2022 T-Bone Trail · Family Adventures · Iowa Food · Museums and History · Northwest Iowa · Outdoors All Year

Hawarden for Wagyu at the Golf Club, Modern Cabins & Big Sioux Views in NW-IA

*The banks of the Big Sioux River roll on by the Hawarden community everyday in one of Iowa’s northwestern most areas. Our visit to Sioux County was funded and sponsored by the Western Iowa Tourism Region. Some of the services, meals and goods were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

There’s always going to be smiles like this when you get to Hawarden, Iowa! Especially when you’re enjoying the Big Sioux Rec Area!

Sioux County, Iowa

The Northwest Iowa full-out charge on The T-Bone Trail led us to Sioux County for some big meals, a few primo local parks, and Big Sioux scenery that this area highlights to all its visitors. Let’s gear up for a cabin getaway to the Western Iowa border in Hawarden!

Roadside America & History

We pride ourselves when it comes to combing entire counties when we’re on the hunt for roadside attractions. For this gallivant we didn’t have to travel outside the Hawarden city limits to find these important landmarks we’ll always seek out during our travels!

Stopping to read the names of these local memorials is one of simplest and yet honorable ways you can show respect to the folks who served our country. There’s also been times when certain names seem to sound familiar to me when I go through them and it keeps me even more intrigued. This Hawarden memorial is located at City Park.
Stretch your legs and collect some Sioux County historical knowledge at the same time from the Calliope Village!
Bring it in! When’s the next we’re going to be at Calliope Village!
Walk the streets of this village with its buildings that were in the actual town of Calliope. The community has long since been absorbed by Hawarden, but the history remains!
Still bringing the folks to town! It was the railroads that were originally dropping the masses off and now it’s visitors like us showing up to Calliope.
It still looks like business can get done in this village. I bet there’s plenty of stories to be told from that ledger…
Ruth Suckow was a Hawarden native and on the long list of great Iowa authors. This case exhibits her literary works in her hometown where her talents grew into a long career.
The history of candy at Calliope! That snickers can was a staple in our house growing up, and brought back some sweet memories.
One of the most prized positions at Calliope Village. The old neon sign from the Sioux Theatre. This was a beacon of cinematic good times for decades in the area.
That’s the smile from a guy who knows he’ll making bail! I have an uncle from my great grandma’s sister’s first husband who sold tractor parts to a friend down the street from Calliope. I got this!
The Hawarden Historical House has the Northwest Iowa Victorian era alive an well on this beautiful property.
The neighborhood and its historic home! Tea time, anyone?
This house was originally a hospital turned into a private residence: That’s two completely different historic spectrums inside this well preserved Sioux County house in Hawarden.

Stay Active

County parks and rec areas are primed and ready for our getaways, excursions, day trips, exploring, camping and outdoor enjoyment all year long. Big Sioux Rec Area is a vital addition to Hawarden, and it’s where you’ll find visitors enjoying it right along with the folks who call this area home.

Well, if it isn’t that Calliope name again! Northwest Iowa sunshine has an endless supply at Big Sioux Rec Area. So get those boats, boards and anything that floats out on the water!
We caught these folks in the act! Wait…..I’m being told by my R&D department that they were supposed to be there catching fish with nets. A wildlife researcher’s work is never complete!
All of us utilized the walking path at Big Sioux Rec Area along with the local geese. We charted a ton of miles on Western Iowa paths this summer with hundreds of more miles to go next year!

Central Avenue

Shop, eat, discover and just plain have a great day on Hawarden’s main drag known as Central Avenue. We asked all the communities we were visiting this summer to point us to some unique businesses, and Hawarden came through on this request with a true one of a kind in Western Iowa!

In-Weave Fabric isn’t your run of the mill fabric store. This place is creating imaginative creations every moment they’re open and expanding their fan base all over the country while doing it!
I know what you crafting experts are thinking. Another project is getting on the schedule pronto!
In-Weave keeps weaving, weaving and weaving through the Hawarden days on Central Ave. They’re bringing in travelers and out-of-towners whiles shipping online orders abroad.
Some of their most popular creations are these rugs at In-Weave. Stylish and made by some true professionals right here in Hawarden. Click here and check out their website!
Northwest Nutrition is where we went to hydrate during a warm Sioux County day on Central Ave-Hawarden. A wide variety of healthy and vitamin packed beverages to keep this Gallivant going!
Want some coffee to get you charged up in Hawarden? Roasting Bean got a visit from me when I needed a huge portion of ice coffee!

Let’s Eat Steak

Steak night can arrive in many forms when you’re getting the hankering for this classic American meal. You can head to the local steakhouse, supper club, café, greasy spoon or even a slough of our state’s fairs and community events. Let’s not forget about our local taps, bars, taverns and watering holes!

It’s time for The Other Bar! Another reason to love Central Ave in Hawarden, Iowa!
The steaks can arrive in many forms as well during steak night. Ribeyes, T-Bones, New Yorks, Filets, Prime Ribs, Flat Irons….Well, the beefy list is long one. One of the most popular dinners I’ve found in NW-Iowa are Steak Tips! The Other Bar serves them up traditionally or loaded like I ordered. Click on the video below and see how loaded they are!
A basket full of beef! Just what I wanted! Probably because I ordered it, too…..
This should have been my senior picture. Thanks for the basket of joy, Waddy!
The South Dakota neighbors from across the river have a delectable recipe for your choice of vodka. Chief’s Bloody Mary Mix spiced up my Steak Tips supper with an icy and tomatoy touch. I highly recommend ordering this cocktail when you show up to The Other Bar in Hawarden!


