Best New Midwest Attractions: 2009
A state park that makes a statement
Late in 2008, Iowa joined the ranks of states with resort-style state parks aimed at travelers who prefer upscale accommodations. The $58 million Honey Creek Resort sits on Rathbun Lake (80 miles southeast of Des Moines). Even with the landscaping and staff training still in the works, it's off to an impressive start.
The soaring Arts-and-Crafts-style lobby features stained-glass windows and a 50-foot fireplace. The full-service restaurant and 105 rooms and suites are on par with business-class hotels, and Honey Creek includes the new must-have family draw: an indoor water park. Environmental protection guided the design of the 18-hole golf course. This summer, the resort opens 28 modern cabins and offers rental kayaks, boats and personal watercraft. Oh, and there are plenty of trails and ranger pro-grams for old-school parks fans, too.