick walls make each room cozy and completely unique. The wooded grounds and spacious perennial gardens of the house are the perfect place for a quiet walk.

Belmont Hill provides an indulgent breakfast for guests, complete with fresh juices, fruit, and a selection of delicious pastries. The breakfast table is set in traditional style, complete with fine linen, china, crystal, and a roaring fireplace. Its central location in Cedar Rapids is close to many attractions like the Amana Colonies and the Kalona Amish Community. More info

1525 Cherokee Dr NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405, Phone: (319) 366-1343, Map

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8. The Blackhawk Hotel - 2 hours

The Blackhawk Hotel - 2 hours
© The Blackhawk Hotel

As the oldest operating hotel in Iowa, The Blackhawk Hotel has a longstanding tradition of excellence and customer satisfaction. A large variety of rooms and suites offer something for every price range, however all accommodations come with high speed Wi-Fi, TV and DVD players, and coffee makers.

Many suites overlook pre-Civil War era historic Main Street, and come with other luxuries like whirlpools, exposed brick walls, and expansive sitting rooms. Guests can unwind with a cocktail at The Stuffed Olive martini lounge, which is tucked away in a quiet corner of the hotel lobby. Soho Sushi Bar and Deli is a unique restaurant that serves both classic New York deli fare and California sushi plates.

The hotel is centrally located in the Cedar Falls downtown area, and is close to the Performing Arts Centre, the Ostler Regent Theatre, and the Cedar Falls trails that are just steps away. More info

200 E 3rd St, Davenport, IA 52801, Phone: (563) 322-5000, Map

9. Okoboji Inn and Suites - 3 hours 15 minutes

Okoboji Inn and Suites - 3 hours 15 minutes
© Okoboji Inn and Suites

Located Milford, Iowa, right next to the Iowa Great Lakes, Okoboji Boulders Inn and Suites provides the perfect atmosphere for any trip, whether it be a fishing excursion, family outing or romantic getaway.

Every room comes equipped with amenities like a 32-inch plasma HD TV, rollaway beds, and complimentary high speed Wi-Fi. Spacious suites come with indulgences like whirlpool tubs and luxury bedding. A hot breakfast is served each morning, and guests can cook for themselves at the outdoor grill and fire pit, complete with picnic seating.

The Emerald Hill Golf Course is located right next to the hotel, and special package pricing is available for golfers who want to try out this beautiful and challenging course.

Enjoy the outdoors at the nearby Horseshoe Bend County Wildlife Preserve, or take in a show at one of the many different indoor and outdoor concert venues around the Iowa Great Lakes region. More about Okoboji Boulders Inn and Suites

3400 Okoboji Ave, Milford, IA 51351 Phone: (712) 338-4424, Map

10. Wilder Park - 2 hours

Wilder Park - 2 hours
© Wilder Park

Close to Allison, Iowa, Wilder Park hosts many different types of wildlife, and has options to suit every camper. Wilder Park has 52 campsites, 24 of which can be booked in advance for a small fee per day.

Campsites with electricity and full hook-ups are available, as well as traditional tent camping sites. A shower house, three storm shelters, and a dumping station are all included in the site fees. A mini-golf course is perfect for little ones, while parents can enjoy the full golf course as well as two fishing ponds, baseball diamond, and beach volleyball courts.

A summer concert series on the outdoor stage within the park is a fun evening activity for the whole family, to cap off an adventurous day on the hiking trails. Wilder Park boasts 8 miles of paved biking and hiking trails, as well as beautiful prairies teeming with wildflowers. If you are looking for cheap Iowa destinations, tent camping at Wilder Park is a good idea. (Wilder Park, Phone: 319-267-2245).

11. Victoria's Vineyard Bed and Breakfast - 20 minutes

Victoria's Vineyard Bed and Breakfast - 20 minutes
© Victoria's Vineyard

Located on the edge of an 80 acre farm and vineyard, Victoria's Vineyard Bed and Breakfast is the perfect getaway for those seeking a night away from the city. Ideally situated on the outskirts of Des Moines, this rustic B&B offers two rooms to its guests: the Master Bedroom with en-suite whirlpool, pillow top mattress and large windows, and the Lower Level Bedroom which features the same comfortable bed and an attached bathroom.

