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No, it isn't heaven, no matter what the Oscar-nominated Field of Dreams may imply. But the 29th state admitted to the Union is a cool place to visit. The movie's famous baseball field is here (and you can play on it), as are cornfields galore, one of the country's oldest and most celebrated state fairs, and the famous covered bridges of Madison County. And of course, Iowa's caucuses are where presidential dreams begin (or don't take off at all!). Only one Iowa native's managed to make it all the way to the White House -- Herbert Hoover, whose unfortunate presidency dovetailed with the Great Depression. It's also the home state of Grant Wood, the artist whose American Gothic is one of the most famous pieces of art on the planet (that particular work isn't in Iowa, but 5,000 or so of his other works are scattered throughout the state). And, it's the future birthplace of USS Enterprise captain James T. Kirk, who, according to Star Trek lore, will be born there in March 2228, in Riverside.

Love the great outdoors? Iowans do, and visitors reap the benefits of the local passion for recreation. Iowa offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, including an abundance of fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, and biking. The state even has the largest number of golfers per capita in the country, and they tee up on some of America's best public courses. Native minigolfers are so devoted to getting in their strokes, they even play on ice in the winter (bring spikes!). And before the snow starts falling, the state offers some beautiful fall foliage-watching (and prices that aren't as sky-high as those in states better known for their seasonal coloring). In other words, Iowa is a hidden bargain that hasn't yet been discovered.