2022 T-Bone Trail · Grownup Getaways · Iowa Food · Iowa Wine, Beer, and Spirits · Roadside Iowa · Southwest Iowa

Cheesy Pizza, Big Burritos, Mighty T-Bones & Countless Celebrities in Page County, Iowa

*The influence on America’s musical history can still be seen and heard in this corner of SW-Iowa. The cities of Shenandoah and Clarinda are two of the Midwest’s most precious areas when it comes to the historic musical origins that fans all over the world would agree with. Our visit to Page County was sponsored and funded by the Western Iowa Tourism Region. Some of the meals, services and goods were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

Just minding my own business on the rural blacktops of Page County, and I get a little nugget of Teddy Roosevelt history on my path. I should say a heavy boulder of knowledge instead.

Page County, Iowa

It was less than a year since I was in Page County last. There’s something I really enjoy about revisiting an area in different seasons while meeting up with some of the great folks that help make these communities tick. We were also able to reconnect with others who we haven’t seen since 2016 when The Iowa Gallivant was starting to really get revved up. Everything you’ll see below brings us, and others, to Page County all year long and has been for generations. However, it’s the locals that truly make this SW-Iowa getaway so memorable and enjoyable. Glenn, Don and Phil…Let’s start this off with some gallivanting music! 2-3-4!

Roadside America & History

Be prepared to get a break from the sun and step into some complimentary air conditioning when you’re on foot in Page County. Wander into the Greater Shenandoah Historical Museum and view some of the area’s most interesting history!

Local museums are everywhere, and they will always provide history buffs with oodles of interesting avenues when it comes to the stories, people, events, and historic wonders of any community. They’re also perfect destinations for a lovely pitstop while you’re enjoying your travels step by step. Whether it’s a warm mid-summer afternoon, a crisp autumn day or a spell of chilly wintery weather, these facilities are always a good idea when you want to get out of the elements for a little bit. Plus, you’ll be supporting the hardworking locals and volunteers that pour time into these incredibly important museums.

Let’s go, people! The Shenandoah area isn’t going to get plotted, plowed, planted or platted by itself! I’ve been waiting years to find the perfect time to write all of that together….
Shenandoah was one of the several hotspots during the golden age of radio in America. KMA Studios attracted countless singers, musicians, actors and entertainers to Page County with its nationally popular radio shows. This piano and KMA mic had their longtime homes at the old Mayfair Theatre in Shenandoah.
Do you have a local Earl May store? Your favorite garden supplier started right here in Shenandoah, and their corporate HQ is sill in this community to this day and since 1919!
The Everly Brothers influence is all over Shenandoah and for good reason. This is their hometown and where they started to become hugely popular and successful.
Always sign-in when you visit local museums! One of my favorite things to do at these places is to flip through the pages and see where travelers are coming from.

Shenandoah is one of the greatest cities in the Midwest for anyone who appreciates public art and roadside attractions. They are EVERYWHERE! Murals, mosaics, plaques, historical landmarks….I mean EVERYWHERE!

That dome in the painting is no longer on that particular building in Shenandoah. But they preserved it and placed it on Sheridan Ave where it proudly sits today. Now, with a cool painting under it! Click on the video below and see how Shenandoah honors a ton of Iowa’s most important and well-known figures throughout the entire state and history! Here’s a tip….keep your head down….
I’ve made it a goal to get my star placed in Shenandoah!

When you’re walking lap after lap on Shenandoah’s Iowa Walk of Fame, you may notice a local Page County celeb on one of the markers. In nearby Clarinda is the Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum where one of the world’s greatest musicians of the 20th century took his first steps. Can you imagine the crazy beats he created with his baby rattle???

These beautiful grounds and museum are just a short distance from anywhere in Clarinda. Operated by more of Page County’s locals that are committed to preserving America’s musical history.
Every musical genre has its king and queen. The Big Band style has Clarinda’s Glenn Miller who will always be known as one the most influential musicians of this era. This museum and its annual Glenn Miller Festival will always make strides to keep this legend and his talents alive.
Glenn Miller’s colorful album covers showcase his musical talents and his service to our country in the Army. That classic music you’ve heard in WWII movies and documentaries could have very well been a piece orchestrated by Glenn Miller during this time period.
Many times when visiting the actual birthplace home of famous people, you’ll find that it’s been relocated to a different part of town. Not in Clarinda! The house where Glenn Miller made his debut has never changed its address, and you can go inside to see the home where Glenn Miller began his life in Iowa

Let’s get back to Shenandoah where local talent hit the mainstream in the 20th century. The puffy Page County clouds lead us to the Everly Bothers Childhood Home on Sheridan Ave!

