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

Modern Rural Lodge, Lakefront Dinner & Authentic Carne Asada Tacos in Buena Vista County, IA

*Storm Lake is one of the main reasons that folks flock to Buena Vista County with good and beautiful reasons. However, there’s more of this Northwest Iowa county that’s scenic and ready to be discovered by more of Iowa’s travelers. Our visit to Buena Vista County was funded and sponsored by the Western Iowa Tourism Region. Some of the meals, goods and services were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

Back on the Glacial Trail Scenic Byway! Four NW-Iowa counties including northern Buena Vista!

Buena Vista County, Iowa

One of Iowa’s most well known lakes, a popular resort with a water park, scenic byway and delicious restaurants bring visitors to Buena Vista County everyday. It’s a terrific vacation spot for anyone and especially carloads of families. We’ve been to this area several times and we still manage to find more of the local charm each time. Let’s stop into Lake Ave-Storm Lake and then into the rural wilderness of Northwest Iowa!


We’ve experienced countless Western Iowa towns of all sizes, and I’ve been able to sniff out the local coffee shops with great success. It’s always an exuberant feeling to know that I can get my daily ice coffee, and other caffeinated delights, when I travel. Coffee Tree on Lake Ave-Storm Lake is where I made my first stop in BV County!

Let’s Eat Steak

Where can you have a gourmet steak dinner with an unforgettable view of the lake? I knew you were going to ask that! The same place you can book a lovely room and enjoy one of Iowa’s best water parks as well. I’m talking about the Regatta Grille at King’s Pointe Resort in Storm Lake!
Lakeside dining with one of its most scenic experiences. Regatta Grille has an incredible view of the lake in just about any seat you can have at this restaurant. Connected to King’s Pointe Resort and just steps away from your room.
The crew at Regatta Grille were wonderfully entertaining and genuinely happy to be hosting us. They’re professorial, expeditious and ready for a random selfie!
Delicious cocktails are poured with precision at Regatta Grille. A refreshing martini with the sprawling lakefront joining me at King’s Pointe Resort!
The Regatta’s Caesar salad is absolutely awesome. Rich dressing with fresh romaine and wonderful croutons. Just exactly what Caesar lovers want to hear!
New York-New York! The Regatta’s char broiler was humming right along and their kitchen crew created a meal that you could say was on pointe! Click on the video below and see our video with a view!
New York never looked so good in NW-Iowa!
Are you a bourbon drinker? The Regatta Grille has a cocktail that’s literally smokin’! Blow out your bourbon and make a wish!
It was great to be a part of this Storm Lake crew! Fantastic experience all around at Regatta Grille!

Activate Your Sweet Tooth

Lake Ave has a special little something for that special little sweet tooth! Storm Lake Candy Co has a wide variety of sugary delights including ice cream!
Salt water taaaaaaaaaaffffffyyyyyyy! And tons of flavors, too!
Who wouldn’t have a smile like the ones we had at Storm Lake Candy Co! Jelly this caramel that! Nutty, chewy, crunchy, tangy and all things tasty!
The chocolate covered authority in Storm Lake! Fill up your bags with handfuls of these chocolaty masterpieces. Needless to say that Storm Lake has some of my favorite souvenirs!

Roadside America & Public Art

Prepare yourself for a county that has an incredible amount of public art and with unforgettable backdrops of the lake. Let’s start out in Albert City!

The Buena Vista County Freedom Rock is located in Albert City at a proud Main Street park. This was my first time seeing Buena Vista’s and I don’t have many more to go!
The Swedish influence is still alive in Albert City, Iowa! This Dala Horse has been an iconic valkommen to town for loads of roadside attraction hunters!

A scenic way to stay active is to take the walking path in Storm Lake. It hugs the shoreline and cuts through beautiful public parks that offer something unique in each one. Shady paths and sun soaked stretches in a beautiful Western Iowa lake town.

Back to Storm Lake! Another roadside stop in Buena Vista County with a familiar view of the Lake. There’s no way I wasn’t going to stop for a selfie at this spot!
On the long Storm Lake walking trail are these wooden sculptures providing public art seekers multiple opportunities to observes these detailed carvings. I wonder if this was an actual hitchhiker?
One of my personal favorites along this walk. Two wolves forever howling on Storm Lake….
A statue honoring our veterans in detailed depiction of a WWI soldier. The nearby lakefront can be heard colliding with the rocky shoreline.
The pioneering days of NW-Iowa is forever honored here on Storm Lake.

Bonus Beef

A lot of people are figuring it out when it comes to Storm Lake and authentic Mexican food. This is one of Iowa’s premier destinations for a variety of ethnic food, and we were going to dive right into this town’s culinary delights.

Here we come, Plaza Mexico! Carne Asada with a robust beefy flavor. Cooked just right and paired with all the usual suspects for a hearty Mexican lunch in Storm Lake! Find Plaza Mexico at 1501 North Lake Ave!
It’s never a proper business lunch without a plate of nachos. Business as usual for us at Plaza Mexico! Click on the video below and see one of the greatest taco tutorials of your life…
Carne Asada taco master!


Near the northern outskirts of the county is Buena Vista County Park with a large area of woodlands, camping, shelters, hiking trails and the spacious North Lodge that we we’d be enjoying as our lodging partner for this gallivant! 377 440th Street, Peterson, Iowa
The North Lodge was just for the two of us, on this day, but if you’re needing something for a large group then book it here! Surrounded by a beautiful rural setting with a tremendous view in the backyard.
Inside is a rustic lodge design with modern appliances in the kitchen and throughout the entire facility. You could really host a legendary get together at the North Lodge!
Couches and furniture ready for more traffic from its guests are all yours to enjoy in rural Western Iowa style. And this area is always specializing in relaxation.
Bring in more chairs, tables and folks to enjoy this lodge! That’s a face from a man who’s thinking really hard about that legendary get together I was talking about. How’s that for a living room!
One of the most peaceful ways the morning opened up to us on the trail this summer. Comfortable beds, Northwest Iowa sunshine and the lodge almost willing me to stay longer. Always remember to bring your own linens, blankets and pillows when you’re staying at Iowa’s county parks!
Take note, fellow travelers! Sometimes you want to be off the beaten path but also want a hot shower when you’re in the woods.
You get plenty of streaming services at the North Lodge! You won’t have to take a break from your favorite series even when you’re in rural Buena Vista County, Iowa!
Just right outside of our own backyard at the North Lodge. Take a beautiful walk on the nature trail with that wondrous horizon in the distance.
Great job getting the firewood, Gigi! Let’s get the backyard of the North Lodge featured on The Iowa Gallivant!
Campfire hot dogs with baked beans at Buena Vista County Park!
Hot dogs are always better when you have a glacial trail view like this one near Peterson, Iowa!
Then the dessert course was ready! S’mores with marshmallow flambee from the fire pit at the North Lodge!

The Buena Vista adventure has the entertainment, scenery, lakeside meals, and a great number of memorable restaurants all over Storm Lake and throughout the entire county. I like the fact that I can enjoy an iconic lake, waterslides, steaks, tacos, and a lodge in the middle of the woods in one day. Thank you to everyone at Storm Lake United and the Buena Vista County Conservation Board who made this Gallivant happen! Who helped us discover so much more during another fantastic visit to your communities!

To make reservations at Buena Vista County Park call 712-295-7985

Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!
Get those plans ready for this Labor Day weekend for the last outdoor opportunity to enjoy the water park in Storm Lake for 2022. However, you can enjoy the King’s Pointe Resort indoor waterpark all year long! Click here and see their calendar and start your autumn or wintertime getaway to Storm Lake!

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