*There’s a lot of sunny-warm days left on the calendar, and that means it’s still prime time road trip season. NW-Iowa saw a lot of our travels this year, and that included a visit to Spencer for us! It was a rainy day, when we showed up to Spencer, but that wasn’t going to stop us! Our trip was sponsored by the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation. Some of the goods, services, and meals were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!
Who doesn’t love a huge annual event like the local county fair. However, Clay County’s is not your average run of the mill collection of rides, farm animals, food trucks, and packed grand stands. Yes, they have all of that, but this event is HUGE! It’s one of the world’s largest county fairs and that’s why they call it the World’s Greatest County Fair! Seriously folks, the town of Spencer swells with visitors that travel from all over the country to experience this massive event that showcases an unbelievable amount of entertainment. County fairs drip with nostalgic Americana moments with every minute you spend at them, and the Clay County locals organize one of the best you’re ever going to enjoy. That being said, there’s a lot of the area you can see while you’re here that’s outside of the fairgrounds. Let’s get out and take in as much of this exciting, relaxing, entertaining, and food loving county in NW-Iowa!
A Lunchbox breakfast! Now, I like how that sounds especially when there’s going to be a busy day ahead, and when I’m in need of a great meal first thing in the morning. I also like it when I can order my breakfast and get right back on the road when I receive it. The Lunchbox was just the restaurant I was looking for with a local feel to it!
Icons come in many shapes and sizes. Some icons come in delicious patty form and smothered in peanut butter. Spencer is known for some great reasons and one of them is the Weaser Pleaser at Weasy’s!
You like to stay active? Then bring your bike to Spencer and hit the trail while you’re here! Grand Ave is home to a trusty bike shop called Bikes, Boards & Shades which means they can supply you with anything your cycling heart desires. Having a local bike shop is a big plus for visitors when their multiple wheeled friends need babied and taken care of a little.
Those trails I was talking about are just off of Grand Ave and Leach Park is one of my all-time favorite happy places in all of Iowa. This trail runs parallel with the Little Sioux River and into some wonderfully shaded stretches.
There’s another district of businesses that Spencer is home to and there’s some tasty options on its path as well. HWY 18-Spencer is home to restaurants, big box retailers, more shops, hotels, and a very unique grocery store. Yes, I am in need of some tacos at the local taqueria!
La Morenita isn’t the only Mexican food option that’s just off of HWY 18-Spencer. Plaza Mexico had the appetizer that was calling to us! Just for your information…I have no willpower when I know there’s a quesadilla around the corner. An I know I’m not the only one….
We’re not done with this HWY 18 promo just yet. We have a hotel to check into and it was time for us to get to know Spencer’s Days Inn & Suites!
Check-in and forget about climbing back into the car for awhile. We needed a break and Spencer’s answer to that was at the Days Inn & Suites! Very clean room and well managed throughout the entire hotel. The staff was getting many rooms ready for a busy weekend ahead any still took time to make us feel welcomed. Positioned just off of HWY 18 which means there’s plenty of options to get a meal. However, I wanted to keep the car parked and forget about revving it up for the rest the night. The Days Inn & Suites is perfectly located for just that sort of request. Let’s meet the Clay County rep on the Western Iowa T-Bone Trail!
Let’s Eat Steak!
Are you getting the hang of this “just off of HWY 18” theme? One of the most popular NW-Iowa steakhouses was in the backyard of our hotel and I think you can guess what The Prime Rib Restaurant & Lounge is famous for! Hey, they have a Grand Ave address, too! What a great stretch of Spencer!
The Prime Rib atmosphere was a trip into the Spencer night that’s been entertaining their large fan base for a very long time. The talented cooks were preparing some of the classic dishes that have made this restaurant so popular for so many reasons. Great food, delightful service, caring ownership, and plenty of cold beverages getting poured and mixed for the constant incoming customers!
It’s go-time! That means it’s time for the entrees and my buddy Oscar to make their headlining appearances in Spencer at The Prime Rib! Who the heck is Oscar? Just click on the video below and see what I have say about this historic steakhouse that’s a friend to many!
Kiss my wife goodnight-that was awesome! I loved the ambiance, the brilliant salad bar, and that precious Prime Rib here at The Prime Rib. (I love that phrase) What I enjoyed the most was the company I had when I showed up and throughout my meal. Carol welcomed me in and had such a genuine way of interacting with me while I enjoyed my time at The Prime Rib. Owning and running a restaurant is a busy way of life and I know how every moment of time is important during a busy night. Thank you to everyone at The Prime Rib. The front of the house and the back of the house. You all did a fantastic job and Spencer is incredibly lucky to have The Prime Rib bringing folks into town!
The time to hit the road and drive to the next county was going to happen at some point. We were heading south on HWY 71 and discovered more of what’s great about Clay County along the way. And you knew we would! Shall we play some disc golf….
Glacial Trail Scenic Byway
Hold on! Let’s go in reverse a little bit. We didn’t talk about what we did right when we got to Clay County the previous morning! We haven’t skipped a drive on Western Iowa’s scenic byways all summer long, and we weren’t going to pass-up another trip down the Glacial Trail!
This wasn’t the first time the Glacial Trail Scenic Byway made it to The Iowa Gallivant. It’s more like the 6th and most of those appearances happened this summer! This byway is for anyone who thinks that Iowa’s scenery “never changes”. How about “never” thinking that again. Save some time to wander off our main interstate systems and enjoy our scenic byways from time to time. One day on the Glacial Trail will put away that “Iowa is so flat” myth as well.
Clay County is bursting with county fair goers this week. The late summer rites of NW-Iowa that always follows the state fair in Des Moines. I love it when a community cherishes everyday of summer and Spencer certainly does that in a massive way. There’s much more to see in this area and I encourage anyone to see all you can when you’re visiting Spencer during the fair and all year long. You can get those funnel cakes to go, by the way. Grab one and Gallivant through the area and create your own amazing road trip in this scenic and inviting county. Then put the car into a grinding stop and circle back to Spencer for another funnel cake! Repeat….
Make your reservation for Days Inn & Suites-Spencer on their website.
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