Eats: Bonaparte’s Retreat

I’m a bit of a compulsive planner, so in anticipation of our road trip to southeast Iowa, I started searching for someplace we could grab a bite to eat on Saturday night. Since both my mom and I don’t do exceptionally well driving in the dark, I knew we’d have to find someplace relatively close by.

A quick Google search is all you need to see there aren’t copious dining options in the immediate vicinity of Bentonsport or Bonaparte, Iowa. But let me make things even easier for you—Bonaparte’s Retreat Restaurant is all you need…

Exploring Iowa: Bonaparte

If you head south of Fairfield, through Keosaqua and along rustic Route J40, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Bonaparte, Iowa. I’d be lying if I said I was expecting to be charmed by this tiny, riverfront town.

But at this point, charmed may be an understatement…

Swedish Heritage Museum

Other than Kirsten the American Girl Doll or my love for Pippi Longstocking, I have no real ties to Sweden. And while I do love Swedish meatballs, I don’t have any real Swedish heritage.

So it might seem a little strange that I drove a bit out of my way to visit the Swedish Heritage Museum in Swedesburg, Iowa. But Swedish or not, the trip was definitely worth it…

Inside the American Gothic House

The American Gothic House has always been a favorite Iowa attraction of mine—why else would I visit three times in the past two year? So when I heard the house’s interior would now be open to the public, I knew I’d have to make another trip…

Exploring Iowa: Dexter

One of my favorite parts of an Iowa road trip is exploring the small, often forgotten downtowns of the towns I pass through. While exploring the White Pole Road I found myself in the heart of Dexter and couldn’t help getting out of my car to take a look around. Dexter, Iowa—population 611—was named after the famous trotting … Continue reading Exploring Iowa: Dexter

Guide to Road Trip Essentials

When I first started taking shorter, day trips I didn’t put a lot of thought into packing essentials for the car. It was never as big of a problem for longer trips, but especially when you’re planning to be back the same day, it’s easy to overlook some helpful essentials.

Typically it wouldn’t be until I’m in the middle of rural Iowa with no cellphone service and zero snacks that I’d realize I’d made a horrible mistake. So to keep you from being the hangry, lost roadside traveller I’ve been a few too many times, I’ve compiled a list of helpful essentials to toss into your back seat every time you hit the road, whether you’re traveling 500 miles or just 50…

The Birthplace of Des Moines

Unless you spend an inordinately large amount of time along Des Moines’ southern riverfront or happen have the same running route as I do, you’ve probably never noticed the tiny log cabin just off the parking lot of Principal Park. I first happened upon it a few years back while taking advantage of the downtown trail systems training for a half marathon, and since then it’s been one of my favorite hidden gems…