2021 T-Bone Trail · Family Adventures · Historic US Route 20 · Iowa Food · Northwest Iowa · Outdoors All Year · Roadside Iowa

Surf & Turf on Old Highway 20: Castles & Creeks in Ida County, Iowa

*Northwest Iowa was a big friend to us this year and we discovered a treasure trove of great road trip material with every mile traveled. Our trip was sponsored by Ida County Economic Development. Some of the goods, services, and meals were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

I’m liking these ice cream welcomes in Western Iowa! Midwest Deli & Grill in Holstein with the swirly twirly photo-op on the Western Iowa T-Bone Trail.

Ida County, Iowa

Give me those NW-Iowa skies. Those NW-Iowa blacktops. Those NW-Iowa trails, breezes, and horizons. It’s an area of the state that’s given us so many amazing memories and 2021 has supplied a bevy of memorable days in their communities and countryside to add to the tons memories we already have. It was Ida County’s turn on the T-Bone Trail and there was a very delicious beginning to our day. Ribeye for lunch in Galva!

Let’s Eat Steak

We’re back on Historic old HWY 20! Galva, Iowa for our first Ida County stop and we came to town with a craving for Iowa Beef. Sizzlin’ J Bar & Grill rolled out some of their best specialties! 121 Main Street

Two of my favorite words of all-time. Main and Street put together! There’s a lot of them all over the country with Western Iowa getting many of theirs showcased on this beefy promotion. Sizzlin J Bar & Grill is a proud Main Street business and they have a very skilled kitchen that’s producing sensational meals in Galva!

Salad bar and sandwiches for the first course at Sizzlin’ J!

They rolled out the salad bar for lunch so we could see and taste how wonderful it is during the days its featured. And it was awesome! It was like a potluck on ice with all the house made salads and rich dressings to add to our fresh lettuce and veggies. And look at the pickled herring! I’m all in on a salad bar when I see a big bowl of herring chilling with the rest of the options.

Some smoked brisket was in order at Sizzlin’ J. They are known for having some of the best BBQ you’re going to find so I was really happy to see these sandwiches hit the table. Top pic is the smoked brisket melt that’s loaded with mac & cheese! next up is the brisket Philly that has melted cheese, peppers and onions in every bite!
Surf and turf in Galva, Iowa! Look at this plate of bless!

That’s a beefy start to Ida County and charbroiled Ribeye for lunch is never a bad idea. The customers and regulars flowed through the dining room with several of them joking and catching up with each other. A lot of good times in just a short time at Sizzlin’ J Bar & Grill and that’s why we keep going back to small towns. Great food and locals making our travels even better. Watch the video below and see what Sizzlin’ J is sizzlin’ in Galva!

Great job to everyone at Sizzlin’ J Bar & Grill!
Beefy bite after bite in Galva!

Stay Active

Let’s hit the trail on the Western Iowa T-Bone Trail in Ida County! Go swimming, take a hike, get the boat in the water, grab the tackle box, and rent a cabin at Crawford Creek Rec Area!

Near the town of Battle Creek is Crawford Creek and for some reason I really enjoy saying that out loud. Hey, I love creeks! (Pronounced crick of course) The inaugural T-Bone Trail has been a constant tour of county parks and public lands as much as it’s been about devouring some of the best steaks on planet Earth. And that was by design, but it was still amazingly refreshing to have the beauty of Western Iowa open up to us with every arrival into every park we enjoyed. The walking trail around Crawford Creek Rec Area provided a spiritual presence during our Gallivant of Ida County. These public lands of Iowa can produce this energy on a daily basis for anyone who takes advantage of these areas. You can also find some of the rarest of Iowa’s natural wonders when you’re at Crawford Creek too. Watch the video below and see! This is for all you corn dog lovers….

The naturalist has spoken!
I never met Mr. Nielsen, but you can tell his family and friends that I did enjoy this break on his bench. Enjoy Crawford Creek and all of Iowa’s parks because folks like Martin would love to see you there.

From Battle Creek to Ida Grove. Staying active in Ida County’s parks with endless clusters of puffy clouds in the Ida County skies. I never grew tired of looking up during the whole time here.

Moorehead Pioneer Park is one of Western Iowa’s most enjoyable parks year round. You’ll see why that is.
Another lake to enjoy in Ida County. The hilly Moorehead Pioneer Park opens up to this scene as you keep driving.
What do you see here? Yes, it’s a grassy hill with a powerful afternoon sky blessing it. It’s also one of the state’s most popular sledding destinations.
I just got an idea for a winter road trip to Ida County! Sledding at Moorehead with a lift ticket!
Cobb Memorial park in Ida Grove gives travelers another way to keep the legs active with a walk around this pond and campground.

Bonus Beef

On the outskirts of Holstein is one of Iowa’s most treasured of its meaty destinations!

