If you ever find yourself on IA 13 in Northeast Iowa, you really must take a detour through Strawberry Point. This charming little town with a population of just 1,200 souls features the world’s largest strawberry, an old hotel that’s still in operation and a working soda fountain. What is not to love?!
The Mister and I have been trying to get to know our new home area. As far as we’re concerned there’s no better way to explore a region that to go out and get lost. So that’s exactly what we did one afternoon last week. We set out from the Dream House for destinations unknown and ended up passing through the adorable Strawberry Point, Iowa.
Now, strawberries are one of my very favorite foods, ranking right up there with peaches and watermelon when it comes to fruit. When we saw a road sign pointing in the direction of Strawberry Point, I silently hoped for some sort of monument to the red fruit. We rolled into town and lo and behold there’s a giant strawberry outside city hall.
Dating back to 1967, the 15′ x 12′ berry is made of fiberglass and weighs 1,430 lbs. Take note small towns with fun names: this is how to you do it!
Lest you think your visit to Strawberry Point will consist of just a brief encounter with a giant fruit on a stick, there’s more!
- Step back in time at the Franklin Hotel. Built in 1902, the hotel still hosts overnight guests. If you’re just passing through, dine at the cafe and the hotel staff will probably let you tour the historic hotel.
- Enjoy a shake at the soda fountain at Clayton Drug. Remember when drug stores had soda fountains? Yeah, we’re too young to remember that too. But they did! At Clayton Drug, you can pretend it’s 1940 as you slurp up a shake at their soda fountain.
- Get a history lesson at Wilder Memorial Museum. See how a prairie kitchen would have looked in the early 1900’s, examine the old time implements town’s doctor from from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and let your inner child awe over the 800 heirloom dolls.
- Get back to nature at Backbone State Park. Iowa’s first state park is split by a rocky ledge that creates the park’s namesake spine. There’s a lake for boating and swimming, bike trails, climbing and rappelling opportunities and even cabins for overnight stays.
Start planning your road trip now, folks!
Images: This American House