Call it glamping, cabin comfort or anything you want when you arrive to the modern accommodations at Oak Grove & Big Sioux Park. I like roughing it sometimes, but I also look forward to checking into a rural cabin inside the woods of Western Iowa. Guess what? Hawarden has that!

The county park extravaganza keeps building on The Iowa Gallivant! Just outside of Hawarden is the beauty of Oak Grove. 1603 Oak Grove Road 712-552-1047
The Bluegill Bungalow was our cabin home away from home at Oak Grove in Hawarden. Quiet and surrounded by the sounds of Sioux County wilderness. This cabin, and others, are designed for any style of traveler including folks who rely on a wheelchair to stay mobile.
Those are two smiles that love what they see at Oak Gove!
Inside the Bluegill Bungalow is their kitchen with plenty of counter space for all those party appetizers and beverages you’re going to prepare for that Hawarden getaway getting planned.
These beds at Oak Grove are comfortable and inside their own bedrooms. Here’s another reminder to always bring your own linens and pillows when visiting Iowa’s county parks. I think my bedding is some of the most stylish you’re going to see! Just look at that supreme bed making technique….
This cabin at Oak Grove is equipped with its own bathroom which gives its guests an extra feeling of comfort.
Enjoy the couch or get the hide-a-bed out for another happy camper on this trip! But not until I’m done with my nap….
Quiet! My stories are on! You don’t have to miss a minute of your favorite soap opera while you’re staying at the Bluegill Bungalow!
Prairie Woods Nature Center won’t be hard to find when you get to Oak Gove. This impressive facility is a premier center for visitors and special events in Sioux County!
One of the exhibits inside the nature center is this glowing orb highlighting the constellations. The starry nights are easy to see in rural Sioux County, but this place has you covered during the afternoon.
Get to know the local habitat! It’s nice to be able to put a face on that random wildlife noise makers when you’re in a new area.
Everybody run! Wait….It’s just a model. Totally a model. For a second I was wondering if Ant Man was based on a true story.
It’s wild out here at Oak Grove, but you’ll see that they have some farmland knowledge to drop at Prairie Woods Nature Center.
One of the many hiking paths at Oak Grove and not very far from our cabin. This is how I love to watch the sunset in Western Iowa.
Down the hill and into the valley of the Big Sioux River. This waterway was one of our constant companions during our trip to Hawarden.
I waited all day for this moment. I knew that sundown on this patio was going to be stunning when I first put my eyes on the Prairie Woods Nature Center. Love at first sight truly does exist.

Bonus Beef

Sioux County is one of the BIGGEST contributors in Iowa’s beef producing industry, and there was no doubt that we’d be bumping into some of the local producers. Even when you’re at the Hawarden Golf Club!
Way to go with the Wagyu beef! The hardworking team from Dry Creek Feeders hosted our lunch with a slow cooked masterpiece that they raised just a few miles away. Have you ever enjoyed a meal featuring Wagyu beef? Trust me when I say this…..Never turn down that opportunity! Click on the video below and see what I’m talking about!
The Wagyu breed is a fascinating one, and you’ll hear all about it at Dry Creek Feeders!
Wagyu cattle are always ready for the camera. And so our the Hawarden farmers!

In the nearby town of Ireton, Iowa is where I found one of my all-time favorite types of family businesses. Longtime fans of TIG know that I’m talking about local meat lockers. It was beef jerky time for us at the Ireton Locker!

Before I made my jerky purchase, I got a tour from Abraham and team at the Ireton Locker! Abraham is an exuberant owner and crafty with a knife here at the locker. The entire crew was incredible busy, as are all lockers these days, but Abraham still took the time to show me around. This is a common practice when I show up to these important businesses and it always leaves me fulfilled and happier then I was before I arrived. Ireton also exuded a family presence with their own brand of humor as we walked around the facility. That’s another common occurrence inside Iowa’s wonderful lockers.
Look at this side of beef at the Ireton Locker! Yabba-dabba-doo!

One of the longtime Sioux County authorities, when it comes to the beef business, is Valley View Feedlots! We travel Western Iowa to absorb the educational aspects of farms like this, and I was grateful to be able to experience a sample of what daily summertime life is like at Valley View Feedlots. Click on the video below and meet our host!

We could have gone all day talking beef at Valley View Feedlots!

I’ve been to to Sioux County before, but never this far west, and I kept wondering what took me so long to get here. The far reaches of our state have been a key part of our travels throughout the last two summers, and it’s always satisfying to keep exploring our state right up to the vary edges. The people of Hawarden kept up the welcoming ways which reminded me of an important aspect of this community and others like it. They’re the folks that represent this state right off the bat when travers find themselves driving into Iowa. It’s a crucial first impression that out-of-staters encounter, and Hawarden is an excellent community to greet our visitors from any direction, especially when a carload’s home is hours and hours away. It was a pleasure to be a part of Hawarden for a day and observe a positive model for all of Iowa’s towns that call our borders home. They have the important job of welcoming people to Iowa while urging others to stay a little longer on the Big Sioux and beyond.

Make your reservations for Oak Grove Park at MyCountyParks.com

Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!
I thought I heard two longs and a short. I’m sorry, was it two shorts and a long? Anyways…how’ve your been? Your aunt bumped into me at the sale barn the other day, and….

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