The 2011 Iowa Travel Guide is hot off the press and ready to inspire travelers with hundreds of destinations and diversions in Iowa. It’s time to make room on my shelf for the latest version, next to the archive of 22 Travel Guides and Iowa Visitor Guides we’ve published since I’ve been here. This year’s 184-page perfect-bound book is quite a contrast to the 1988 version with 52 pages and a fold-out map!
2011 Iowa Travel Guide
1988 Iowa Travel Guide
The process of creating the Travel Guide begins in late spring, when we ask the communities, attractions, and accommodations to review and update their information. We have about 675 attractions, more than 200 bed and breakfast inns, nearly 680 hotels/motels, and more than 450 public and private campgrounds listed in the 2011 guide! Our goal is to provide the most accurate information possible and every listing needs to be verified. It’s exciting to see new attractions and destinations pop up every year.
After the listings are updated, one of the most rewarding (but challenging) tasks is to choose the photos that will appear on the cover and throughout the pages of the guide. Cover photography is planned several months in advance, in case we need to send a photographer out on assignment. Recent covers have featured the Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines, Honey Creek Resort State Park on Lake Rathbun, the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad in Boone, Okoboji, the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, and many more scenes from all corners of the state. It’s a bit easier to choose the inside photos – we work region by region and view dozens of photos that have been collected from Iowa photographers. Balancing text, photos and ads in a pleasing way is the job of our art director, Jody O’Neill, at the Integer Group.
We print 200,000 copies of this 184-page guide, and it takes two to three truckloads to deliver them all to our warehouse in Fort Madison. Supplies are sent to the 19 Iowa Welcome Centers as well as visitor information centers and local tourism organizations around the state. It’s easy to obtain a free Travel Guide: request a copy online at http://www.traveliowa.com/, call 800.345.4692, or stop in at any one of our Welcome Centers. You can even browse through the pages online with our nifty digital version (coming soon!).