The sitting room, as well as the vineyard, pond and hardwood forest on the property, are available for guests to enjoy. The vineyard is the ideal venue for a wedding of up to 500 people. There is a large event area by the pond, complete with a beautiful gazebo, parking, water and electricity.

A house-made breakfast is served daily. Boarding for horses is also available. For guests on their way to Aventureland Amusement Park or Prairie Meadows Casino, Victoria’s Vineyard B&B is situated five minutes from both.

Victoria's Vineyard Bed and Breakfast, 5096 NE 62nd Ave #9595, Altoona, IA 50009, Phone: (515) 967-1980

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12. Iowa House - 40 minutes

Iowa House - 40 minutes
© Iowa House

Iowa House in Ames is one of the most unique lodgings in the area. The former fraternity house that was renovated in 2008 now boasts 15 unique rooms that can sleep up to 35 guests.

Complimentary Wi-Fi, whirlpool tubs, and pillow-top mattresses make rooms cozy and welcoming, and their large variety of rooms and suites make it the perfect choice for families. Iowa House is decorated in a style that mixes past, present, and future, with quilts by Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon quilter Helen Paine adorning the walls.

A gourmet country breakfast is served each morning, with tasty treats from local bakeries completing the spread. Visitors to Iowa House will find themselves close to amenities and activities like the Furman Aquatic Centre, and many different golf courses. Its proximity to Iowa State University makes it the ideal choice for parents or visitors to the school. (Phone: 855-292-2474).

Iowa House, 405 Hayward Ave, Ames, IA 50014, Phone: (515) 292-2474

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13. Adventureland Inn - 20 minutes

Adventureland Inn - 20 minutes
© Adventureland Inn

Adventureland Inn and Resort, located in Altoona, Iowa, is the official hotel of Adventureland Park. Their huge variety of rooms and suites, many of which are wheelchair-accessible, make this the perfect choice for any family getaway.

A full service campground is also available for tent and RV camping, with access to the water park amenities inside the hotel. The Adventureland Resort boasts three large pools, playful water park features, and two arcades. For adults, the swim-up bar is the perfect place for a cocktail or snack, before relaxing in one of the two hot tubs in one of the covered tropical courtyards.

The Parkview Restaurant serves a traditional breakfast, while the Central Park Restaurant and Lounge serves delicious American favorites. A trolley takes guests right to Adventureland Park. Adventureland Inn is a cheap weekend getaway option near Des Moines. (Adventureland Inn, Phone: 515-265-7321).

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14. Miss Spenser's of Longview Farms

Miss Spenser's of Longview Farms
© Miss Spenser's of Longview Farms

Miss Spenser’s of Longview Farms Bed and Breakfast is a unique and luxurious country getaway, nestled in the prairies right outside of Des Moines. Guests can choose between the Room with a View Suite, which boasts a stunning view and 700 feet of luxury including a sunroom nook, kitchenette, and king-sized bed, or the 400 foot Garden Room, with the same amenities as well as a view overlooking the garden.

Fireplaces in each suite add to the evening’s romantic ambience. A full breakfast is served each morning in Miss Spenser’s Tearoom, which can also be reserved by guests for the full English afternoon tea experience. Complete with gourmet teas and delicate tea fare, guests will be transported to the rolling English countryside- without ever leaving Iowa!

Longview Farm is very close to the walking trails in Hickory Hills Park, where guests can walk while savoring amazing sunset views. (Miss Spenser's of Longview Farms, Phone: 641-342-1547).

You are reading "25 Affordable Iowa Weekend Getaways" & Weekend Getaways

15. Romantic Cabin Getaways in Iowa: The Cottages at Stoney Creek - 20 minutes

Romantic Cabin Getaways in Iowa: The Cottages at Stoney Creek - 20 minutes
© The Cottages at Stoney Creek

The Cottages at Stoney Creek Hotel are ideal for a week-long getaway, offering at least 500 feet of living space, as well as fully stocked kitchens that allow you to cook and eat independently.

Although every practicality is taken care of, cottage suites feature luxurious amenities like whirlpool spas, flat screen televisions, stone fireplaces, and oversized bathrooms. Complimentary hot breakfast starts the day off right, and complimentary appetizers and cocktails are served every weekday evening. Guests have access to the fitness centre and sauna 24 hours a day.

