2022 T-Bone Trail · Family Adventures · Iowa Food · Northwest Iowa

Vibrant Main Street-Cherokee, IA & a “Pilot” Awaiting Our County Park Retreat

*It’s a day that’s chockfull of Cherokee on The T-Bone Trail! From a busy business district to a rural county park and small town record breakers in one county! Our trip to Cherokee County was funded and sponsored by the Western Iowa Tourism Region. Some of the goods, meals and services were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

Bill was geared up for another gallivant in this incredible NW-Iowa community! Thanks to everyone at the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation for hosting us!

Cherokee County, Iowa

Our last visit to Cherokee County led us into some entertaining directions all throughout the area. We got another huge bite of this county over the 2022 summer, and with much of it inside the City of Cherokee’s historic downtown district. Get prepared to do a lot of shopping with plenty of ways to stay refreshed, fed and wanting more when you discover this exhilarating community!

Downtown Cherokee

Stop #1 in Downtown Cherokee. A new Braves shirt at Grin & Wear It! Sometimes I want to look like a tourist and local at the same time…
Next up was a unique business for the bookworms and wine connoisseurs of the world. One of the most relaxing businesses I’ve experienced, on the trail, was The Book Vine!
Loads of bookshelves with authors and titles that will keep anyone well occupied at the Book Vine!
How does a bottle and book sound? Weekend plans are officially “booked” with that combo!
This birds eye view of The Book Vine highlights the variety of what this store has. You can even coffee-up while you’re shopping!
I found my escape plan for another Cherokee getaway. Hold all my calls and keep bringing me coffee and wine in this upper level room overlooking the beautiful Book Vine.
Sometimes you have to jump from store to store in the pursuit of supporting Iowa based businesses and products. In Cherokee, you can head over to The Mother Hen and find oodles of ways to buy Iowa!
I got the tour and tutorial at The Mother Hen. Everywhere I looked inside this shop had Iowa crafts, food, gifts….I mean it’s Iowa everywhere!
Fairfield, Iowa represented by Pickle Creek Herbs at The Mother Hen!
Iowa honey, salsas, candy, jams and other yummy items that can get your fingers sticky can be purchased here. For that, The Mother Hen has local hand soap!
Your BBQ can be an all Iowa cookout if you stop into this Hawkeye State haven. And don’t forget about breakfast! Beeler’s makes some primo sausages in nearby Le Mars!
Feel like making a salad? Go for it! Grinnell’s Middle Way Farm grows some terrific lettuce and it’s chilling at The Mother Hen in Cherokee!
Jackpot! I’m an unapologetic condiment hoarder, and mustard is one of my favorites! There’s always room in the pantry for one more bottle when it’s coming from Denison Mustard Co!
The shopping continues in this exciting downtown district! You’re up next, Cherokee General Store!
I’m a talker which means I will always have time to visit with the locals. I think that’s a common general store concept and it’s in ample supply at this downtown business.
Gifts for all occasions and ages can be scooped up at the Cherokee General Store!
The answer is always, yes. Yes, you have space for another plant so pick one out and take it home! What will we name it?
Need a bag, purse, satchel, wallet, backpack? Collect the whole set at the Cherokee General Store!
I knew there would be more coffee on its way! I could sense these beans were close when I walked in….
There’s a two’fer when you walk into this building. Top level is 360 Custom Designs!
I still needed to pick out a keepsake for my daughter on this Cherokee trip. 360 Custom Designs had the perfect match for her!
Downstairs is a concept that’s picking up a lot of speed all over the country. Feeling a little sluggish? Then make an appointment for Infinity IV Rehydrate! Their professional staff will help you pick out the perfect selection for what will get you energized and feeling healthier.
Take a seat on their comfy recliners, relax and let the hydrating begin in Downtown Cherokee, Iowa!
Then there’s the most traditional way to keep hydrated! It seems like Cherokee is stepping up when it comes to keeping the community and visitors healthier. Get a refreshing dose of alkaline water at Noggin Water! Could Cherokee have the most hydrated Main Street in Iowa? It’s possible!
There’s a lot of established businesses in Downtown Cherokee and more development is on the way. The historic Brummer Building is getting prepared for another round of future NW-Iowa entrepreneurs!
Another tour and another story of Cherokee’s past and potential at the Brummer.
Businesses called the Brummer home for decades with more to come. The historic nature of this building is still very well preserved.
Time has caused a unique occurrence on the woodwork of the Brummer. So unique it’s become a part of the charm giving the rooms a leathered sort of look. Alligator skin wood is what I like to call this phenomena.
There’s one routine I always like to stick to when traveling. Find the ice coffee at all costs! Mission accomplished at Mud on Main!
Downtown Cherokee is a great place for a sunup to sundown day in Western Iowa. Finish the evening off at the American 3 with a movie! Hey, all you paranormal buffs! Word on the street says this theatre is haunted….

