Category Archives: Daytrips and Getaways

Stone City’s General Store will be your new favorite hangout

I found a new favorite place to have a bite.  A place with good food, a cozy atmosphere and live music.  A place where even my five-year-old has fun and isn’t out of place dancing. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but well worth the drive.

Nestled on the bank of the Wapsi River in Stone City, IA the General Store is a little piece of history.  It’s had many names and provided different services to the community, but the iconic building is as much a landmark in the town as the famous quarry down the street.
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Filed under Arts and Music, Daytrips and Getaways, Good Eats, Stuff for kids to do

Mississippi River Museum: A fun and educational getaway for the whole family

We decided to take advantage of the long weekend and take a short trip to Dubuque.  We’d visited the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium  before when my son was two, but now at age four he really seemed to appreciate the impressive sights he was seeing.  Upon entering he rushed to the entrance way tank, following the ducks and turtles with excitement.  Then we moved on to the five large aquariums that let us get up close with the giant catfish, an alligator and an ancient sturgeon We were ooing and awing at everything, including what I think was a huge albino turtle. 

This summer’s attraction was called Venom that displayed all sorts of wonderfully colorful, intriguing and venomous creatures including Spiders, Jelly Fish, Bugs, Scorpions, Poison Dart Frogs, Snakes, Lizards and Fish. I’ll admit I was a little squeamish, but my son loved it.

We also looked through the riverboat museum, explored some wetlands, and took a tour of large 1934 steamer which included seeing the kitchen, bunk rooms, engine room and pilothouse.

TripAdvisor named the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium one of the top ten aquariums and zoos in the U.S. – and it’s right here in our backyard.  I encourage you to take advantage of it!

posted by heatherjoy77

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Bike riding and Bluegrass

Central City showcases two festivals this weekend – CC Rider and the 33rd annual Bluegrass Festival.

The decorated bikes have adorned lawns and businesses for weeks. Some were spray painted purple from rim to rim, some held flower baskets, and others sparkled in the summer sun. Regardless of the artist’s intention, each drew attention and encouraged passersby to participate in Central City’s 8th annual CC Rider festival.  Finally, on Saturday, August 23rd, the bid day arrived.

The Central City Main Street organization puts on the CC Rider Community Festival and Bike Ride every year, which began in 2001. The heart of the festival revolves around a number of bike rides. Participants could choose from either a 14, 34, 62 or the new 100 mile route through scenic Grant Wood Country. The Festival also features a 5k Run/Walk for adults as well as kids. There is also a bike safety “rodeo” and scavenger hunt for the kids.
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Filed under Arts and Music, Community Events, Daytrips and Getaways, Good Eats, Stuff for kids to do, Why it's great to live here

The Iowa State Fair is Here!

Iowa is famous for a few things. Corn. The Field of Dreams. And the Iowa State Fair. Ok, we’re famous for more things than that, but I’ve traveled enough to know these are three near the top of the list.

Yesterday marked the opening day of the Iowa State Fair.

It’s one of the only places in the world you’ll see such pillars of Americana as

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The Bix – A Quad City tradition

There are tons of walks and runs to participate in during the summer in Iowa. I recently walked in the The Bix. 2008 marks the 34th anniversary of the Quad-City Times Bix 7 – in fact it’s known as one of the United States most prestigious and challenging races.

Here’s a recap of my walk…

Of the people I know about, I brought up the rear. By a lot. About 2:18 for me. That’d be two hours and eighteen minutes to walk seven miles. My 60-year old father in law ran it in just over an hour. Small children and old folks alike giggled as they passed me by. But there’s a reason! Really!

First of all, I started waaaay in the back. So I started off at a disadvantage.

I was near the Army guys in fatigues with 100lb packs on their backs. They started up Brady St. hill walking, and I kept pace. Woot!, I thought, I can keep up with these guys, and they train and like, lift weights and stuff.

Then we got to the top of the hill and they started running.

I never saw them again.

Then I got passed by Tinky Winky.

Seriously.

Then I got passed by the chicken man. But you know, he’s probably a runner in all the getup.

Then the pregnant gal breezed by me. Very pregnant. Maybe 7 months. But she was probably a runner before, so she doesn’t count.

Then the lady in the wheelchair passed me.

Then our inspirations passed me  (and his wife I presume). They were getting cheers the whole way. Truly amazing.

However, all is not lost. I did totally crush this guy in the Monty Python outfit.

So when I got home and Mallory (age 4) asked “Did you win?” of course, I said Yes!

Posted by: ericengelmann

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Filed under Celebrating the four seasons, Daytrips and Getaways, Running, Why it's great to live here

Some unique family getaway spots await you just outside the Corridor

This weekend my family explored some of Northeast Iowa’s treasures including Spook Cave and Pike’s Peak state park.

If you’re looking for something different to do this weekend, I encourage you to travel two hours north of the Corridor and do some exploring at one of Northeast Iowa’s hidden treasures.  Spook Cave, located outside McGregor, IA , is unlike any other cave tour you’ll experience.  

I had been to Spook Cave as a child, although I don’t remember much more than the sweatshirt someone bought for me with a Casper-like ghost on it.  As we waited for our tour to start, I read up on some Spook Cave history.

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We Found Fun at The Lost Island

An overcast day in the low 70s doesn’t exactly scream water activity weather, but none-the-less three carfuls of my girlfriends and our kids made our way the The Lost Island water park in Waterloo today.  Of course, when we planned the excursion last month, we expected a Friday in late July to be hot and humid.  We debated going for a moment, till I admitted I’d already bought my tickets in advance to save a couple bucks.  So, with grey skies and the threat of rain, we put on our ‘make the best of it’ mom faces and still had a pretty good time.
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