There is also an indoor/outdoor pool and whirlpool. Located near Adventureland Park, the Blank Park Zoo, and Iowa State Fair Grounds, the Cottages at Stoney Creek are the perfect choice for atmosphere that is both luxurious and comfortable. (The Cottages at Stoney Creek, Phone: 904-277-0916).

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16. Mont Rest Bed and Breakfast, Bellevue

Mont Rest Bed and Breakfast, Bellevue
© Mont Rest Bed and Breakfast

Famous for offering remarkable views of the beautiful Mississippi River, the Mont Rest B&B is a popular choice for romantic weekend getaways. Recalling a more gracious era, the historic Mont Rest was built in 1893 and still retains many of its original features. The 13 beautiful guestrooms are the last word in charm and elegance, featuring luxuries like whirlpool baths, fireplaces, heated towel rails and beautiful bed linen. Mont Rest offers regular themed dinners including their fun Murder Mystery dinner on most weekends. They also do wine-pairing dinners in summer and couples can book a private romantic dinner in advance should they wish.

Mont Rest Bed and Breakfast, 300 Spring Street, Bellevue, IA 52031, 563 872 4220

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17. Historic Park Inn, Mason City

Historic Park Inn, Mason City
© Historic Park Inn

Famous as the last remaining hotel in the world which was designed and built the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Historic Park Inn is a must-visit destination for all architecture enthusiasts. The inn was built in 1910 and was originally known as the City National Bank and Park Inn. After undergoing a massive renovation in 2011, the Historic Park Inn now operates as a 27-room boutique hotel. Each of the guestrooms has been individually designed to combine some original features with all the modern facilities that today’s discerning travel demands. The 1910 lounge is the ideal place to enjoy a cocktail and admire the original 100-year old billiards table.

Historic Park Inn, 15 W. State Street, Mason City IA 50401, 641 423 0689

18. Cobblestone Inn & Suites

Cobblestone Inn & Suites
© Cobblestone Inn & Suites

The Cobblestone Inn & Suites sits right on the Mississippi River in the city of Fort Madison, and mixes historic elegance with modern conveniences.

Each room is stylishly appointed with modern furniture and elegant bedding, as well as conveniences like complimentary Wi-Fi and 50-inch HD televisions. An exercise room equipped with television will allow you to keep up to date while working out.

Any business needs can be taken care of at the front desk, with convenient complimentary printing, message, and fax services. A complimentary hot breakfast is served each morning. For travelers in town to visit the Lee County Speedway, or Sheaffer Memorial Golf Course, the Cobblestone Inn & Suites offers special discounts and rates to these nearby activities.

Fort Madison also hosts the Tri-State Rodeo each year, and other events like the Festival of Lights and Old Fort Days make this an ideal year-round vacation spot. (Cobblestone Inn & Suites, Phone: 844-263-4640).

19. Bridges Bay Resort, Arnold’s Park, Lake Okoboji

Bridges Bay Resort, Arnold’s Park, Lake Okoboji
© Jo Panuwat D/

Bridges Bay Resort is located on the shore of Lake Okoboji, where it offers visitors a great base from which to explore the area and enjoy a wide range of activities. The resort is ideal for both couples and families; you can choose from traditional hotel-style rooms with balconies, condo’s with full kitchens, boat cottage rentals and beautiful privately rented luxury condos. The resort has on on-site indoor water park where children of all ages can enjoy splashes, slides and rides all year round. During the warmer months the whole family can enjoy the large outdoor pool with swim-up bar. There are several outfitters offering water sports on the lake.

Bridges Bay Resort, 630 Linden Drive, Arnold’s Park, IA 51331, 712 332 2202

20. King’s Point Resort, Storm Lake

King’s Point Resort, Storm Lake
© King’s Point Resort

Scenically nestled on the edge of Storm Lake, King’s Point Resort is an excellent option for a family getaway in Iowa. Visitors will find everything they need for a fun escape right on site including water sports on the lake, an indoor and outdoor water park and a nine-hole golf course (with a mini-golf course) just across the road. You can choose from a selection of accommodation options including beautifully appointed hotel rooms and suites (many of which offer lake views) and their popular lake-view Sun Rise Cottages, which are fully self-catering. The kids will never be bored at King’s Point; regardless of the weather they can have year-round fun in the indoor water park.

