What’s the biggest city in Iowa? Go ahead and answer that question but, after reading this post, you may want to change your answer. You see, RAGBRAI has a way of redirecting your mind frame even it is just for a week in late July. Each overnight town has a way of being the center of Iowa’s universe for at least 24 hours and I’m here to tell you that Waukon is showing just how “big” it can be. We scout all the RAGBRAI towns and Waukon is more grand than we ever thought. You have 6 other overnights to prepare for #7 and you’re all going to need the practice. Something tells me the spandex’ed legions are up for it. Here we go folks! JayJay and Monie are on another grownup getaway!
Let’s introduce the RAGBRAI crowd to some great folks right off the bat. Behind one of the biggest margaritas one can get in NE-IA are Val and Ardie. Two of the greatest guides anyone could ever have to show us around a great town such as Waukon. They knew we loved Mexican food and Fiesta Vallarta kept the appetizers and cold drinks coming the whole time we were there. How’s that for an introduction to Waukon! The day was young and no Corona margarita combo was going to stop us! Unless another one was ordered. That would keep us in one place. However, Val was kind enough to drive us around and we’re glad she did. Let’s go to the local winery! Can we, can we, can we!?!
A little off the beaten path but easy to get to. Especially if you’re wheeling in on RAGBRAI. Empty Nest Winery saw us coming and knew like our vino. We had some great samples including their slushy like wine drink that will be perfect on any hot day. Like after you just been a a bike for several hilly miles. We sipped and swirled a little and it was off to see some of Waukon’s camping areas. RAGBRAI should be just fine with this….
Waukon is home to Iowa’s biggest city park that has plenty of shade, green grass, and should see an incredible tent city. The Waukon pool with all its showers will be open for the riders and you might even want to get a couple cannonballs in while you’re there. I’d pick the spot overlooking the ballpark under that purdy shade tree. That’s enough break time! Back to the main drag…
Main Street-Waukon is home to Good Fellas Party Bar and it could be the biggest bar on the entire RAGBRAI route. They have plenty of beer selections, hard stuff, and enough acreage to pack in a lot of good timing RAGBRAI’ers and locals alike. Fill up with as much as that Iowa craft beer as you can while in Waukon because there’s only one more overnight after this one. But there’s another gigantic part of Waukon you may want to see before you make the trip to Lansing.
Green Valley Getaway is home to one of the biggest Moscow Mules you may see in your entire life. For $50, this copper mug is filled to rim with that icy cocktail that so many of us love. Mom taught you to share so load it up with a bunch of straws and slurp this behemoth down! And with that being said, we need dinner and a mulligan…
It was time to get the proteins up and Mulligan’s Grill Pub had the portions we needed after a long day of gallivanting. It’s a tough job you know. Mulligan’s brought out their Tenderloin Tip sandwich and Grilled Tuna Steak hot off the char broiler and these two beauties couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. A long day of celebrating the greatness of Waukon left two gallivant’ers very much ready for a long night of slumber.
The Stoney Creek Inn had one of their top notch suites ready for us dive in to. And who’s the lucky little bike rider that gets the tub first? Me! And I think you’re ok with no picture of that. Time for some rest. We have another “big” morning ahead.
Another Main Street staple is S&D Cafe and they knew how to do it big too. Omelets bursting with breakfast meats and veggies, cinnamon rolls the size of your average bike helmet and generous slices of homemade pie. And you’re required to have pie 11 times a day during RAGBRAI so start at breakfast. And now it’s time for brunch. You know what’s great for brunch? Cheese curds n’ ice cream!
You may have some great cheese curds in your hometown. That’s neat. But according to WW Homestead Dairy, Waukon is the cheese curd capitol of Iowa! This is one place during your ride that you mind hearing a bunch of squeaking. It’s not your bike but all those delicious curds singing the song of my people as you chew them. And by my people I mean fellow cheese lovers. WW Homestead Dairy will also be grilling up their gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. We’re talking toasted bread with their own butter and their own melty cheese. And just try to leave without getting some of that rich Iowa ice cream. We couldn’t…..Didn’t even try. A week behind handlebars can build up a huge appetite for great food, cold drink and amazing NE-Iowa hospitality. Waukon’s on it!
Be sure to read about our visits to Overnight #1 in Orange City, Overnight #2 in Spencer, Overnight #3 in Algona, Overnight #4 in Clear Lake, Overnight #5 in Charles City, Overnight #6 in Cresco, Overnight #7 in Waukon, Overnight #8 in Lansing and the bonus coverage of Allamakee County!
Now for some very BIG thank yous…..