Grownup Getaways · Iowa Wine, Beer, and Spirits · Northeast Iowa · Outdoors All Year · The Mud Belt-Traveling the Mississippi

At Long Last It’s Lansing-Peak Autumn Season in Far NE-Iowa

*It was a long time coming, but we made back on the road. I was honored to be hosted by the folks at Allamakee Economic Development and Tourism. The views expressed are always of our own. Let’s gallivant!

You bet I’m going to!

Lansing, Iowa: Allamakee County

Several months slipped by since our last official gallivant back in March of 2020. That, too, was an an amazing trip to Northeast Iowa and Howard County. October came around and I knew it was time to finally get back into an area that I have visited during all four seasons. This time leaving me with yet another amazing outlook on Allamakee County and Iowa as a whole. Though our Iowa Gallivant HQ is in Iowa City, I was indeed home again, among the endless sprawl of wilderness that the Driftless Area provides. Iowa and the Upper Mississippi region’s MVP was the glacier that decided to take an abrupt turn and decided to skip over this landscape during the last ice age. It left us with a beautiful landmass that makes you wonder how you are still in Iowa. This is the feeling that I’ve had every time the Driftless has welcomed me in. This time our welcome was met with a coffee and lunch with a view.

Coffee on the River in Lansing, Iowa will be one of the most beautiful coffee stops of your travels anywhere.

Built out from an old mill and using much of the original woodwork and structure is Coffee on the River. Lansing, Iowa is where “Main Street Meets the Mississippi” and this beautiful restaurant and coffee haven is somewhat of an unofficial intersection of this town motto.

A gourmet flatbread that is waiting for you in Lansing. Chicken, golden BBQ sauce, bacon queso, fresh arugula, and topped with a creamy ranch sauce.
How about a healthy dose of fried goat cheese! Fresh pears, over crisp greens with pumpkin vinaigrette and crunchy pepitas. The Driftless area is known for an abundunce of local fried cheese curds and Coffee on the River gives you another twist on the gourmet side of breaded and wonderfully fried cheese!
Let’s not forget the most important part of Coffee on the River…..The coffee! Cold brew on tap and plenty of it for this guy. There’s also plenty more of their colorful and satisfying creations to choose from with very talented baristas to make them happen.
This hub for great food and beverages comes with its own spectacular river view from the back patio.

There’s plenty of ways to enjoy the goodies from Coffee on the River and other restaurants in Lansing. If you’re looking to get everything to go and head to a picnic spot a short drive away, then there is no problem at all with that. One of the Mississippi River’s greatest overlooks is just a few minutes uphill on Mount Hosmer.

That, my friends, is a picture perfect gallivant.

Mount Hosmer shows you the Upper Mississippi in a way you weren’t expecting. The historic river flows past many islands, sloughs full of wildlife, and a glimpse of our neighbors to the east in Wisconsin. The river bluffs and fall foliage have a premium view from Mount Hosmer and this can’t be missed when you’re in town. Plenty of picnic tables, and spacious opportunities to watch the river the whole time to yourself. What’s better than looking at the mighty Mississippi? How about getting on the water!

This could be all you need in a day. Cold beer, a boat ride, and stunning autumn scenery on the Upper Mississippi.

S&S Houseboat Rentals took me on a guided trip on the river with the wonderous Driftless bluffs flanking us the entire time. Blake, the proud owner of S&S, was our captain and he is one of the many locals that have a similar story. Raised in Lansing, moved away after high school, and returned years later. He and his wife missed their hometown and one visit to Lansing and you can see why they came back to raise their family in Allamakee County. Needless to say, he has one of the best offices anywhere in Iowa.

The guided tour is always with plenty of locals.
Make our heading for the Big Slough, Cap’n Blake! Man the port side, you scallywags! The winds be on our side says I! I like boat rides…..
Slow ride into the nooks and crannies of the great river that only a trusty boat can get you to.

Blake and the crew of S&S Houseboat Rentals knows how to keep you entertained, but they also know how to keep you welcomed no whether its a day trip to Lansing or multi night stay in the Driftless. Click here and you can see what we experienced inside their amazing houseboats that are always a great idea when it comes to full Mississippi River excursion. By the way……you hungry again?

Safe House Saloon was our main Main Street attraction in Lansing and this picture gives you the reason why. The Calypso pizza topped with olive oil, garlic chicken, fresh tomato, spinach, artichokes, feta cheese and homemade basil pesto. That is a lovely taste of Allamakee right there, my friends!

Safe House Saloon was another return trip for us and you can probably guess why. The Calypso is just one of many unique choices you can get here and it’s certainly one of the most memorable restaurants you’ll visit while in Lansing and Allamakee County. Pizza is just one of their specialties here at the Safe House Saloon……

Don’t just beer me. Craft beer me! Don’t just craft beer me. Local craft beer me! That’s right suds lovers. Safe House Saloon has a great selection of Iowa beers and we know there’s plenty of travelers that seek these our wherever they go.

Where did seven months go? January of 2019 seems like yesterday when we were in the Driftless last. Our last 2020 gallivant was in the outskirts of the winter season before crops were being planted. Now it’s October and the harvest is on. I’m glad it was Allamakee County that provided the road trip and getaway I needed. So many old friends from travels past welcomed me back and I don’t mind saying that it made this big ol’ travel blogger a little emotional when I would reflect on the visit. I was told that a long time ago that every great road trip should change you a little bit. They often have that effect on me. This one made more grateful for friendships made on the road and I can’t thank the folks of Allamakee more for that. The great thing is this is just the first post of the great weekend on the great river, going up and down the Great River Road.

Thank you, Lansing. Good lord, I missed you.

Be sure to click here and see the other great adventures we’ve had in Allamakee County and all over Northeast Iowa!

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