Summer Staycations Iowa

Iowa Summer Staycations 2022

We all love embarking on a grand vacation from time to time—but sometimes the best adventure can be enjoyed right within the comforts of our own state. Whether you’re looking for a brief weekend getaway or are in the mood for a weeklong retreat with family, you’ll find plenty of fun (and cozy) staycation offerings all throughout Iowa.

Here are a few of the best:

Photo courtesy Honey Creek Resort.

Honey Creek Resort


Set alongside the shores of Rathbun Lake is Honey Creek Resort—a premiere vacation destination in south-central Iowa that brings together everything from an indoor water park and an 18-hole championship golf course to a wide variety of educational programs that are hosted all summer long (and surprisingly fun for adults and kiddos alike), kayak and water adventure rentals aplenty, and even on-site dining offerings that ignite all of the best flavor senses through the Rathbun Lakeshore Grille Restaurant’s unique menu.

Photo courtesy Nauti Marina Houseboat Rentals.

Nauti Marina Houseboat Rentals


Nauti Marina Houseboat Rentals give a whole new meaning to summertime adventure. Sure, we all love enjoying our fair share of water activities throughout the summer months. But with a houseboat rental, you can literally live the dream of lake life 24/7—and still enjoy comfortable amenities, too. Nauti Boat Rentals is based in McGregor across the Mississippi River from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and features a refreshing change of scenery, all in the heart of the scenic Upper Mississippi country.

Photo courtesy Grand Falls Casino.

Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort


Why gamble on an expensive vacation to a far-away resort, when you can enjoy all the charm of a casino escape right within the heart of Larchwood? The Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort adds a more unique, hometown flair to the classic casino experience—with updated hotel amenities (and a special “Live It Up” package for summer that includes a $40 food/beverage credit and $20 credit in Free Slot Play), on-site sports betting, delicious sports bar and grill dining offerings, and even year-round entertainment that features everything from live music to touring shows and more.

Photo courtesy Mont Rest Inn.

Mont Rest Inn


With the word “rest” quite literally in the name, you know that you’re getting a peaceful staycation escape at this nostalgic hotspot. Bellevue’s Mont Rest Inn is hailed as one of the most luxurious bed and breakfast destinations in the Midwest—with a history that dates back to 1893 and is nestled on a nine-acre wooded bluff that features sweeping views of the neighboring Mississippi River. Naturally, the inn is a beloved destination for couples—with guest suites that feature on-site Jacuzzis and fireplaces for added romance. Whether you’re looking to unwind on the rooftop observation deck, enjoy a slow morning in (complete with decadent breakfast offerings), embark on a canoe trip up the river, indulge in an in-room spa service or venture through the famous Iowa city, there’s no shortage of beautiful experiences to enjoy alone, with your partner or even the whole fam this summer.

Photo courtesy New Day Dairy Farm.

New Day Dairy Farm GuestBarn


It doesn’t get more Iowan than a farm staycation—especially if it’s at the New Day Dairy Farm that’s as rustic as it is totally adorable. Settled in the heart of Clarksville, the working dairy farm’s GuestBarn lodging accommodations not only sleep up to nine people, they also feature uniquely themed rooms that will be appreciated by adults and kiddos alike. Besides classic amenities, guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a full, farm-friendly experience—complete with themed toys, games, books and puzzles. If you’re looking to get a closer glimpse at how all of the destinations, farm-fresh food offerings are brought to life, visitors can also opt to take a tour of the property through the “Be A Dairy Farmer Challenge”—which gives guests a whole new level of appreciation for how much dedication goes into managing the #farmlife.

Photo courtesy Bridges Bay Water Resort.

Bridges Bay Water Resort

Arnolds Park

Entertainment and adventure are seamlessly blended together at the Bridges Bay Water Resort—one of Iowa’s most popular destinations for a quintessential Okoboji vacation. On-site, visitors can enjoy kid-like fun regardless of the weather at the Boji Splash Indoor Waterpark or lounge poolside with a flirty drink in-hand at the resort’s adult swim-up bar. The famous SkyRider Zipline is a must-try for anyone in the mood for some adrenaline-inducing adventure. And those hoping to tap into a more relaxed staycay away will love unwinding lakeside at the Bracco World Cafe and Beach Bar. 

Photo courtesy Grand Harbor Resort.

Grand Harbor Resort


Kiddos and adults alike will rejoice at the opportunity to escape to Dubuque’s Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark for a quaint family staycation! From a youthful waterpark chock-full of fun, water activities aplenty to comfortable, Midwest-inspired lodging and a convenient location settled right alongside the Mississippi Riverfront, guests will get to enjoy the full Dubuque experience—and be close enough to other prime entertainment spots in the city like the National Mississippi River Museum and Diamond Jo Casino.

Photo courtesy Glamping Hub.

Anita Rustic Cabin Escape


An unforgettable summer vacation should be a lot of things—but perhaps most of all, it should definitely be relaxing. Those hoping to opt for a more casual, laidback staycation experience will find true solace, joy and peace at this Anita-based Rustic Cabin Escape—an elegant and family-owned vacation rental that features a full kitchen, private bathroom and accommodations for up to 10 guests. Best of all: the charming, brown log-built cabin is perched on a lot in Cass County (talk about true seclusion) and even boasts a wraparound deck, fire pit and 10-acre private pond—perfect for enjoy water activities exclusive to just you and your family.

Photo courtesy Lakeshore RV Resort.

Lakeshore RV Resort and Campground


Sure, a classic hotel stay can be nice—but some of the best summer memories are made in the great outdoors. Whether you’re an amateur camper or a seasoned RV traveler, you’ll find relaxation, family-oriented fun and the space to reconnect with the state’s beautiful, untouched nature at Lakeshore RV Resort and Campground. Perched on Lake Oelwein in northeast Iowa, the family-owned campground provides comfortable amenities, clean camping sites, trailer plug-ins, a wide variety of adventurous water activities (like canoeing, kayaking, fishing and more) and no shortage of community-driven events that help to connect all campers throughout the summer season.

Photo courtesy Hotel Julien.

Hotel Julien


If you’re looking for a more elegant summer escape, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Hotel Julien—Dubuque’s premier boutique hotel that mixes Old World charm, modern amenities and an inimitable Iowan essence together, all in the heart of the city’s Old Main District. Between the regal decor, expansive Potosa Spa space, and even an on-site restaurant that specializes in delivering American cuisine, Hotel Julien has everything you’ll need to enjoy a romantic summer staycation with your partner or a memorable getaway with the whole family.

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