*2015 was our last road trip to the Sioux City area and this time, in 2021, we saw a whole lot more of the county. Our trip was sponsored by Woodbury County Community & Economic Development. Some of the products, meals, and service were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!
One of Iowa’s largest counties is home to the biggest metro community in Western Iowa. The Sioux City area brings in a lot of visitors and travelers everyday and for many great reasons. We did some memorable gallivanting in the city and we traveled to much more of this HUGE county. Seriously, its a big one when we’re talking square millage. Beyond Sioux City is the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway, Historic US Route 20, a lot of small-town charm, and the area where Lewis & Clark broke from Iowa and continued into what is now modern day South Dakota. One of the great historical areas of the Hawkeye State and a very tasty one all at the same time. It’s Woodbury’s turn on Western Iowa’s T-Bone Trail!
Roadside America & History
If you’ve been reading other posts then you might have noticed that I’m a very big fan of Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery. I must confess something. I have been to Sioux City many times and not once have I ever stopped at one of the most important monuments in the State of Iowa and the country. I mean every word of that. From the importance to the fact that I have overlooked an amazing overlook for years. Not this time.
It’s the early 1800s and there’s no such thing as antibiotics, bear repellant, or life jackets that light up in the dark. I won’t go into the full history of just how dangerous and treacherous this expedition into the American unknown was, but at the top of the most miraculous facts about the Corps of Discovery is what happen to Sgt. Floyd. Somehow, someway, only one person perished during the entire journey from St. Louis to modern day Washington State and back. That person was Charles Floyd and he didn’t make it out of Iowa. What is now Sioux City, on a hill with the Missouri River flowing by is where he was buried in the first weeks of Lewis & Clark’s mission. It wasn’t even the expedition that killed him. It was an ailment that may have had its origins before the first keelboat started upriver from St. Louis. It was a sacrifice that the whole corps appreciated and it was very early in the expedition. They endured and they passed by his burial on the way back to the Mississippi River when the US government thought they were all dead somehow. Sergeant Floyd’s monument is overshadowed by the Gateway Arch, but both are just as important. As is every sign, historic landmark, exhibit, interpretive center, and footstep on the Lewis & Clark Trail.
There’s another historic overlook in Sioux City that was on my bucket list. Like Sergeant Floyd’s Memorial, I have driven past it several times and finally I was stopping by to see the monument of Chief War Eagle with my daughter. Another very important figure to Iowa’s history and a great chief to his people. War Eagle’s monument is at a spiritual setting atop of a bluff that watches the confluence of the Big Sioux and Missouri rivers coming together. These watery intersections are holy grounds to Native American cultures. War Eagle’s peace pipe is pointed to the west and it meets you after a short walk from the parking area or up a scenic trail through the woods. This was a much needed hike in hilly Sioux City.
We’ve been making more stops than usual these days and gathering around more roadside attractions. I’m getting the urge to go that extra mile and make that extra stop with every time behind the wheel. The need for these self educating moments fulfills our travels and I can’t thank communities everywhere enough for the upkeep they put into them.
Take A Break
Oscar Carl Vineyard is many things. A great place to visit and sip on local Iowa wine, relaxing, scenic, and a woodworkers happy place. Add boutique, trusty meeting venue, and very enticing place to throw a majorly memorable event. The vineyard is on the Sioux City outskirts and it’s a great introduction to the rural area you’re heading into as you head east into the county.
Take in the natural beauty and sounds of the vineyard’s outdoor patio while you’re here. Sure, they’ll have some live music from time to time that you can enjoy indoors, but if you prefer the patio then you’ll get what the great outdoors provides for ambiance. That’s by design and it’s something I can completely appreciate. And while you’re going in and out, you should ask about the woodworking. Some of the doors and other millwork comes from all over the country and from very historic places. The aged look of this decor is amazing and creates a feel that this winery has been in Woodbury County for ages. It’s an experience that the owners of Oscar Carl have strived to create and it’s impossible to go unnoticed while you’re here. By the way…..The wine is pretty darn good here too!
Two things that will get my attention every time. Elvis was here and we have a bowling alley. The Warrior Hotel can say both of these things and a whole lot more. Unbelievably renovated and incredibly eye opening from the moment you walk in. The lighting, the history, the design, and the hospitality will be absorbed during your entire stay. The staff here treated us with genuine kindness and very professional the entire time.
The Warrior is the historic stay that a lot of people are looking for along with all the comfort a beautiful hotel has to offer. And it’s all unique comfort I might add. This property is designed with international materials, artwork, and collectibles. All this while keeping a local feel and honoring the Sioux City historical impact. Bashing pins, knocking back beers, and napping in a flippin’ comfy room is a true Warrior way to take on this downtown district. And don’t even think that this is the last we have to say about this hotel. Keep your eyes open on TIG for more of The Warrior Hotel, Autograph Collection has because you’re going to love it!
