This summer has been a different one, being at home much more than we're used to. We've been determined to make the most of it, so we've been enjoying new types of adventures, just closer to home here in Iowa!
For as many years as I've lived in Iowa, and for as often as we visit cool parks in other states, I really haven't taken much time to visit Iowa parks in the past. Recently I learned that this year is the 100 year anniversary of the Iowa State Parks System, and as part of the celebration, Travel Iowa and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources teamed up to launch the Iowa State Parks Passport! You can sign up for your own passport here, where then you can easily find all the state parks around Iowa, or search which ones are closest to you. Each time you visit one, you can check in online to mark that you've visited, and for each check in you're entered to win (fun things like 2 nights at Honey Creek Resort or free camping!)
Last week Lou and I made a short little 25 minute drive over to check out Badger Creek State Park to check out the sunflower fields, which are currently in full bloom and it's truly a spectacular site to see! I appreciated how easily accessible and safe it felt there - while some others were visiting at the same time we were, everyone kept their distance and was respectful of others space.
This summer I've been developing a new love for the beauty we have all around us in Iowa - did you know one Iowa hike was recently named by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the best hikes in the US? That one's next on my list to get to. We're lucky that in Iowa we don't have to go far to have amazing outdoor experiences, and I'm excited to continue exploring new places closer to home!
*A special thank you to Travel Iowa and the Iowa DNR for sponsoring this post!