If you think Iowa is flat, just visit northeast Iowa and, in particular, McGregor. This little Mississippi River town is surrounded by steep bluffs, which give tourists great views and trails to hike. But McGregor is most remarkable for its oddball attractions.
When to go: It's gorgeous in fall, and that's when the crowds come.
What to do: Take a boat tour of Spook Cave (pictured). See one of the Upper Mississippi's best views from Pikes Peak State Park. Hike at Effigy Mounds National Monument. Browse in River Junction Trade Co., outfitter to gunslingers and riverboat gamblers.
Events to catch: Oct. 6-7, Hawk Watch Weekend at Effigy Mounds. Oct. 6-7 and 13-14, Fall Arts & Crafts in McGregor and Flea Market in Marquette.
Details: See Memorable McGregor and One fall swoop.