Grownup Getaways · Iowa Food · Iowa Wine, Beer, and Spirits · Southeast Iowa · The Mud Belt-Traveling the Mississippi

New and Old Friends in Pet Friendly Fort Madison: Part 1 of 2

Is this Santa Fe? No…It’s Iowa!

Fort Madison, IA: Lee County

We love seeing what’s new when visiting a town that we’ve been to before, especially one that we have visited multiple times over. It keeps us interested, engaged, and revved up for more Gallivants in the future. However, we found ourselves going back to see folks that we’ve met along the way in Fort Madison and couldn’t leave town with out stopping in. We managed to meet even more of the citizens that keep us coming back. This post goes out to all the great people that have made our trips to Fort Madison so memorable since our first visit in August of 2016. Some things went through an obvious changes, but many of the greatest spots in Iowa were there and for another round from The Iowa Gallivant!

image_67165697image_67219457 (1)image_67205121IMG_2701IMG_2702IMG_2704

We have encountered so many great Chinese restaurants in our travels and we can include Fort Madison in the list of Iowa towns that has their own tasty establishment. Chuong Garden was the hook, line, and sinker when we got to town and we went right into it like the noodle and Mongolian beef lovers that we are. A good zing to the hot and sour soup and the ever present plate of rangoons that will never go un-ordered if when we’re dining out or ordering Chinese. I can’t imagine what I’d do without these cream cheese filled miracles fresh from the fryer. Let’s not even think about that and stay positive.


One of the best unofficial museums in the history of unofficial museums. Faeth’s Cigar Shop is a Fort Madison icon and this place has a little bit of everything when it comes to this historic downtown district. Yes, they still sell cigars and that’s not all. You can get an ice cold beer with a basket of Sterzing’s potato chips while you sit at a bar that was once used in the Chicago World’s Fair. Shop for fishing equipment, ammo, and other supplies while you observe one of the most impressive collections of Native American Arrowheads. The paintings, shelves, cabinets, ceiling, decor are all full of history including the collection of fossils…Just get here and tell me I’m wrong on how amazing this store is.


Prepare to step up your Reuben and meatloaf game at Lost Duck Brewing Company to go with your cold Iowa craft beer. A great view of the river serves as the backdrop while you have two of the best corned beef experiences of your life. Yes, you can get the traditional Reuben and you can also get the Reuben taco. Meatloaf aficionado? I knew you’d say yes. Then get one of the biggest, tastiest, gravy’est pieces of meatloaf on the Mississippi. You wondering about that taco above? Watch the video and get ready for the belly grumbles.

I told you that taco was awesome! Let’s take a break and do a little shopping. You ready for some of that pet friendly we were talking about in the title?

How does a half blind baby lamb rescue drinking from an old Mike’s Hard Lemonade bottle while wearing a diaper hit the heart strings? Artisans has great merchandise and artwork, but let’s face it. The lamb stole the show. We hopes little…Esther? She wasn’t named yet, so we put in our two cents on Esther. Anyway. Stop in and see this place and their wonderful gifts.

IMG_27619FBAB360-B3EF-41BA-88B0-4E8246BB24A2IMG_2764 (1)IMG_6554

Are you ready for a mess! Don’t worry, that’s what Jake & Walt’s Fort Diner calls one of their signature breakfast dishes. Some of the most perfectly cooked hash browns loaded with sausage, onion, bell peppers, American cheese and two beautiful eggs. We added a little sizzle and asked for Walt’s Hot Mess which came with jalapenos. Yea, baby! And there’s always room for scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy and four silver dollar pancakes known as the Big Easy. I’m ready for some “junque”.


Another great place to pick up a Fort Madison treasure. Junque to Gems has a fantastic variety from clothing to antiques and re-purposed arts and crafts. Not to mention one of our favorite friendly guard dogs helping you feel loved as you shop. Now, that’s full day, folks. I’m ready for slumber in one of our favorite hotels.

*Our stay at the Kingsley Inn was complimentary and views expressed are of our own. Now, let’s get back to Gallivanting!


The view of the Mississippi, the sunlight coming in from the east in the morning, and the history. All that makes this historic town special is represented here at the Kingsley Inn and you can click here to see our previous post about this amazing hotel. We have loved all our memories here over the years and we can’t wait to make more. Be on the look out for part two of this series very soon!

One thought on “New and Old Friends in Pet Friendly Fort Madison: Part 1 of 2

Leave a Reply