Grinnell, IA: Poweshiek County
It’s been quite a day and it’s time for something fermented. Luckily for us, our guide for the afternoon, Emily with the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce, has an idea that will do the trick. She leads us to Solera!
Wine…..chatter….wine….and what comes next? Art! And for the town of Grinnell, they have that very much covered. It’s time we hit the campus of Grinnell College and one of the most important stops we make on this trip.
Grinnell College is labeled as a “private” school. Only because we, as a society, haven’t come up with another way to categorize an institution of higher learning that’s not funded by state regents. But, there are very few things that aren’t completely open to the public and tourists on this campus and in this wonderful town. Grinnell College opens its doors free of charge to much of its campus. Literally, every sporting event is free to the public and so is this fine gallery of art and photography. This has made the citizens of Grinnell more than patriotic about their local college. Many people of this town can you tell you how they witnessed basketball player, Jack Taylor, set an all-time NCAA record of 138 points scored by one person in a game. For absolutely free. Citizens of Grinnell can tell you about one of the country’s top rated aquatic centers and all the meets with the rigorous competition they’ve witnessed…..for free. And they can tell you about all the world class pieces of art that they have marveled at through the years…..for free. Grinnell College is an institution that has one of the country’s largest endowments, a huge list of notable grads, and the reputation that is renowned throughout the world. But, it’s community first for this school. Grinnell first and Grinnell College next.
Not only did the Faulconer Gallery possess an amazing array of artwork, it also holds displays of famous photography. Our visit of Grinnell College showed the talented works of photographer Gordon Parks.
We weaved inside and out of the Grinnell College campus. Emily was a graduate of Wartburg, in Waverly, but knew her way around Grinnell College as if she was showing an incoming freshman the “ropes” of college life in this Iowa town.
I have the art sweats and there is only one thing that can help me. Something that will give me the sugar sweats. And Emily knows right where to go. A building that was formally a filling station for automobiles and is now a filling station for bellies of all sizes. Including mine. A building on the National Register of Historical Places is serving up its own history everyday. Grinnell gives us the Candyland Station!
Candyland station is more than a hub for ice cream delights. They make great sandwiches, burgers, and soups and supply an experience that both the modern and the nostalgic can enjoy. It’s the perfect pit-stop for anyone visiting Grinnell! With our ice cream consumed, Emily was ready to show us more of Grinnell’s downtown district.
There are so many stories to be told by the locals of every town in America. Grinnell is no exception. Emily took us in to many businesses around the Grinnell loop. One stop was to show off the meticulous works of the town’s jeweler and learn about the history of the area from this proud business owner.
You can read about the jewel-box bank in part 1 of our Grinnell blog.
Grinnell needs a places that sells flowers, chocolate, and delicious made from scratch meals that can picked up and easily be served in minutes. Luckily for Grinnell they have all that covered. Under one roof! We make our way into Flowers by DZyne and Memories Made and meet a couple of very busy entrepreneurs.
The reason to make the trip to Grinnell doesn’t stop with bike experts, great food, wine aficionados and art galleries. You’re just getting warmed up with the uniqueness of this great town. By now you’re probably wondering where a person can get some organic grocery shopping done. And now you just remembered you need a gift that baby shower that your crazy aunt told you that you needed to go to. Oh no! I was supposed to pick up a vintage Atari video game for my friend! Done, done and done!. No need to leave the Grinnell downtown district for any of these. Emily and the crew are on it!
Now its time to get fedora, hair bow, suspenders and and gadgets that can keep any kid occupied. Or distracted grownup. Like the chief blogger of The Iowa Gallivant. Giggles and Bows here we come!
Tecmo Bowl. Asteroids. Duck Hunt. Pitfall. These are the classic games that occupied my time growing up and I survived to tell the stories. Bring on the Gamers! Gamers, a small chain selling video games and more, was a surprise to find here in Grinnell. Maybe it has its success due to the nearby college students or maybe it is due to the great collection of vintage games filling its shelves- it was great to see the technology housed among the historic.
Emily showed us around of some other great place we’ll need to visit on our net trip to Grinnell. Like taking in the disc golf tournament called the Goose Poop open. A museum of transportation that is located in an old buggy manufacturing plant. And many more restaurants and good times that Grinnell has to offer. The history of Grinnell is rich and can only be accurately told by the proud people that call it home. So get into Grinnell and experience it for yourself and be apart of the future to come. Thanks again, Emily! You know how to showcase this great area!
Be sure to read Part 1 of our Grinnell trip!
Thanks for reading! -Team Goodvin
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