“If you build it, they will come. . . .” Ever since Field of Dreams came out in 1989, as many as 100,000 people have flocked each year to Dyersville (27 miles west of Dubuque) to reenact the fairy-tale baseball movie, major scenes from which were filmed just outside of town. Acres of cornfield surround the diamond, where people can play for free. The privately owned Field of Dreams Movie Site (28995 Lansing Rd., 888/875-8404, field tours daily Apr.-Oct., home tours daily) was thoroughly upgraded to celebrate the film’s 25th Anniversary in 2014. To get here, take Hwy-136 north from US-20, then follow signs northeast along 3rd Avenue and Field of Dreams Road for about 3.5 miles from US-20. “Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.”
Considering it’s such a small town, Dyersville has a lot in store. It boasts one of only a handful of Roman Catholic basilicas in the United States (St. Francis Xavier, that can’t-miss Gothic pile in the center of town). The National Farm Toy Museum (1110 16th Ave., 563/875-2727, daily, $5), right off US-20, has over 30,000 miniature tractors and plows showcasing 100 years of toys—from horse-drawn wooden ones to die-cast modern ones—many of them made here in Dyersville by the Ertl Toy Company, which has moved most of its operations overseas.