A humbled Shenandoah house that would be home to one of the greatest brotherly duos in music history! Open to the public and a must-see when you’re in Shenandoah.
The childhood home with more of the Shenandoah murals and those stunning Southwest Iowa skies above us, and the skies were the limit for the Everly Brothers!
Inside the house are historic effects with a touch of modern technology mixed in. Use the touch screen to get the story of the Everly family and how these two musicians became superstars!
Take it easy at the Everly Brothers Childhood Home. Bill Hillman is the owner of The Depot Restaurant & Lounge, director on the Iowa Rock ’N Roll Association, inductee in the Iowa Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame and one of the folks who takes care of this historic landmark in Shenandoah. Did you get all that? Bill also knows how to make some refreshing beverages that we’ll show you in a bit….
Just off the main drag is Shenandoah’s Veterans Memorial Museum. It’s never a bad idea to visit these places, of any size, wherever you travel to.
The local veterans will forever have their service memorialized in this museum. Each object, artifact and piece of artwork has an important story behind it.
Shenandoah’s Company E is one of the most revered groups of soldiers in Page County’s history. Formed in the late 1800s with its ranks forever remembered at the Veterans Memorial Museum.
Rifles from the wide spectrum of American battles are displayed. All with descriptions and with their own stories as well.
The murals were what I was most fond of at the Veterans Memorial Museum.
One of the most heartbreaking ways to remember our veterans. A table set in a ceremonial manner to honor our POW & MIA veterans everywhere.
Flags, weapons, supplies and materials from allies and enemies of America’s wars can be observed at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Shenandoah.
Two trips to Clarinda and two trips to the ol’ballpark. Clarinda’s Municipal Stadium is home to the MINK league Clarinda As! This organization has decades of baseball history in SW-Iowa, and you can click on the video below and meet one of this team’s most important figures.
There’s always time to hear about local baseball history. Especially in Clarinda!
Sitting in a Clarinda dugout and reading a passage from The Baseball Whisperer: A Small-Town Coach Who Shaped Big League Dreams. It was my honor to meet Pat Eberly and hear about the love she has for her late husband, the As and Clarinda.
There’s not a more quintessential view of summertime in America than the one you can see from the grandstands of a baseball field. This vantage point is from Municipal Stadium with Clarinda’s farmland just beyond the fences.

Breakfast, Lunch and Shopping on the Square

Iowa’s town squares can be found in several of our state’s business districts. They’re one of my favorite charms of small towns everywhere, and Clarinda’s is one we’ve enjoyed very much throughout our travels. Time to experience some Page County cookin’!

The skyrocketing Page County Courthouse is the classic landmark that never leaves your site on Clarinda’s town square.
Robin’s Nest Café is where you can find a delicious beginning to your day on the square!
Hearty omelets and buttery toast welcoming us to Clarinda!
Oh……BABY! One of the best breakfast burritos I’ve had in Iowa and it was right here at the Robin’s Nest Café in Clarinda! Green salsa poured over a fluffy flour tortilla that’s filled with all the delicious qualities that make for a delicious breakfast. I’m a big fan of getting cheese, eggs, sausage, potatoes and a little kick within every bite I take.

A restaurant so great that it’s a must for a second feature on the T-Bone Trail. We met for lunch at J’s Pizza & Steakhouse in Season 1 and again for Season 2 in Western Iowa!

Look to the heavens with a cheesy slice of pizza on the Clarinda town square and you just might see the iconic sign of J’s Pizza & Steakhouse on this wonderful façade.
Inside J’s Pizza & Steakhouse was the lunch break we were excited for. Starting out was a bowl of crispy fried cheddar cheese nuggets!
A fresh salad with rich Bleu cheese was next. I ate this with great anticipation because I knew our entrees were right around the corner….
A beefy, cheesy and saucy bowl of lasagna would be the pasta loving beauty I knew it would be. Make sure to give this dish a little time to cool with every bite on your fork.
The main reason why J’s is so amazing. Truly one of the best piazzas you can find anywhere in Iowa, and they love to load’em up with a magnificent amount of wonderful cheese. Click on the video below and see why this restaurant is so memorable….
The pizza was the biggest superstar in this clip!
It’s always good to “stretch” before you dig into a meal at J’s Pizza & Steakhouse!
One of the best all-star teams you’ll find in Clarinda! Great work, everyone!

The antique stores of every city can produce some fascinating finds, and they are also very useful when it comes to discovering local history as well. Mosey on into Clarinda’s antiquing opportunities when you’re walking the square!

D&D Treasures was able to open my wallet very easily.
Cha-Ching! A countless bevy of antiques, but the stack of comics is what got me wide eyed. Did you know that Jerry Lewis had a comic book series? Neither did I!


Back to Shenandoah where our evening would begin in the comfort of a great Page County hotel. We checked into the Shenandoah Inn & Suites and were very much pleased with its location. The staff was happy to see us and gave me several tips on what to do in town. There’s nothing better than meeting someone who loves their job and community when you arrive to the front desk of a hotel.

Coffee-up when you’re checking in at the Shenandoah Inn & Suites! Located in the middle of Shenandoah’s main business district! 620 West Sheridan Ave 712-292-2570
Always a good sign when the lobby has a comfortable sofa, fireplace and flat screen TV waiting for anyone to settle in.
A breakfast nook with a view. Historic Sheridan Ave with a picturesque and sunny view as the guests enjoy a hot cup of coffee at the Shenandoah Inn & Suites.
The comfortable accommodations were ready for us to cozy up to! The bed looked nice, but that recliner was calling my name.
Mission accomplished! Recliner was properly reclined and the clicker in hand!