Let’s Eat Steak!
Anthon, Iowa is in the eastern reaches of Woodbury County and this small town has a lot of great things going for it. New businesses, major renovations, and it’s also home to Fireside Steakhouse & Lounge where we would have one of the beefiest meals on the entire T-Bone Trail. Let’s see what this amazing steakhouse prepared!
Our table was filled local leaders who love to represent their communities and county. Owners of the Fireside, reps from the Anthon City Council, Woodbury County Supervisors, Anthon Community Development Corp, Woodbury County Farm Bureau, Cattlemen’s Association, and local entrepreneurs. All joining a dude from Iowa City that was in town for a steak. It was an absolutely amazing and memorable evening on the T-Bone Trail and the meal was great all around. There is nothing better than getting to know the community as you join them for a meal. I fell hard for Anthon and wanted to spend much more time there. Yes, juicy steaks will always help to bring me back, but there was so much more than that. Did I mention you get a scoop of ice cream with your meal here? Well, you do and that makes everyone even more happier when you’re in Anthon! Just watch our video from the Fireside Steakhouse & Lounge and see what I’m talking about! Whoa, whoa, whoa! Let’s not bolt our way out of town just yet. There’s another local business that has a certain inviting aroma to it. I should say, aromas. And the owner joined us for supper, too!
Feddersen USA Wagyu…..WOW! The Anthon wonderland didn’t stop within city limits because there were more of Woodbury County’s unbelievable steaks getting grilled up and it was right on the farm where the cattle are raised. What’s Wagyu beef? Well, its delicious in many categories to start with. Let’s drool over some pics before we go further…..
We hopped in with Brad a cruised from building to building, lane to lane, over to the cattle, barn to barn, and back to the house. That would have been all I needed to enjoy my trip to the Feddersen farm because it was that fun and that enlightening. But there’s a hot grill loaded with several cuts of their proud USA Wagyu and the Feddersens were eager to cook a meal for this group of gallivanting visitors. Ribeyes, Flatirons, New Yorks, and the Denver cut which was one I’ve never had before until our time with the Feddersen crew. Family and friends sat with us as they all had stories about their favorite steaks and memories here at the farm and elsewhere with the hosting family. It was another example of Western Iowa hospitality that makes you feel like you’ve been visiting with them your whole life even though we just met these folks. Bites of steaks, fresh fruit, potatoes, salad, and cold drinks. We may have had top quality meat on our plates, but it had the feel of a close-knit supper during an afternoon on the farm. Which is exactly what it was. Click here and get one of the best lessons on Wagyu Beef from Sophie Feddersen during our visit to their home in Anthon.
Feddersen USA Wagyu still does it the old fashion way with working the cattle on horseback and prides themselves in running stress-free environment for their prized cattle. The marbling on their steaks is almost hypnotic and they have a world of other cuts offer with many health benefits that comes with USA Wagyu. Roasts, hamburger, kabob cuts, Teres Major and more. Click here and see what you can order yourself to start filling up your freezer with some of the best USA Wagyu you’ll experience. Don’t even think this is the last you’re going to hear from us about Feddersen USA Wagyu! Keep an eye on The Iowa Gallivant as we develop our own meals using their mouthwatering beef. I think I have time for another stop in Woodbury County as we head east. Let’s just say we’re going to make a bit of a “correction”…..
I went bowling and enjoyed a beer with Lila who took time after her day to hangout with me at The Warrior where she works. Oscar Carl Vineyard opened the doors early so we could experience their winery. I had a USA Wagyu meal with the Feddersen folks where they work and live. I had supper with the owners of the Fireside Steakhouse and joined in with many others who could have ended their workday much earlier or gone on to another project they might be focusing on. Instead they all exuded their own uniqueness when it comes to welcoming visitors. David’s Woodbury County adventure, that he planned, was educational, flavorful, personable, and even a little emotional. We saw Sioux City history with state of the art advances when it comes to lodging in the downtown district. A way of raising supremely delicious beef with modernization and old school work ethic. A longtime Anthon steakhouse with a new look and a group that keeps the iconic feel of the restaurant with its locals and new customers like us. A winery that provides a peaceful outdoor option that could easily pack-in more bells and whistles to a beautiful patio, but keeps it a natural wonder.
This was an impactful gallivant from the get-go and the constant handshaking of community leaders, volunteers, and business owners never got old and never will. I came here to find what was going to land on The T-Bone Trail’s leg of Woodbury County and had no doubt we’d find memorable moments. During all of this I learned so much about operations in multiple businesses and left feeling inspired by the entrepreneurs keeping the economic development rolling in NW-Iowa. All this with a lot of coffee along the way!
Book your stay at The Warrior Hotel, Autograph Collection on their website.
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See everything we’ve covered on The Iowa Gallivant in the Northwest Region of Iowa!