Let’s Eat Steak

We came to Cherokee for the beef and Main Street didn’t disappoint. One of the most popular restaurants was calling us in for steaks and burgers!

Main Street just keeps on going in Cherokee! Let’s get some supper at The Gasthaus Bar & Grille!
Ribeye time at the Gasthaus! I was eager to cut into this big steak and it was wonderfully tender. And look who’s eating his broccoli again!
One of the cheesiest burgers we experienced on The T-Bone Trail was right here on Main Street in Cherokee!
A frosty stein of cold beer was an easy decision to make when I saw the bartender pouring some for other tables. Click on the video below and see this meal from the Gasthaus Bar & Grille with one of the most energetic servers we met over the summer!
What an entertaining way to have dinner on Main Street in Cherokee!

Stay Active

Oh, wow that was a great steak dinner! Let’s stay active and keep this Cherokee train going because it would be really easy to take a nap after a meal we just had.

Spring Lake is a phenomenal park just down the street from Cherokee’s Main Street. Sun was still shining and we absorbed as much as we could during the early evening hours.
Walking the path around Spring Lake and taking in the Cherokee scenery.
You’re never too old to play in the sand!


Near the town of Larrabee is Martin’s Access and this scenic county park where our cabin awaited! 4578 Martin Access Road 712-225-6709
Martin’s Access is along the Glacial Trail Scenic Byway which cuts through four counties of Northwest Iowa. Take this path when you can because this is one of my favorite byways in Iowa!
A delightfully equipped cabin in a wild setting at Martin’s Access! Air conditioned for the summer and heated for the cooler weeks ahead.
A small but useful kitchenette inside the cabin. Always a welcoming sight when you’re starting to unpack the cooler.
Martin’s Access makes its visitors feel right at home. Get some reading done and keep relaxing at the cabin.
Bunk beds are always a treat when families check-in. Remember to pack your own blankets, linens and pillows when you’re staying at Iowa’s county parks. Need more supplies or forgot something? Cherokee has plenty of options to gear-up before heading to Martin’s Access!
It’s always comforting to see a cabin with its own private bathroom and shower. This is especially comforting to folks who love the great outdoors, but want modernization with their getaway. It’s the simple things that can help travelers feel at ease. A full sized bathroom is one of them.

Where it All Begins

When you’re enjoying your Martin’s Access cabin, you’ll most certainly load up the fire pit to grill-up some campfire goodies or roast some marshmallows under the stars. You may notice a certain Pilot Rock logo on that fire pit and realize you’ve seen it before outside of Cherokee County. In fact, that camping equipment you’re enjoying all over the country was most likely manufactured here at R.J. Thomas MFG Co!
Another Cherokee tour! Campsites, baseball fields, parks, aquatic centers and so many more areas have the Pilot Rock products that the folks of Cherokee, Iowa manufacture everyday.
If you get a kick out of technology then schedule a look-see at R.J. Thomas in Cherokee. Especially if you like welding sparks, computers, and the sounds of power tools.
There’s the Cherokee, Iowa made fire pits I was talking about! They’re brand new and ready for active families to start utilizing them all over the country! Watch the video below and get to know the sights and sounds that go into the proud Pilot Rock brand!
Protective eyewear included at Pilot Rock!

Bonus Beef

Near the outskirts of Cherokee was our lunchtime meal featuring more of the delicious beef we sought during our days on the trail. Whiskey Throttle Bar & Grill was revving up their kitchen!
Smoked Gouda and Beef Short Rib Grilled Cheese! Whiskey Throttle adds a hot bowl of rich and flavorful tomato bisque that went with every bite I took!
Uno, dose, tres! Korean style steak tacos in Cherokee, Iowa! Click on the video below to see Whiskey Throttle Bar & Grill in action!
Get the entire family and motorcycle club over to Cherokee’s Whiskey Throttle Bar & Grill!

Off the Beaten Path

Where can you find record holders in Iowa? There’s a lot of them and one of the most infamous of these “accomplishments” is in the southern Cherokee County town of Washta. It’s been a hot summer, but this town has a “cold” history. Click on the video below and see one of Iowa’s “coolest” welcome signs!

Shop until you drop on Main Street-Cherokee and then get up and keep going! Enjoy the restaurants with their gracious and hardworking locals that present tasty meals. And don’t forget to make plenty of stops for a beverage or two! It was a nice mix of rural landscapes with a healthy portion of a busy business district during this Cherokee County Gallivant. I can’t wait to tip my hat or charbroiled hot dog to that Pilot Rock logo again and again!

Make your reservations for Martin’s Access by calling 712-225-6709

Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!
Goodnight from Cherokee County, Iowa….

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