Showing posts from April, 2023

Camping and Hiking in Ledges State Park in Boone, Iowa: Review and Tips

  A few weeks ago I finished a short camping trip in Ledges State Park, in Boone Iowa. We had a great time, and I wanted to pass on what we learned about this gem of a park.  Basic information about Ledges State Park Campground What are the campsites like at Ledges State Park? There are several types of campsites, some with water and electricity, and some without. There are also a few hike-in campsites. We chose a basic site without any utilities, and camped in our RAV 4. Our site had woods on two sides, making it very nice and somewhat private. Our site had a picnic table and a fire ring with a grill. The driveway was gravel. It stayed pleasantly quiet all night, and the campsite was clean and free of any garbage.  What about the bathrooms? Are there showers at Ledges State Park Campground? The bathrooms are pretty average for an Iowa state park- nothing fancy, just modern toilet stalls and concrete. There are showers here! (my partner only camps at venues with showers.) If you shower

What to do in Waterloo and Cedar Falls - At Any Budget!

  Waterloo is my current home-base, and it has far more to do that guests outside the state would assume. We have museums, outdoor recreation, and even an amusement park. Since I am a budget minded traveler, I thought I would make a list of some of my favorites. I will be keeping this list family friendly, but there is also a casino in Waterloo and many bars in the area, if that is your style.  Free or Pay-What-You-Like Farmers markets - Free to look, buy what you need Cedar Falls and Waterloo both have very enjoyable farmers markets with great seasonal selections. I most often go to the river expo location, known as the Waterloo Urban Farmers market , in downtown Waterloo. Historically this location has some great crepes, veggies, baked goods and honey. In Cedar Falls, the most popular locations are Overman park and College hill.  Hiking Hartman Nature Preserve - Free This park is great for adult hikers, and for families with kids! In addition to beautifully maintained trails, there

4 Whimsical Midwest destinations That You Should Visit

  I love whimsical places places that pretend to be somewhere else. It’s part of what got me into following the theme park industry as a hobby. Whether it is a festival celebrating a time and place that never technically existed, or cute little immigrant towns imitating the architecture of their homeland, I love a little whimsy! Here are some of my top picks for destinations you should consider if you live in the Midwest and are craving a little bit of extra whimsy in your life. The Minnesota Renaissance Festival    The most whimsical time to go: Any time its open! Minnesota loves big fairs and festivals. Minnesota is home to the most attended state fair, many impressive county fairs, but most importantly, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. It is one of the largest in the country, and well loved by locals and guests alike. It's a place I love visiting because it perfectly transports me to this semi historical, semi-fairy tail dimension. If that's not whimsical, I don't kn