2022 T-Bone Trail · Family Adventures · Outdoors All Year · Roadside Iowa · West Central Iowa

We Brake for Beef, a Rebel, Roadside Wonders & the Lodge of a Lifetime in Audubon County, Iowa

Audubon County is a Western Iowa set of communities that we’ve been to several times, and it was my pleasure to return to some of the places we’ve come to love about the area. The familiar roadside attractions, the delicious restaurants and all the great people we’ve met before were awaiting another gallivant. This time we met even more beef producers and found new ways to stay active. Our visit to Audubon County was sponsored and funded by the Western Iowa Tourism Region. Some of the goods, services and meals were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

It’s bingo time in Audubon County! Get your own card and spend a whole day filling it up throughout the entire county!

Audubon County, Iowa

The land where you’ll find a giant bull, an enchanting mermaid, a Danish village, and a tasty restaurant where you can order a huge cheeseburger, juicy steak, burritos and a bowl of pasta under one roof. It’s an area where there’s award-winning breaded pork tenderloins and some of Iowa’s most famous trees with all of this in a bird lovers paradise. We’re talking Audubon County, baby!

Breakfast Time

I’ve always said that the coffee meal is the best part of the day and the most important. What’s even better, is that this course can be enjoyed multiple times a day and here at The Bakery on Broadway in Audubon, Iowa!

Now that’s a big sip of delicious iced coffee from The Bakery! Something I locate during every Gallivant we take!
Inside The Bakery and Audubon is farmhouse decor like this depicting the rural surroundings.
Indulge in some delicious pastries because after all it’s a bakery!
The coffee was awesome, but my favorite part was the breakfast burrito! Scrambled eggs potatoes sausage peppers cheese onions and just the right amount of salsa. The Bakery on Broadway knows how to to start our day in tasty style!

Roadside America

Audubon County is home to one of the state’s biggest world record holders. Albert the Bull has been greeting visitors for generations and he’s very photogenic! Albert is one of Iowa’s most well-known roadside wonders and he is a must see when you’re in Audubon County. Seriously! He loves his picture taken!

Only Albert can put a smile on my face like this! It’s good to see you again my old friend.

The Danish Villages are another popular way to spend some time locating several memorable roadside attractions in the area. One of those villages Is Kimballton and it’s home to the Little Mermaid fountain which gives travelers a little taste of Copenhagen and the Scandinavian heritage this area is so proud of.

Follow these signs when you get to Audubon County! Western Skies Scenic Byway is going to show you some memorable communities in Western Iowa.
The beautiful park that the Little Mermaid calls home can provide a large number of photos and roadside attraction memories in Audubon County. Click on the video below to see and hear the sounds of Kimballton with its wonderful gardens in the background…
The sweet song of Kimballton’s Little Mermaid…..
The statewide Freedom Rock tour has its Audubon County stop with its Little Mermaid neighbor. On one side you see the likeness of the man this county is named after.
Hans Christian Andersen and his influence is all over this park. 8 statutes depicting some of our favorite childhood stories.
On of the most interesting roadside attractions in all of Iowa. The Tree in the Road, near Brayton, marks the Audubon-Cass county line and it’s what I like to call, America’s most scenic roundabout.

Stay Active

The T-Bone Trail meets the T-Bone Trail! We made a return trip to Audubon County for Season 2 of this steak filled promotion, and we like to stay active in between the popular restaurants we visit. Time to get the step tracker going and hit the trail! Then hit the trail after that….

On the way to this walking/biking trail is this perfect photo opp. Gravel road meets the lonely rural bridge over the Nishnabotna River.
The T-Bone Trail hugs the banks of the river and its picturesque timber.
The rolling farmland gives folks the Audubon County view that constantly changes in color throughout a summer day on the T-Bone Trail.

