Calhoun County, IA (Our 80th County), Sac County, and Ida County (Our 81st County)
The great American road trip can go through thousands of Main Streets. Historic US Route 20 is just one of many ways you can experience Americana at its best, and it happens to be this country’s longest highway. Here in Iowa, “Old 20” claims 333 miles of this stretch from Newport, Oregon to Boston, Massachusetts, and in its heartland there’s a scavenger hunt that all ages can enjoy. Here’s where we gallivanted through #The20Tour in Northwest Iowa. First stop is Rockwell City!
Live on the Square is happening all summer long in Rockwell City, and they were celebrating their first celebration of the warm weather ritual on May 31st. We landed safe and sound in the Calhoun County seat with ease and took advantage in the brake of the clear skies and warm temps.
Lynch’s Bar and Grill was the local tap supplying grilled hot dogs along with the Iowa staple of BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. The live music filled the square and we gathered with the locals. Hot dogs and all! Inside Lynch’s was another round of good-timers enjoying the Calhoun evening. Perfect time for a round of Iowa craft beers.
It’s called small town Mexican food and Iowa does it better than anyone! Los Flores gives the locals of Rockwell City a terrific experience, and supplies travelers like us a memorable meal that could keep us taking Old 20 for decades to come. If you find food this good, don’t pass it up. Why would you? Don’t forget that you need a great place to relax when you’re enjoying the NW-IA weekend.
*Our stay at the Hagge Park Cabin was complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Let’s keep gallivanting!
The Sac County Conservation Board was an amazing host for our trip to this region of Iowa that we hold so close to our soul. I have personally spent countless days in Sac County while visiting family all the way through my early 20s. It had a special meaning staying at Hagge County Park and the accommodations were perfect for what we needed. Marshmallows, comfortable bedding, and plenty of timber to keep us grateful for the wilderness this park provided. Don’t think for a minute that this will be the last you hear of this beautiful county park from us…Stay tuned!
Sac County is full of Historic 20 memories for thousands, and we soaked up the sunny weekend that blessed the entire area. Stops at the World’s Largest Popcorn Ball in Sac City that is roadside picture taking gold. Then the Crossroads of the Nation of Early. Next the Popcorn Capitol of the World. Also known as Schaller, Iowa. All of these landmarks on the long list of #The20Tour so make this happen!
Early, Iowa has seen its decades of history. The old town on the corner of 71 and 20 has had many businesses come and go, but there’s still a group of entrepreneurs that keep this town on the map and always will. 71-20 Crossroads has the crispy edged pancakes to keep the interest up for countless travelers. Hardy breakfast sandwiches and Belgian-style waffles that could impress folks from…Well… Belgium, of course.
The historic State Theater is Holstein’s landmark on #The20Tour, and that’s not the only reason why we came here. Thiefenthaler Quality Meats is one of Iowa’s best known meat shops and they supplied us for the night ahead at the campsite. Their Red Hot Links can be the whole reason to take the long way through the Ida County farmland to experience true rural Iowa. And yet there’s another doorway Old 20 can open….
Lake View, Iowa is a Sac County lake town that knows how to have a summertime party. What lakeside area doesn’t? This is the textbook definition of what Old 20 can guide you to, even if it’s not directly on its historic route.
The Annual Sip and Sample on Lake View’s main drag was absorbing the sun-filled day with hundreds of attendees. Local boutiques, gift shops, crafters, and artists showed up to sell their materials. And let’s not forget that “sip” part. Iowa based distilleries, wineries, and breweries headlined this block party and we’re all invited. Sac County knows how to put on a party, and Lake View’s Black Hawk Lake is the centerpiece for many sun drenched weeks to come.
The days of 20 are ahead of us and always will be. The historic markers that make up the scavenger hunt are a part of this amazing ride; along with all the events, citizens, horizons, scenery, food, and businesses that create the path we all love. Time to be 20 again!
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