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Iowa Scenic Byway Passport Tour offers safe way to travel state amid pandemic

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 10:57 PM CST
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - If you’re tired of being cooped up in the house this winter, the Iowa Tourism Office has launched a new, safe way to get out and explore the state.

It’s called the Iowa Scenic Byway Passport Tour. It’s a program designed to allow Iowans to explore every landmark the state has to offer, all from within the safety of their vehicle.

There are 12 scenic byways across the state, each with about 10-12 different locations to check in at. The one in southeast Iowa is the Historic Hills Byway. Stops along this route the Red Shed and the Dutch Country General Store in Bloomfield, the Antique Airfield in Ottumwa, the American Gothic House in Eldon, and several others.

Jessica O’Riley, from the Iowa Tourism Office, says she hopes this offer can give people a safe way to get out of the house; and also offer a boost to local businesses that are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What’s great about this is that, you travel at your own comfort level. If right now, all your comfortable with is riding in your own car and not seeing anybody, you can still do that. You can still check in and still participate. If you’re more comfortable shopping or visiting any of the attractions along the route, you can do that as well,” O’Riley said.

To sign up for the passport, visit explore.traveliowa.com. The passport will be emailed or texted to your mobile device. From there, you start traveling. At each location, you check-in on your phone. The more places you check-in at, the more deals and offers you unlock from participating businesses.

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