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    Cool Iowa small towns

    What are some small Iowa towns that are cool to drive through and why? I am thinking about a tour of Iowa this summer.



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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    That's a tough question to answer.
    I don't know if it would qualify as cool, but Pella.
    Not really much to do there, but the town square looks like a dutch village and there are some windwills.
    If you like baked goods go to Jaarsma bakery on the square and by some cookies and a banket.


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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    I've always thought Mt. Vernon was a cool little town. There is a camping area close by that I go to now and then.



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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    Ida Grove with the castles and the Grotto in West Bend are a couple of the top of my head



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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    Ida Grove has some nice scenery. The Pizza Hut where you can feed the crust to fish is also kind of neat



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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    If you can, head over to Wisconsin. Micro brews, and big boy breweries everywhere + cheese = good idea.



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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    Decorah is a cool town. Very, very scenic. Decent restaurants and bars as well, for a town its size.


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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    Brooklyn is pretty nice, just East of Newton. They have a big plaza in the middle of town with all the state flags.

    In my line of work I'm in and out of a lot of smaller towns every day, so I've gotten familiar with quite a few of them.



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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    Adel has probably one of the coolest courthouses in Iowa I think:




    It's also surrounded by the original brick roads and old looking store fronts:



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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    Quote Originally Posted by TarHeelHawk View Post
    Brooklyn is pretty nice, just East of Newton. They have a big plaza in the middle of town with all the state flags.

    In my line of work I'm in and out of a lot of smaller towns every day, so I've gotten familiar with quite a few of them.
    I'm in a similar situation and I agree Brooklyn in great. Awesome people too. I also think Dyersville is a great small town. Even though relatively small, it has a big town feel to me. I look forward to my Dyersville trips.



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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    Hampton (my hometown) has a neat courthouse, good state park and one of the better mid-size county fairs in the state.



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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    Lake City: Home of Dobson Organs, the world's largest mechanical organ manufacturer (designing the organ for the National Cathedral), restaurants ranging from Sweet Things where all is homebaked daily to truly upscale Carnegie Restarant (very reasonable prices with locally-made pottery available), Rainbow Bridge (famous due to three arches), Capri Theatre (near first-run movies on weekends at extraordinary low prices totally run by volunteers), God's Wood (beautiful hand-crafted furniture made-to-order), Cornerstone Suites (two two-room hotel suites that would fetch two or three times the cost in Des Moines or Omaha), Lake City Flowers (home decorating accessories), a quilt shop, and the prerequisite town square with fountain and gazebo.


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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    Someone mentioned it already but the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend is one of the coolest things I've ever seen.



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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    Quote Originally Posted by MoreCowbell View Post
    Hampton (my hometown) has a neat courthouse, good state park and one of the better mid-size county fairs in the state.

    I lived in Hampton for a few years, I would agree worth taking a trip too. Beads Lake just northwest of town is always a fun campout. I have been through a lot of small towns also. I like the area around winterset, set in a hilly rural region. Mount Ayr in southcentral Iowa also has a cafe on the square that has the front end of a 57 chevy coming out of the building. Never eaten there, but looks pretty cool.



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    Re: Cool Iowa small towns

    Quote Originally Posted by IsUaClone2 View Post
    Lake City: Home of Dobson Organs, the world's largest mechanical organ manufacturer (designing the organ for the National Cathedral), restaurants ranging from Sweet Things where all is homebaked daily to truly upscale Carnegie Restarant (very reasonable prices with locally-made pottery available), Rainbow Bridge (famous due to three arches), Capri Theatre (near first-run movies on weekends at extraordinary low prices totally run by volunteers), God's Wood (beautiful hand-crafted furniture made-to-order), Cornerstone Suites (two two-room hotel suites that would fetch two or three times the cost in Des Moines or Omaha), Lake City Flowers (home decorating accessories), a quilt shop, and the prerequisite town square with fountain and gazebo.

    I lived in Sac City most of life growing up, and besides the movie theatre and rainbow bridge, I never thought of Lake City being that interesting.

    Although a few years back they had the Rumbles after the rodeo... That was fun.



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