8 State Staycation Guide to One-Day Road Trips

Apr 13, 2016 7 min read

Farm Bureau serves some of the most beautiful states in America. We all love our hometowns, but there’s a wide world worth exploring in every state that Farm Bureau serves. And chances are, you can discover these interesting sites all within a day trip. Take a look at our list below.


Starting from the capital city, Des Moines, you can hit pretty much any Iowa location within a day. Here are three interesting spots to visit in the Hawkeye state.

Amana Colonies (103 miles from Des Moines) – These seven villages spread across 26,000 acres in eastern-central Iowa are a designated National Historic Landmark and are packed with restaurants, museum and craft shops. Check out spots like the Amana Heritage Museum, the Communal Kitchen and Copper Shop (where colony members all ate together) or the Homestead Blacksmith Shop. You can also wander the streets of the colonies, taking in the historic homes and gardens.

Field of Dreams, Dyersville (193 miles from Des Moines) – More than 25 years after being built, visitors still come to this baseball diamond in the middle of a corn field that was the filming location for “Field of Dreams.” Is this heaven? No, but it’s a good place to play catch. After taking the field, you can stop by the Iowa Baseball Museum in nearby Norway for more fun.

Ida Grove, (139 miles from Des Moines) – Ida Grove is known as Iowa’s “Castle Town,” thanks to the many structures built around the town by businessman Byron Godbersen. Godbersen also built an eight-acre lake and placed a half-scale replica of the H.M.S. Bounty in it. Ida Grove is an example of how one man with unusual taste can shape his community.


Beyond Omaha and Lincoln, there are many interesting little spots in Nebraska worth making a day trip to. Pack up your vehicle and check out these locations:

Indian Cave State Park, Schubert (95 miles from Omaha) – There are beautiful spots to camp and picnic in Indian Cave State Park, along with 22 miles of trails for hiking and biking. You can also check out the sandstone cave that gives the park its name. It’s full of ancient petroglyphs depicting wildlife in the area. It’s also worth stopping in the ghost town of St. Deroin on the park’s northern edge.

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Cowboy Trail, Norfolk (200 miles from Omaha) – For a fun day trip from Omaha, head northwest to check out the 195-mile long Cowboy Trail that will eventually stretch 321 miles from Chadron to Norfolk through the Nebraska Outback. The trail is built on the abandoned Chicago and North Western Railway corridor and is perfect for hiking, biking and horseback riding. It also features breathtaking locations like a 148-foot high railroad bridge.

Hastings Museum, Hastings (156 miles from Omaha) – Hey Kool-Aid! In 1927, Hastings resident Edwin Perkins invented the instant soft drink Kool-Aid before moving his company to Chicago. Hastings is pretty proud of the sweet drink. Stop in to check out the Kool-Aid Discover the Dream exhibit at the museum.


There’s no place like home, and there’s no place like Kansas. You’re in for some fun day trips from Wichita when you head out in search of these locations.

Four-State Lookout, White Cloud (223 miles from Wichita) – Get a lookout view of Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, in addition to Kansas at the Four-State Lookout in the glacial hills of White Cloud. Rolling hills, beautiful farmland and the Missouri River are all visible from the observation tower, which lets you see more than 60 miles on a clear day.

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The Cosmosphere, Hutchinson (52 miles from Wichita) – When you think Kansas, is space travel the first thing that comes to mind? Probably not, but The Cosmosphere is the largest collection of United States and Russian spaceflight artifacts in the world. You can check out items like the Liberty Bell 7 Mercury Spacecraft, an Apollo 13 command module, a Sputnik 1 backup and much more.

Largest Ball of Twine, Cawker City (170 miles from Wichita) – Millions of feet of twine have gone into creating the world’s largest ball of twine. It weighs 20,000 pounds and is more than 40 feet around. The best part? It’s still growing, thanks to the Twine-a-thon held every August. You don’t have to wait, though. Stop by the Almost Done Inn for some twine to make your own addition to the ball.


The Twin Cities are full of great things to do, but so is the rest of Minnesota. You can find plenty of fun day trips in the land of 10,000 lakes.

Schell’s Brewery, New Ulm (97 miles from the Twin Cities) – The makers of Grain Belt started brewing beer in 1860, making Schell’s the second oldest family-owned brewery in America. The brewery is open for tours Friday-Sunday, as is the Museum of Brewing, to let you learn more about your favorite beverages.

Great Lakes Aquarium, Duluth (156 miles from the Twin Cities) – Take in the flora and fauna of the Great Lakes on the shores of Lake Superior (along with many saltwater fish) at the Great Lakes Aquarium. It’s not all fish – otters, birds, turtles and snakes also populate the museum. It’s a great way to learn, in close proximity to North America’s largest freshwater lake.

