*It was another first for us on The Iowa Gallivant! Adair County has finally made it to our travels and we were excited to have it represented on The inaugural Western Iowa T-Bone Trail! Our trip was sponsored by Adair County, Iowa Tourism. Some of the goods, services, and meals were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!
Adair County, Iowa (Our 88th Iowa County)
I’ve been sipping through and occasionally stopping in Adair County my whole life. The northern reaches are directly on I-80 with much of the southern areas of the county left unexplored on my part. That was until 2021 arrived and we hit the road! Get ready for a lot of gallivanting moments everyone can have in Adair County!
Roadside Attractions & History
Henry A. Wallace is a native Iowan and one of the most important politicians and Vice Presidents in American history. A successful farmer, businessman, scientist, and leader with an Iowa upbringing. This would be the most enlightening stop on our Adair County Gallivant….
There was something so soulful about this preserve. The day was very warm, but shadows from the low hanging clouds and those prairie breezes were flowing through grass and wild flowers. The Henry A. Wallace Birthplace Farm gave us a glimpse into his fabled family and life in SW-Iowa before the world sped up to where we are today. Taking a stroll through this prairie gives anyone that wants a peaceful Iowa day in their travels. We breathed in the the aromas coming off the vegetation and heard the natural sounds through its stems, leaves, and pedals every time the light winds would kick-up. Locate these preserves wherever you may see them. They are some of the most precious areas of Iowa we have.
Historic White Pole Road is one of Iowa’s byways that Western Iowa showcases in this 36 county region. This stretch of rural highway goes through some small Iowa towns and features roadside attractions that easy going road trippers always keep their eye open for. Actually they keep both eyes open. They’re driving for Pete’s sake! Any-hoo…Jesse James and his gang of thieves had to rob a train in the West for the first time somewhere! Turned out to be near the town of Adair in 1873. Stop the car for this photo-op!
A trip into the outskirts of Greenfield and you’ll find the Iowa Aviation Museum along with the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame! I’ve seen signs for this facility for years and it was time to see what this complex of high flyin’ Iowa housed. Let’s just say that I was expecting planes, and plenty of stories. Holy guacamole, that would be an understatement!
I know it took a worldwide host of allies and soldiers from around the country, but one walk through this museum will make you so proud that WWII had Iowans up in the air and working on the aircraft at our bases. That conflict seemed to have someone from this state playing an instrumental part in so many crucial moments during this time period. And not just that one! Our pilots and crewmen & women have served in some of the bravest ways since the moment the US military commissioned aircraft. And it’s not just during wartime. The role Iowans had in getting some of the world’s most famous inflight historical moments happen makes for a long list. Those stories are still being created everyday and year after year with Iowa’s impact on the aerospace industry and more of our youngsters volunteering for service. This museum has many more decades of growth to come.
There are folks who can say that they’ve visited all of Iowa’s Freedom Rocks that have been completed in almost all of Iowa’s 99 counties. Adair County is where it all began and the rest is history for this US military inspired tour of our state. After years of locating them myself, this was the first time I’ve ever seen the original Freedom Rock near Menlo.
One of the most important aspects of any long drive is getting out and staying active. Even if it’s just a short walk. Adair County can put some scenery into your jaunt, and offers some off the beaten path ways to get that camping fix taken care of too!
Let’s Eat Steak!
Some of the locals in Greenfield were wondering if we planned on getting a meal at the popular Olive Branch Family Restaurant while we were walking the historic Public Square. The answer was a huge Y-E-S!
There’s nothing better than having a tasty restaurant connected to your hotel. To be able to walk downstairs and know there’s a surf and turf meal read to happen is a much anticipated perk to look forward to whenever I’m traveling.
Charbroiled Ribeyes turned out to be the #1 theme when it came to our meals throughout the year on the road. But I didn’t always have some tender shrimp paired-up with them like I did at the Olive Branch in Greenfield! Give me a home where the hash browns roam and the steaks are juicy all day…That’s Western Iowa, right there, and Adair County made this stop on the T-Bone Trail another magnificent one. I have a full belly and just want to plop down on a bed and think about my next steak. Wherever shall I go? I know! Right next door is where I’m going….Click on the video below and see more of our steak at the Olive Branch!
The Public Square of Greenfield, Iowa is a business district that I could see myself enjoying from morning to night. And you don’t even need to leave the confines of Hotel Greenfield if you wanted to do that! Although they suggest you get the whole Public Square experience….
Renovated to give us those modern perks we look forward to while keeping the architectural integrity that made it such a beautiful and renowned hotel. Hotel Greenfield is a short walk away from restaurants, shopping, drinks at the bar, and more of what’s notable on the Public Square. I really got a kick out of chatting with the folks at the front desk while I was here and especially loved the assistance I got with taking pictures. I could tell that the employees worked hard and truly cared for Hotel Greenfield. Our room was perfect for what we needed, and everything had such a unique 1920s SW-Iowa feel here in the 2020s. Thank you all, and don’t think we’re done talking you up. We have even more to show everyone from Hotel Greenfield on The Iowa Gallivant, so stay tuned!
More of Greenfield’s Public Square
Nope! Not done with this one of kind Public Square in Greenfield! It’s also one of the rarest designs you’ll see in America when it comes to the town square concept. Keep those sneakers on because we’re taking a few more laps…
We came to Adair County to find another Western Iowa steak inspired meal and left with finding a great one in Greenfield. Then you top it off with unreal biscuits and gravy, cheeseballs that can stretch around your head, and a whole lot of important Iowa history. It was another round of meeting some old acquaintances that I wasn’t expecting on running into. I meant so much to be trading off nostalgic stories of our families in SW-Iowa. I am so grateful to have been on this trail throughout the year and the memories are stacking up higher in certain ways I didn’t see coming when we started this in May. Adair County, I wish we didn’t wait so long for a visit, but I am so glad we finally made it there. I’d be honored to walk the square a few more times and lose myself in the prairie even longer next time.
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