King’s Point Resort, 1520 E. Lakeshore Drive, Storm Lake, IA 50588, 712 213 4500

21. Hotel Winneshiek, Decorah

Hotel Winneshiek, Decorah
© Hotel Winneshiek

Hotel Winneshiek is an historic landmark property located in the heart of Decorah, offering visitors a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Surrounded by stately architecture and rich heritage, guests are welcomed to a haven of elegance and made to feel like family. The guestrooms and suites are a study in refined elegance featuring queen or king beds and luxury linens, coffee makers, and premium toiletries. After a busy day of exploring all the interesting attractions of Decorah you can return to the Hotel Win Bar to relax over a cocktail, craft beer or glass of wine while you enjoy a sharing platter of flatbreads and other treats.

Hotel Winneshiek, 104 E. Water Street, Decorah, IA 52101, 563 382 4164

22. Links Bos Landen Hotel & Spa of Pella, Trademark by Wyndham

Links Bos Landen Hotel & Spa of Pella, Trademark by Wyndham
© ercan senkaya/

Located just minutes from historic downtown Pella, Links Bos Landen Hotel & Spa of Pella, Trademark by Wyndham (formerly The Grandstay Hotel and Suites at Bos Landon Golf Club), is a centrally-located base from which to enjoy all the activities and attractions of the Pella area.

The hotel offers many on-site amenities including a heated indoor swimming pool and a fitness center. The rooms and suites are very comfortably appointed, offering a small fridge and microwave, free Wi-Fi, cable TV and individual temperature control. Some of the suites have whirlpool baths as an extra little luxury. While golfers enjoy a round at the 18-hole championship Bos Landon Golf Club non-golfers can explore downtown Pella.

Grandstay Hotel and Suites, 2508 Bos Landon Drive, Pella, IA 50219, 855 455 7829, Map

23. Lakeside Hotel and Casino

Lakeside Hotel and Casino
© Lakeside Hotel and Casino

Located right on the shore of West Lake in Osceola, the Lakeside Hotel and Casino is a popular getaway destination for couples and families. The resort has a variety of accommodation options including rooms and suites as well as an on-site RV park where glamping enthusiasts can set up camp. The RV sites are fully serviced and have Wi-Fi access and great views.

The hotel has an indoor swimming pool and a fitness room. However, the casino is the main attraction for most visitors, offering 600 slots and video poker machines as well as several table games. You can enjoy a wide variety of musical entertainments and events at their outdoor amphitheater.

Lakeside Hotel and Casino, 777 Casino Drive, Osceola, IA 34758, 641 329 3298

24. Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids
© Aaron/

Straddling both banks of the Cedar River, Cedar Rapids is an upbeat and vibrant destination for your next weekend getaway. This riverside city has some fine museums to visit, and if you are interested in the cultural history of Iowa a good place to start would be the African American Museum of Iowa followed by the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.

Historians can make their way to the History Center, the Iowa Masonic Lodge and Museum, and the Cedar Rapids Area Genealogy Library, while art lovers should not miss the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. At TCR (Theatre Cedar Rapids) you can watch shows by talented locals, or you could attend an Orchestra Iowa show at the historic Paramount Theatre.

Nature and outdoor enthusiasts have several options in Cedar Creek. You can go hiking or cycling along the Cedar Greenbelt National Recreation Trail or the Cedar Valley Nature Trail, explore Indian Creek Nature Center and Linn County Conservation, or play a round at one of several golf courses in the area. To combine fun and education, families can take the children to Old MacDonalds's Farm (Bever Park's Children's Zoo) and Wickiup Hill Learning Center. Sports enthusiasts can watch amateur baseball, hockey, and indoor football, and for shopping there is the NewBo City Market. Cedar Rapids Map

The 25 Affordable Iowa Weekend Getaways & Fun things to do near me today:

From Des Moines, Iowa To      Driving Time
Dubuque, IA3 hours
Algona, Iowa2 hours 20 minutes
Indianola, Iowa30 minutes
Bentonsport, Iowa2 hours 20 min
Fort Madison, IA2 hours 50 min
Cedar Rapids, Iowa2 hours
Cedar Falls, IA2 hours
Milford, Iowa3 hours 15 minutes
Allison, Iowa2 hours
Altoona, Iowa20 minutes
Ames, IA40 minutes
Johnston, IA40 minutes
Marion, IA2 hours 10 minutes