Let’s Eat Steak

Remember when I mentioned The Depot Restaurant & Lounge? You can walk right to it from the Sheridan Inn & Suites and it’s directly across the street from the Everly Brothers Childhood home! 101 Railroad Street
That my friends is the finest craft cream soda you’ll find in Western Iowa! Made at The Depot and served in an ice cold frosty mug!
The Depot is an unofficial museum and it’s owner, Bill Hillman, was happy to show us around. Hundreds of pictures are along the walls with an unbelievable amount of historic antiques and pieces that tell the story of Shenandoah and beyond. Some of Bill’s historic pictures were used in the Ken Burns documentary of Country Music.
Even the ceilings at The Depot are decorated with this interesting collection.
Even the menus have glimpses into the Shenandoah past. My refreshing craft beer, brewed at The Depot, waiting patiently for my next sip and our meal that was about to be ordered at The Depot.
A fresh salad arrived with something you don’t receive everyday. The Depot garnishes their side salads with dried cranberries adding a pleasant sweetness with every bite.
Then the T-Bone I came to Shenandoah for! So beautifully charbroiled and served with a loaded baked potato stuffed with mushrooms, onions, bacon, jalapeños, cheese and sour cream. That’s a genuine smile that only the T-Bone Trail can produce!
Another slice of The Depot! The tender and slow cooked Prime Rib is a weekend ritual for steak lovers all over Western Iowa, and you can have your own tasty slice of beefy goodness during your date night in Shenandoah! Click on the video below to see more of this juicy meal!
Lights, camera, T-BONE!

Date Night in Shenandoah

Our hotel room was walking distance to everywhere we wanted to visit during our grownup getaway in Shenandoah. We had a great meal at The Depot and saved some room for dessert at Kat’s Koolerz next door!

What a trainwreck! Hey, not me! That’s what Kat’s calls their signature shakes! Ours were made with cherry pie!
Yup, another trainwreck! That’s why we get along so well. Two delightful trainwrecks in Shenandoah!
A date night that saw steaks, craft beer and ice cream needs a flick added to it. Legacy 3 Theatre is where the Shenandoah evening would take us next, and it was time for Dr. Strange to join us! Strike a pose, Monie!
The Legacy 3 Theatre features recliners and I nearly fell asleep because they were so comfortable. Good thing we had a superhero movie on the way to keep me alert.
Dirt’s Place is where we went for a nightcap. We asked for a picture together and the bartender said to stand behind the bar….Ok, now I get it. Their sign is behind us! That’s a marketing genius right there.
Part 2 of movie night! Dirt’s Place had the flat screens turned up and the popcorn popping! The locals we sat by and the bartender that took care of us were a pleasure to be around, and created an entertaining night in Shenandoah.
It was time to for us to hit the racks and once again, our hotel room was only steps away. I truly love traveling this way and the City of Shenandoah suits this style perfectly.

Stay Active

Find those unforgettable restaurants and find the those scenic county parks as well. Stay active my friends, and enjoy Page County with some enjoyable jaunts on their trails.

Nodaway Valley Park overlooks Clarinda and provides some scenic opportunities during a long hike through the woods of this popular county park.
I always bring up the Western Iowa skies and for good reason. They seem to match the energy of our gallivants and give us moments like this. I cherish my wife’s smile and it looks even more glamourous with the Page County horizon above it.
Pioneer Park is near Shenandoah, and it gives its visitors a rural setting that produces its own kind of unique scenery.
A lake, campground and farmland in the background. This is what a rural hike in SW-Iowa is all about. Add an ideal afternoon and my trusty companion playing peekaboo to the equation, and it makes the stop at Pioneer Park that much better.

Bonus Beef

Let’s get back to the farm and meet another one of Western Iowa’s beef producers! Just outside Clarinda is Muller Farms and they’re bringing Wagyu to the beef loving masses!

Something about hanging out with Wagyu cattle makes me want to flex. That’s a protein punch waiting to happen when you get ahold of some steaks that came from the cattle raised at Muller Farms!
We showed up on a perfect afternoon and received a tour of this sprawling farm. Blue skies a plenty in rural Page County.
It was feeding time at Muller Farms and these cows were ready for a photo-op! click on the video and see these animated Muller Farms Wagyu cattle making their first appearance on TIG!
They really showed up for the video! Way to go Wagyu nation!

Page County gave us another chance to unwind and enjoy this region of Iowa in a historic and entertaining way. The small-town convenience of both Clarinda and Shenandoah shined throughout the entire trip. Find your way into this area and see how you can enjoy Page County from breakfast on the square to movie night on the walk of fame!

Make your reservations for the Shenandoah Inn & Suites on their website.

Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!
The forecast calls for a memorable trip to Page County! Thank you to everyone at the Shenandoah Chamber & Industry Association for hosting us!
Well, Glenn we had another adventure in your hometown! Thank you to everyone at the Clarinda Chamber of Commerce for hosting us!

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