Located in the Midwestern part of the United States of America, often called the “American Heartland”, the state of Iowa is the 29th state to be admitted to the union in December 28th, 1846. It is ranked as the 26th largest state in the country by land area and the ranked the 30th most populous state with an estimated population of 3, 007, 856 residents. Nicknamed as the “Hawkeye State” and “The Food Capital of the World”, it is listed as one of the safest states to live in. The state is known for the diversity of its economy, culture and landscape. It is characterized by scenic parks, clear water lakes and undulating fields and plains.

Iowa’s capital city is Des Moines which is both the state’s largest and most populous city. Nicknamed as the “Hartford of the West”, Des Moines is referred to as the “number one spot for United States insurance companies” (Business Wire article). It is the home of several major corporations and insurance companies including the Principal Financial Group, Ruan Transportation, EMC Insurance Companies, Meredith Corporation, Wells Fargo, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and many more. Other feats that the city of Des Moines has achieved includes “the best place for a business” (Forbes Magazine, 2010) and #9 in the 2008 Best Cities list (Kiplinger’s Personal Finance). Iowa’s capital city gets its name from Fort Des Moines which was named for the Des Moines River. The city name “Des Moines” (French) means “of the monks”. The city of Des Moines is not all about business, there are plenty of fun attractions that you can visit in the city. You would want to visit the Capitol, the Des Moines Art Center, the State Historical Museum, the Fort Des Moines Museum and the Science Center of Iowa for a sightseeing learning experience. If you are looking for some outdoor fun in the city, you can visit the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Redfield, the Iowa State Fair Campgrounds, the Walnut Woods State Park, and the Willow Creek Golf Course among others. If you have children with you, you could bring them to the Blank Park Zoo, the Noodle Zoo, the Baby Boomers and Adventureland.

Other Iowa attractions include the Alder Theater, a beautiful building rich in arts and culture, the Orpheum Theater which has brought entertainment to the state since the year 1929, the Riverside Theater where the annual Shakespeare Festival is held, the Reiman Gardens which serves as the entrance to the Iowa State University and has 11 stunning gardens and an indoor conservatory, the US Cellular Center (Cedar Rapids) where there are great family shows, concerts and other events, the Dutch Windmill (Pella), the tallest working Dutch Windmill in the country, the Science Station which is one of Iowa’s premier museums (with over 130 interactive exhibits) and many more. Iowa may not be the best place for outdoor fun and beach fun, but it’s rich and diverse cultural heritage will never fail to amaze visitors from around the world.

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