Visitors to the Midwestern United States who long for a taste of the "real" America should consider Iowa vacation homes. The land in Iowa consists of gently rolling hills dotted by an occasional natural lake. Many of these lakes have names that hearken back to the original inhabitants of the land, the Native Americans. Sprit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, and East Okoboji Lake are prominent examples.
Iowa's natural environment is made up mainly of savanna populated by the classic tall grass prairie that dominates pioneer accounts of crossing this part of the nation during the great westward expansion. Now, however, Iowa is typically American in another sense; a majority of state land is used for the cultivation of crops and livestock, with corn being particularly important. Tourists driving across the state can sometimes see corn fields for as far as the eye can perceive, a sight that must be experienced to be fully appreciated.
Iowa is also a place where visitors can see subsections of American culture such as the Amish and Mennonite communities. These are predominately located in eastern Iowa in places such as Davis County and Buchanan County. Other cities tend to have strong religious roots that may differ from the American mainstream; the Amana Colonies were founded by German pietists while Maharishi Vedic City was established by adherents of the Transcendental Meditation movement. There are even communities of Cistercian nuns and monks in Iowa, most notably at the New Melleray Abbey, which is located near Dubuque.