Eldora is a tiny town in Iowa that houses fewer than 3,000 people. Many of the buildings there, including the amazing courthouse, are on the National Historic Register. An amazing state park is right on the edge of town, and the rich history of this place will make you fall in love with it.
The beautiful town of Eldora is west of Waterloo, just off of Highway 20.
The courthouse, as well as many other buildings, are on the National Historic Register.
Eldora was incorporated in 1895. Today it's home to about 2,800 residents.
The Hardin County Farm Museum is located at 203 Washington Street in Eldora.
This farm site shows a diversified Iowa family farm typical of the late 1800s through the 1950s -- perfect for a history buff!
This old farm truck at the Hardin County Farm Museum is just one example of the many antiques you'll discover in this charming town.
Vintage farming device at the Hardin County Farm Museum
The museum is open for special events or by appointment. Contact them at (641) 939-7107.
Former Eldora Public Library
The Carnegie Foundation granted Eldora $10,000 for a new library in 1902. This beautiful historic building has been converted for commercial use and is also on the National Historic Register.
The town's First Congregational Church dates back to 1868.
Talk about a fascinating past.
The Civilian Conservation Corps-Prisoner of War Recreation Hall, pictured here, is another gem in this unique Iowa town.
This building dates back to 1755 and served the CCC as barracks while they worked on building Upper Pine Lake in Pine Lake State Park. The National Youth Association then used the camp from 1940 to 1942. In 1943, the camp became Prisoner of War (POW) barracks that housed German and Italian POWs until 1945. Prisoners worked on farms, in canning factories, and on construction projects. This is the only CCC camp building that still exists in Iowa, and is now a museum.
Pine Lake State Park can be found at 22620 County Highway S56.
Pine Lake State Park is right next to Eldora. It offers a beach, bicycling, boating, fishing, hiking, modern cabin accommodations, a large picnic area, playground, and swimming.
A mix of woodlands, river, and lake access is a nice surprise in the middle of rolling Iowa farmland. The 585-acre park has two lakes; the 50-acre Lower Pine Lake and the 69-acre Upper Pine Lake.
Nature enthusiasts love the ancient white pine trees, white-barked birch trees, and the rare ferns found along the riverfront.
The on-site stone and timber cabins will add an extra element of fun to your visit.
These cabins are fully-equipped and accessible to the mobility-impaired. There are four cabins and they are located next to the Iowa River. Each cabin has a stove, refrigerator, shower, restroom, and fireplace.
Cabin reservations are available at
at this website
or by calling toll-free 1-877-IAPARKS.
When it's time for lunch, Eldora has a few locally owned options. Rite on 175 is located at 708 Edgington Avenue.
This great little lunch spot in Eldora serves real Iowa-style Maid Rites and ice cream.
Ahoy Fountain is another great choice for breakfast or lunch. It's located at 1266 Edgington Ave.
This throwback restaurant is highly rated for its friendly service and great burgers.
If camping isn't quite your style, this adorable B&B is a nice place to spend the night.
The Haden House was built in 1912 and has three private rooms for rent. The spacious living area features Dish Network, WiFi, and a high definition TV.
Have you been to Eldora and Pine Lake State Park? Tell us what you think of this little Iowa town in the comment section below.