County parks and rec areas are an important feature to communities all over the state. Not only do the locals utilizes these public areas, but they also bring in visitors who are seeking entertainment and activities in peaceful surroundings. Littlefield Rec Area is where you’ll find your campsite in a park that’s managed by some hardworking and incredibly welcoming folks who have a passion for what they do at Audubon County Conservation.

The ever present brown sign with yellow lettering seems like a trusty friend in our travels. Littlefield Rec Area is near the town of Exira where you can easily supply-up if you need to.
Littlefield Rec Area hosts free kayaking loaners on certain days of the year, and this was the second time we’ve been able to take advantage of this Audubon County perk.
Many families love to kayak, but don’t own one. Littlefield’s crew teaches kids and first timers how to operate them and all of it on an energetic and complimentary level. Click on the video below and meet someone who specializes in keeping your family entertained and active at Littlefield Rec Area!
True professionals who love their job in Audubon County!

Let’s Go Shopping

Unique shopping was a focus of ours during Season 2 of the T-Bone Trail, and the folks in Audubon made sure to guide us in the right direction for this request. It’s where rebels don’t pay retail at Retail Rebel! Click on the video below and get a sample of what you’ll find here and how the shopping experience works!

Never stop rebelling in Audubon!
That campsite you’re going to enjoy at nearby Littlefield Rec Area could use some discounted supplies!
Downloading the app is exactly what we did! Look at that fabulous purse Gigi picked out!
Internationally known brand names can be found at Retail Rebel, and you can save a lot of money when you fill up your cart here in Audubon!
I don’t mind taking a break when everyone shops. This patio furniture looks great, but don’t take too much time making your decision on whether or not to buy it. Retail Rebel is known for seeing popular merchandise, like this, get loaded up into a customer’s vehicle as quickly as it was displayed!
More name brands fill up the racks at Retail Rebel. New school clothes, running shoes, and future seasonal needs will be coming in all year.


Legendary breaded pork tenderloins in the little town of Hamlin is a local tradition that’s been luring in more hungry visitors all the time. Darrell’s Place was the first restaurant to win the coveted award for Iowa’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin, and that’s not all they have. Click on the video below and prepare to get hungry for a double bacon cheeseburger at Darrell’s!

Another mouthwatering moment in Hamlin, Iowa!
Darrell’s Place has a kitchen that pumps out hot food and they also have a salad bar that’s full of fresh choices. This plate made me more than elated that we showed up to Hamlin!
Darrell’s Place makes a delicious pot of chili and you can see that they do not skimp on the ground beef!
The up close celebrity of this lunch. Melted cheese, crispy bacon, fresh onions/lettuce/pickles/tomatoes and all of it with two juicy hamburger patties!
That award winning breaded pork tenderloin still made an appearance on the T-Bone Trail in Hamlin! Take a bite into an Iowa legend!
The crispy chicken sandwich craze has a fandom in Western Iowa, too. Darrell’s Place can put the crunch into your getaway in Audubon County!
How was I going to say no to ice cream? It’s summer in Western Iowa so party a little, Dad!


Taylor Hill Lodge opened up its welcoming doors to TIG, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures when they did! 1614 HWY 71-Audubon 712-304-0330
Behold! An Audubon County lodge that could be your next HQ for a gathering your whole group will always remember! Taylor Hill Lodge has the high ground and easily found on the outskirts of Audubon!
Walking into Taylor Hill Lodge is a literal eye opening experience. The architecture paired with the decor is what impressed me with every step I took.
Football games! That’s exactly what came to mind when I saw this spacious living room. Comfortable leather furniture, fireplace and a large flat screen TV for a pigskin’ed inspired party in Audubon!
This dad will always find the recliner. And it’s always worth cheering for when I do!
The Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving scene comes to mind when I look at this table. Any family style meal would be wonderfully enjoyed at Taylor Hill Lodge.
Big game enthusiasts take note! The walls are decorated with prized trophies from past hunting trips from the late Charles “Chuck” Mannatt and the longtime politician that loved this area of Western Iowa. His vision saved the old barn on his family’s farm and now we have one of the state’s most incredible lodging venues.
The view from the upper level of Taylor Hill Lodge. Every angle of this property reveals another way to enjoy it. Hey, Gigi! I’m up here!
If this poker table could talk! Or go-fish table, old maid….Uno table!
Each bedroom is decorated with its own personality. Options for any style of group spending the night are available at Taylor Hill Lodge!
Upstairs and downstairs, multiple bedrooms can be found all over the lodge.
Multiple bathrooms as well, and that includes this soothing tub. Rev-up those jets and relax inside this beautiful lodge.