Spam Museum, Austin (100 miles from the Twin Cities) – In April, Hormel Foods is opening a new museum dedicated to its most (in)famous product: Spam. You can visit the museum to learn more about the canned meat that inspired Monty Python sketches and a name for unwanted emails. Try warm samples, check out the varieties sold worldwide, brush up on Spam history and buy some Spam boxers from the gift shop.

South Dakota

Day trips from Sioux Falls often mean a scenic trek across most of South Dakota. Here are a few options worth the drive.

Corn Palace, Mitchell (75 miles from Sioux Falls) – Every year local artists in Mitchell create corn murals to decorate the outside of the Corn Palace. It’s a tradition dating back more than 120 years (the current Corn Palace was built in 1921). The Corn Palace is free to visit and open all year long. It also features regular ticketed special events, like concerts, circuses, theater productions and more.  

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Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer County (382 miles from Sioux Falls) – The under- construction Crazy Horse Memorial looms large over the Black Hills of South Dakota. It’s easy to make a day trip to Mount Rushmore include this stone carving as well, which has been in the works since 1948. When finished, Crazy Horse will be more than 600 feet long and 500 feet high.

Historic Deadwood, Deadwood (384 miles from Sioux Falls) – Visit the final resting places of wild west legends like Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok in Historic Deadwood. The town is full of gaming halls, casinos and saloons, just as it was in the 1870s. There are also reenactments of shootouts on Main Street, along with beautiful spots to walk, bike, rock climb and fish.


Arizona is full of beautiful outdoor attractions that must be seen to be believed. You can head out on these day trips from Phoenix and get some quality time in the sun.

Grand Canyon National Park (223 miles from Phoenix) – Over the course of two billion years the Colorado River carved a 277-mile-long, 18-mile wide canyon that is one of North America’s defining natural features. It’s the perfect place for hiking, camping, bus tours, kayaking and more. A visit to the Grand Canyon can range from hours to multiple days.

Standin’ on the Corner Park, Winslow (201 miles from Phoenix) – The rock band The Eagles immortalized Winslow with a lyric in “Take it Easy.” In turn, Winslow immortalized the song with a park. Naturally located on a corner, the park features a two-story mural and a statue of a 70’s-era man that bears some resemblance to the songwriter of “Take it Easy,” Jackson Browne.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson (110 miles from Phoenix) – Almost all of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is outdoors, making for a much more interesting experience than traditional museums. Wander the open desert and take in the natural beauty, along with wild animals, like snakes, tortoises, bobcats, and coyotes. The museum features multiple woodlands, gardens, canyons and more.


Utah is a huge state, but it doesn’t have a huge population. That means there are lots of beautiful open spaces to visit. There are lots of fun day trips you can make from Salt Lake City.

Antelope Island State Park, Syracuse (59 miles from Salt Lake City) – Antelope Island is the largest of 10 islands in the Great Salt Lake, located in the lake’s southeastern area. The island is home to a surprising amount of wildlife for an island surrounded by salt water, including bison, which were introduced by the island’s Fielding Garr Ranch. It’s a great location for camping, horseback riding, biking or swimming in the salty waters of the lake.

Big Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood Canyons, (25 miles from Salt Lake City) – These two canyons are in close proximity to Salt Lake City and offer scenic views and great options for hiking, picnicking, camping, fishing and more. The canyons were carved by an alpine glacier during the last ice age, and Mormon pioneers used quartz quarried from Little Cottonwood to build the Salt Lake Temple.

Devil’s Slide, Croydon (51 miles from Salt Lake City) – This unique limestone structure was caused by years of erosion in Utah’s Weber Canyon, creating a slide-like structure that sticks out 40 feet from the mountainside. In the early 20th century, a town sprung up around the slide, but by the 1980s, it was mostly abandoned. The town is gone, but the slide remains.

New Mexico

There are endless spots in beautiful New Mexico you can make a fun day trip to from Albuquerque. The state has a rich history with the outdoors, and the arts are well worth a drive.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe (63 miles from Albuquerque) – See the largest permanent collection of New Mexico artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s work at this museum. In addition to O’Keeffe’s work, the museum includes photography, items from her personal property, archives and regularly features works by other artists, like Susan York and Todd Webb.

Jemez Hot Springs, Sandoval County (60 miles from Albuquerque) – Take a soak in the natural hot springs located around Jemez Springs. There are privately owned hot springs, as well as springs on public land, like Soda Dam, McCauley Warm Springs and Spence Hot Springs. There are many hiking and camping opportunities in the area, along with shopping and entertainment.

Roswell UFO Museum, Roswell (201 miles from Albuquerque) – The town of Roswell, New Mexico is forever linked to an alleged UFO crash that happened in the area in 1947. The Roswell UFO Museum maintains that it is a serious examination of UFOs, but most visitors are a bit more tongue-in-cheek.

No matter where you are on your day trip vacation, we will be there to help provide the auto coverage you need. You may be or may not be far from home, but you’re never far from a Farm Bureau agent.

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