One Fine Day is a series inspired by my favorite now-defunct Chicago Tribune column of the same title. The posts in this series are short, sweet, sometimes themed, and always a charming snapshot of a city.
So far this autumn we’ve been lucky enough to have some amazingly mild weather. And so you can take advantage of the changing leaves and warmer temperatures, too, I decided to share a recent day trip I took to Ames and its surrounding area to enjoy some of my fall favorites.
Start your day off at the classic Great Plains Sauce & Dough Company in Ames. Our visit was my first but I was charmed by the variety of crust options and the small restaurant’s western-style decor. I love a thicker crust so the popular Denver style with cheese and some veggie toppings was our pick.
Once you’re fueled up, continue northwest for an afternoon of hiking and exploring in Ledges State Park. There are tons of trails, scenic overlooks and wooded streams to spend more than a few hours exploring. Just make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes and have a water bottle in tow!
After working off your pizza on the trails, head to Alluvial Brewing for a well-deserved flight of their beers, brewed onsite, on the brewery’s sunny patio. I opted for the Leuven Belgian Wit, which I enjoyed, but also went home with a Nitro Cold Brew Coffee (hello, amazing).
If you’re still feeling ambitious (we weren’t), you can head to Center Grove Orchard on your return trip south. I’ve never been but numerous friends have raved about the variety, amount of activities and corn play pit.