Tiefenthaler Quality Meats will always be a place we’ll stop at when we’re in the area. One of the most award winning meat lockers in Iowa and they always have tons of selections to fill up your coolers. Oh, yea. Bring a cooler to Holstein!

Yes, there’s a lot of beef, but Tiefenthaler’s has plenty of options of many meaty selections to fill your freezers.
I couldn’t fit all their awards in one picture. You’ll lose track of all of them on their wall of fame.
Team awards and this one for John! A well deserved place in the Cured Meats Hall of Fame. Get to this meat shop and have a taste of what Ida County is so proud of!

Roadside Attractions

The pond at Cobb Memorial Park is just one of its aspects you’ll enjoy. Many displays of our nations military are here in Ida Grove and they got us to stop the car and walk around.
Slow down! We’re on an exciting Gallivant and need to reenergize. Brew Ida Grove for a quick ice coffee!
Get ready for castles and a lot of them in Ida Grove! They take this tradition seriously and the welcome sign is just an actual sign of things to come in Ida Grove.
Another couple of castles in Ida Grove! This town can keep roadside attraction hunters very busy when they’re in Ida County.

Back to Holstein

One of my favorite welcome signs on Old 20. It’s great to be back in Holstein!

It was another evening in Western Iowa that would feature perfect weather and more businesses that make Ida County a special place to visit. Here comes more ways to enjoy Holstein and the entire night on Old Highway 20!

Backdraft Bar & Grill is another Main Street-America establishment that can get travers stopping for a great Iowa meal in Ida County!
Another bonus beef alert! Juicy hamburger patty with a lot of Bleu cheese smothering it. One of my preferred styles of burgers. And how about a BBQ pork sandwich too! Always a classic anywhere in Iowa.
It’s called Backdraft Bar & Grill for a reason and it’s not because Kurt Russell is a regular. The owner is a proud firefighter and would jump up at anytime to to help in an emergency. Maybe Kurt Russell does come here….


We have gotten to know several Iowa towns and Cobblestone Inn & Suites has been a wonderful constant in our travels throughout our Gallivants. We were happy to check into their Holstein property! 2011 Indorf Ave 712-368-6200

We have had many great evenings at every Cobblestone Inn & Suites we’ve stayed at, and there’s been plenty of them we’ve experienced. Holstein’s has joined that list and I knew that rest and relaxation mode would be easily commenced after we checked in.

I break for all Corgis. Even when they’re on a cover of a magazine in a hotel lobby.
The comfortable beds I’ve gotten to know at Cobblestone Inn & Suites!
It was a long and eventful day and I knew I could count on Holstein’s Cobblestone Inn & Suites to provide quality products for the hot shower ahead.
Cartoon Network coming in nice and clear in our room! Yes, that’s my favorite channel.
Complimentary breakfast ahoy! Waffle maker, fresh and hot coffee, cold cereal, and the opportunity to make an epic bagel breakfast samich!

One worry folks have is, “where will we’ll stay” when it come to getaways in small towns. Almost all of them feature campgrounds within city limits and or nearby. However, there’s more small towns that have modern hotel accommodations than a lot of people think. Holstein has a population of about 1,500 and its Cobblestone Inn & Suites is a wonderful addition to anyone’s road trip. Very clean with a more than helpful staff and the rooms are filled with comfort. I knew I was going to have a great and restful night in Holstein when I saw that it would be Cobblestone Inn & Suites hosting us.

Don’t forget to see the Ida County Freedom Rock before you leave Holstein!


CornerHaus 101 for the must-have coffee stop in Ida County. Stop in and see this beautiful historic building and sip back on their tasty cups of joe in all its forms!

There was much to see in Ida County and I was thrilled to have so much time in Holstein. I want to absorb Main Streets as much as possible wherever I go. Thanks to CornerHaus 101, I can enjoy one of Ida County’s in such a wonderful and unique way. Click on the video below and never stop searching for these towns.


The harvest is here and that means one of the finest seasons for road tripping is here too. Ida County’s sprawling horizons are there for you. It’s shops, restaurants, and businesses of all types are eager to bring you enjoyment during your visits and ready to help get that holiday shopping list checked off. The locals here know how wonderful it is in NW-Iowa and Ida County citizens do an amazing job of reminding me and others of that. Do you say crick or creek? Let’s discuss this later because my progrums are about to start. Or do you say, programs? Thank you, Ida!

Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!

Make your reservation for Cobblestone Inn & Suites-Holstein on their website.

Like Ida County Economic Development on Facebook.

Like Western Iowa Tourism Region on Facebook.

Like the Iowa Beef Council on Facebook and keep up with info, updates, events, and promotions!

See everything we’ve covered on The Iowa Gallivant in the Northwest Region of Iowa!

Another eye catching welcome sign in Western Iowa. Wait! Is that a crashed plane I see in the tree?

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