*SW-Iowa will show travelers some of the state’s most unique pieces of history, and especially when you’re on the Missouri border. Our visit to Taylor County was sponsored by the Lenox Area Chamber of Commerce and the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce. Some of the goods, services, and meals were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s gallivant
We hugged the borders of all neighbors during our expedition of Western Iowa this year. Minnesota to the north, South Dakota and Nebraska to the west, and the incredibly scenic and hilly region along the Missouri line. Taylor County is one of those areas that produces some of the most memorable paths you can take for an Iowa expedition into the rural reaches.
Our first trip to Taylor County was back in 2015 when we took a self guided detour into Lake of Three Fires State Park. I wasn’t going to miss a chance to see it again 6 years later and I was very pleased to see that it was just as picturesque as the last time.
Time For A Cold One
For me, I need very little reason to make a random trip to the local hardware store. Ramsey’s Ace Hardware just might get me looking for more than a can of paint, box of nails, or new snow blower. I might have to look for a house nearby because this hardware store has another item I step out of the house for at random times. An ice cold beer…..WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT! The local DIY establishment has a little bar to take a proper break at!
Small towns have all sorts of surprises when it comes to shopping the shelves of their local businesses. Plan a trip this year to see how you can experience some new ways to shop-small and support Iowa families even more than ever. Lenox is one of those towns that can provide some wonderful gifts that include fun and memorable times like this at Ramsey’s Ace Hardware. Watch the video below and see what its like to get a cold one in Lenox!
Roadside Attractions & History
The Honey War. It doesn’t have a name that screams out bloodshed, invasion, and political nightmares. This Midwest event would have had all of that if tensions escalated on the Iowa-Missouri border back in the 1830s. A bad, almost very-very bad, surveying mistake nearly caused an all out war between a slave owning state of Missouri and the non-slave state of Iowa. The Honey War was one of the many preludes our country had that led to the Civil War in the 1860s. Just south of the unincorporated town of Athelstan is one of the most remote historical landmarks you’ll find in Iowa and Missouri. This is the Sullivan Line!
The next stop is one of those places that movie buffs and roadside attraction hunters will both love. Lenox, Iowa had the second horror movie film site we discovered this year in Western Iowa, and things got a little “crazy” here years ago. The local high school has made a lot of history, here in Lenox, and so did The Crazies!
Civil War memorials are never hard to find in all of Southern Iowa. Taylor County’s contribution to the Union Army can be honored and observed while you’re traveling its blacktops.
There’s public art lovers everywhere and SW-Iowa is loaded with murals! Bedford is one of those towns that shows off these works that attract casual Road trippers like us.
Let’s Eat Steak!
The Purple Palace is one of the areas most popular restaurants and they were ready to make a couple beefy meals happen on a hot Taylor County day. You’ve seen a lot of cuts on our adventures with all of them being wonderful steaks. Sometimes I get a craving for one of the most classic suppers you can find in small town restaurants and it’s usually loaded with delicious toppings!
We all love those thick-cut steaks and for very good reason. But don’t forget about how satisfying these stick to your ribs meals can be. The Purple Palace grilled up a great and beefy memory for us here in Bedford and they gave us a premium idea for a return trip. We need to come back for Prime Rib night on Saturday! Watch the video below and see what we devoured at The Purple Palace in Bedford, Iowa!
Another historic place to stay and another place of lodging that’s walking distance to so much of what a town has to offer. I knew that I was going to like the location of The Heritage Inn Bed & Breakfast when I saw its Main Street address. I was confidant that it was walking distance to more of Lenox and I was right. Something I will always look for when I’m traveling and I was very excited to see this beautiful Victorian era home when we arrived to Lenox.
What can I say….Tim and Barb know how to welcome guests into Lenox and into their home that’s known as The Heritage Inn Bed & Breakfast. We showed up after a long hot day of exploring Taylor county and needed a long rest in a relaxing setting. Done and done here in Lenox! The front door opened and we were introduced to a SW-Iowa treasure. The Heritage Inn Bed & Breakfast is just steps from all the businesses on Main Street-Lenox while giving everyone a rural getaway they’re looking for. I fell right into the spell of The Heritage. My luggage hit floor and the Private Suite pulled me in. This was such a peaceful stay and our hosts did an amazing job of keeping us welcomed, fed, and completely relaxed. We’re not done talking about The Heritage Inn & Suites, so make sure you stay tuned to TIG!
Our meal at The Purple Palace wasn’t the only beef inspired stop we made in Taylor County. We had a locker and lunchtime to get more featured on our Gallivant!
Take me back to the 1830s-Taylor County. I’d give anything to see those local papers talking about Missouri invaders and the call to protect Iowa. Imagine how the County looked back then. Much has changed, but from some of the parts I saw, it was very similar to those pioneer days in the countryside. This area has been producing for Iowa since the territory times and will continue to do so forever. There’s an old world type of welcoming that continues to this day in Taylor County. It’s Iowa with a certain twang to it and a personality you don’t get everywhere in the state. That’s exactly why I think so many would love it here in the way we do.
Make your reservation for the Heritage Inn Bed & Breakfast on their website.
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