Let’s Eat Steak

We made it back to one of our favorite restaurants in Western Iowa! Audubon’s El Adobe Restaurant was an easy choice to showcase on the T-Bone Trail. The Audubon County Cattlemen were the official meal sponsor for our Gallivant to these great communities, and we thank them for joining us! Let’s do this!

You’re reading their sign correctly. Italian. Mexican and American delights are their specialties! 320 Broadway Street-Audubon
Beefy and cheesy Mexican platters will always be a great choice at El Adobe. Served sizzling hot and full of flavor!
My choice was another juicy ribeye on the T-Bone Trail! Surf and turf with a rich pasta Alfredo to accompany my meal. A scrumptious dinner in Audubon, and you can click on the video below to see El Adobe in action!
Way to beef-up our supper, Audubon!

Bonus Beef

Beef producers have been giving us tours of their facilities all summer long and that includes a family farm near Exira. Lauritsen Cattle Company is located by another famous Iowa tree called Plow in the Oak, and we got an up close look at this farm during feeding time!

Gigi and I have lost count when it comes to all the farms we’ve visited on both seasons of the T-Bone Trail. The folks that operate them have all given us an education that we’ll never forget.
I told you it was feeding time! Multiple breeds brought in from all over the country are finding their way to Exira. Click on the video below and see what Lauritsen Cattle Company is all about!
Another scenic afternoon at the fam in Exira!

Time to Wind Down

The evening was on its way in Audubon. Before turning in we walked through the main business district to find more of the lovely mosaics on the sidewalks. These pieces of public art depict dozens of birds that Audubon is so proud to display. This community is a haven for birding hobbyists and professionals, and the local streets supply another opportunity for all us roadside attraction hunters. Take in a flick from the historic Rose Theater when you’re in Audubon during the weekends!
Back to Taylor Hill Lodge and under those unforgettable Audubon County skies.
This lodge is surrounded by breathtaking countryside that has an endless view. Playing corn hole next to the corn field….Is there any better way to enjoy this game?
The patio can be a very popular location here at the lodge. Especially if you’re an early riser wanting a Western Iowa sunrise moment.
Back to the living room and why not! Enjoy all the time you have at Taylor Hill.

Rise and Shine

The morning was cloudy, but not without its own beauty over the farmland. These were some of the most interesting clouds we’ve observed in our travels.
Go back to bed for awhile! You don’t have to check out first thing in the morning!
Taylor Hill also supplies some breakfast items to get you energized in the morning. We’ve shown you a lot of ways to love this lodge, but we’re not done with this coverage yet. Stay tuned to TIG because we have more to show you in the future. Thanks to our fabulous hosts! You did a great job at this unbelievable Audubon, Iowa venue!

More time with the wonderful producers that help make our state tick and visiting with longtime friends that have been bringing us to Audubon County for years. Yes, Albert I’m talking about you too. Make your own plans to get over here on the Western Skies Scenic Byway and dive into more of these communities. Don’t forget your binoculars, swimwear, comfortable shoes and appetites because Audubon County is ready to get you active and full of wonderful cooking!

Make your reservations for Taylor Hill Lodge on their website.

Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!
Like the Audubon County Cattlemen on Facebook!
Thank you to everyone at Audubon County Economic Development & Tourism for hosting us again!
We’ll see you again, Mr. Audubon!

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