Grownup Getaways · Northwest Iowa

Fright Hike Date Night in Estherville, Iowa

*There’s going to be a spooky something going on in Estherville Iowa this Halloween season! The annual Fright Hike is on Saturday, October 28th at Fort Defiance State Park, and we’re going to show you a sample of how you’ll get the chills in Estherville. Our visit was hosted by the Estherville Area Chamber of Commerce. Some of the goods, meals, and services were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

You can’t visit Estherville without stopping at the park to cross the Des Moines River on their famous swinging bridge!

Estherville, IA (Emmet County)

Western Iowa is a beautiful place to explore during the fall months with plenty of events to chose from every weekend. I recommend switching up your typical weekend getaway and your date night all together, and see how you can create terrifying memories in Estherville. Along with some delicious, entertaining, relaxing, and refreshing memories as well. Let’s get cheesy!

Breakfast Time!

Arrive to Estherville early and start the day off right with a huge breakfast at Bud’s Café! This place doesn’t skimp on the cheese when it comes to your hearty portion of hash browns and big’ol omelet!


The Estherville Hotel & Suites has been our NW Iowa HQ before and we made it back for a Halloween inspired getaway! 2008 East Central Ave 712-292-2561

We’ve had the pleasure of taking in the relaxing benefits that the Estherville Hotel & Suites provides in past gallivants, and it was great to be back. The staff has always been friendly and the accommodations are clean, inviting, comfy, and taken care of by a hardworking crew.

Soft sheets, comfortable beds with a modern interior to get that relaxation part of your trip in gear!

Ice Cream Break

The creamy stop would be the Sweet Stop for us! Gourmet flavors and plenty of sweet tooth goodness to choose from!
Sunny day with some sunny looking smiles at the Sweet Stop. Just down the road from our hotel and supplying tasty moments for everyone needing a treat!
The Sweet Stop also supplies brain freezes for anyone who’s wanting one. I didn’t know I was in the market for one until we showed up in Estherville! That actually happened, folks….

Dinner Date

One And One and I’m not talking about foul shots during a basketball game. I’m talking about an absolute tasty time at the One And One Chinese restaurant on the main drag of Estherville!

I will say this my entire life. Small town Iowa does Chinese food better than anywhere else in the state and that includes this great establishment in Estherville!
A huge portion of perfectly cooked chicken with a saucy flavor in every bite.
Spicy shrimp with tender broccoli swimming in this tangy chili sauce.

Now that we had our meal it’s time to work it off at Fort Defiance State Park on the trails. Halloween style! And who knows….We may run back to our hotel room and hide under the sheets, so it’s good to have your energy boosted.

Fright Hike Time

Let the annual Fright Hike begin! be sure to click here for all the details on how you’ll get the candy corn scared out of you at Fort Defiance State Park in Eshtherville, Iowa! Now, let’s get to know some of the chilling details of this annual night of horror!

This Fright Hike is masterfully done and it’s one of the best community events you’ll find anywhere in Iowa. They offer a “lights on” hike from 6-7 PM and a “full scare” from 7-9:30 PM. You just have to pick which one…If you dare!
The evil corn man popping up from the brush at the Fright Hike!
Freaky twins! They know all the horrifying ways to freak us out!
I couldn’t tell if this was a prop or a local volunteer. Let’s just say I wasn’t getting any closer to find out.
The Estherville community pulls together every year to make this unbelievable event happen. And it looks like I dressed the part a little bit, too!
Alright, who brought the dolls??? Did we have to introduce these things to the trail? Aren’t we scared enough!!!!
Terrified and entertained all at once. The Fright Hike is perfect for family fun or a grownup getaway. The folks who organize the hike along with the volunteers who poor hours of their time to bring people back to this state park year after year is incredibly impressive. A phenomenal autumn hike with a premium Halloween experience no matter how you slice it. Oh, that’s a poor choice of words when you’re around those twins!
One more hike on the Fright Hike wont hurt! But I may never be the same after this….

Date Night Continues

I love it when my hotel has a bowling alley close by! I was getting terrified earlier during this date night and it was time for me to terrify some bowling pins! Three or four at a time with the gutters getting some work in….Monie on the other hand is gladly striking out at AllStar Lanes!
A quick nightcap with a suds soaked grin on my face while Monie fancies herself a cold cocktail. Am I doing it right?

Goodnight From Estherville

Back to the Estherville Hotel & Suites and our accommodations that I couldn’t wait to dive into. It’s been a fun and active night getting spooked by strangers with masks and I loved every moment of it!
However, the bed can wait a little while. Hot tub time!

Wake Up

Wake in the morning and partake in a complimentary breakfast at the Estherville Hotel & Suites!
Hot coffee for this hot mama! And lots of it!
The full breakfast bar is always fresh and hot at the Estherville Hotel & Suites. Load up and start your day right!

Another fabulous stay in Estherville with a few demons, ghouls, ghosts, weirdos, and monsters joining in on the fun. A crisp autumn night with a hot tub finish and a hot breakfast waiting in the morning. That’s a fantastic way to stay in Estherville! Make your reservations on the Estherville Hotel & Suites website.

I always coffee-up when I’m anywhere! I was able to scoot on up at the local Scooter’s first thing in the morning before gallivanting into the Emmet County afternoon.

Two for the Road

We break for food trucks! Yoly’s Tacos were parked and ready to serve-up some of their authentic flavors to the world passing by. There’s always time to stop for tacos on any road trip if you ask me.

Look at the smiles on both of us! The proud owner presenting his delicious Mexican food to a proud Gallivanter at Yoly’s!
This is how you keep us in town longer than planned. Soft tortillas filled with slow cooked goodness and fresh salsa. Bring on these good times any day, Yoly’s!

Get hyped for Halloween this year and every year, Gallivant nation! Never skip a holiday and keep looking for different and interesting things to do during your travels. There’s a lot of terrific road tripping days ahead this fall with Estherville gearing up to end your October with a frightening twist you may not get to experience in your hometown. Book your hotel room, make dinner plans, and prepare yourself for an evening of screams you’ll cherish forever. Just keep those dolls away from me….BOO, I tell’ya! BOO!!!!!

You see, kids! Not even Saint Nick can resist the Halloween spirit in Estherville! Be sure to check out the Estherville Area Chamber of Commerce website to see all the events this fun community has up its sleeve. Don’t forget to like the Estherville Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook!

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