Iowa October 22, 2021
Pella, Iowa Is Being Called One Of The Best Small Town Vacations In America
While Iowa has many wonderful towns to head to on vacation, Pella is being called one of the best small town vacations in America by Esquire. Of course, this comes as no surprise to many of us; it’s a family-friendly place with delicious food, a wealth of recreational opportunities, and a unique culture and heritage that residents are happy to share. Oh, and then there’s the well-over a quarter-million tulips the town and residents plant yearly. What a sight in the spring!
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Many people consider a stop at one or more of Pella’s bakeries to be a required part (or maybe the highlight?) of their visit.
Both of the town’s Dutch bakeries, Jaarsmas and Vander Ploegs, are on Franklin Street along the south side of the square and bake up delicious Dutch Letters and other goodies. Jaarsmas also offers fresh Stroopwaffels and a plethora of Dutch souvenirs and candies you don’t want to miss. Newer to Pella are Cranberry Stone Bakery which specializes in incredible cupcakes and The Bread Board which offers fresh artisan bread. These last two are near the giant windmill, also on Franklin Street - they should rename it “Bakery Boulevard!”
The iconic Dutch Vermeer windmill still grinds wheat into flour as needed, and Jaarsma Bakery bakes it into bread you can enjoy.
Other local food stops include Butcher’s Brewhuis which serves up breakfast, lunch and supper and also offers rooftop dining for the 21+ crowd in the evenings. The Dutch Fix offers the food people have come to love from Tulip Time... but year-round! Poffertjes, anyone? Grab a plate to go with coffee from the Perk, a local drive-through coffee joint on Washington Street.
Gouda cheese is a Dutch staple that you’ll find in a variety of sandwiches on many Pella restaurant menus; want to buy some fresh from a local dairy? Visit the Frisian Farms Cheese House just a few miles east of Pella on Highway 163. Why not pair that cheese or baked treat with wine from the Wijn House? This family-owned store sells only Iowa-made wine and does a fantastic job advising delicious pairings of food and wine.
With all this good food, you’ll need some exercise, am-I-right? Well, Lake Red Rock has you covered. It has a beach near North Overlook Campground, and it’s a popular spot for boating of all kinds. Sailboats, speedboats, and pontoons all get people out soaking up the rays.
There’re hiking trails, both in town at Big Rock Park, as well as along the lake. One local favorite is the Karr Nature Trail that starts near Cordova Tower. The Volksweg Trail, a bike and walking trail from the town of Pella all the way to Cordova Park, runs through a variety of terrain, from shaded woods to lake views, over wooden bridges and even along the Des Moines River.
Kayak or paddleboard at Robert’s Creek, go geocaching in the area, and come for the Red Rock Balloon Festival or Tulip Time for family fun.
Tour the Vermeer Windmill and Pella’s Historical Village. If you catch the historical village during Tulip Time in early May or the Wyatt Earp Festival in September, you’ll see artisans working the blacksmith forge and carpenters making Dutch wooden shoes.
You can tour the Scholte House or stroll through the new Tuttle House learning walk to learn more about the founding of the town.
Are you a book lover? Pella Books is an absolute treasure trove of used books, and it also carries the work of Pella authors and illustrators like Hillary Morgan Ferrer and Joe Hox. Way to support local!
And where to stay when you visit Pella?
There are traditional hotels, as well as a variety of VRBOs in the area, but you can also be pampered at Cheesemakers Inn, a bed and breakfast run by a lovely lady who makes delicious food. Cordova Cabins offer stunning lake views from their back porch, as well as immediate access to the bike trail. And if you like to camp, Lake Red Rock offers hundreds of sites at Howell’s Station, North Overlook, Ivan’s, Wallashuck, Robert’s Creek and several others.
No wonder Pella is considered one of the best small-town vacations in America! It doesn’t get much better than all this. Learn more about all of these attractions plus many more on Visit Pella’s
website. Already been to Pella? Try one of these other great Iowa vacation destinations! Address: Pella, IA 50219, USA