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ICYMI: Iowa Locations Win Best of Midwest Awards

In Case You Missed It rounds up the best of Iowa’s uplifting stories, exciting initiatives and fun events from all 99 counties discovered through social media. In a time where every bit of good news is cherished, this series is devoted to being a fun, lighthearted way to stay informed about Iowa’s good news.

Four Iowa Locations Win Midwest Living’s Best of the Midwest Awards

Midwest Living recently released their 2022 Best of the Midwest Winners, and Iowa was well represented taking home four major awards. Iowa received awards for the best brewery, mid-sized town, new hotel and cidery making it one of the top vacation destinations in the Midwest.

While BeerAdvocate ranks Toppling Goliath in Decorah as the second-best brewery in the world, Midwest Living thinks it’s the best. The brewery sells several of their signature canned IPAs in stores but visiting the brewery in person allows you to try special experimental and seasonal brews. For more award-winning drinks, visit the best cidery in the Midwest - Wilson’s Orchard and Farm in Iowa City. The cidery uses over 100 varieties of apples from the orchard to craft the best sweet and hard ciders. Their most popular and top ranked ciders include apple blends with cherries, blueberries and blackberries.

Once you’ve hit those spots, head to the center of our state and visit Des Moines, otherwise known as the best mid-sized town. As the fastest growing metro in the Midwest, Des Moines offers art exhibits, nature scenes and great local eateries making it the perfect destination for families. Midwest Living highlighted some of their favorite attractions including the beautifully designed law library in the State Capitol, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa Cubs games, Downtown Farmers’ Market and shopping in the East Village.

While visiting Des Moines, you can stay at the Surety, which was ranked the best new hotel. The hotel prides itself on being a modern, grand hotel ushering an exciting new era in downtown Des Moines. With hardwood floors, midcentury modern décor and artisan-crafted finishing touches, it is one of the best places to stay in Iowa.

Color the Wind Kite Festival

Clear Lake’s sky became a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors during the Color the Wind Kite Festival. Thousands of individuals gathered on the frozen lake to experience one of Iowa’s best attractions. Each year, spectators leave their warm and cozy homes to watch dragons, pigs, cats and beloved cartoon characters fly. With kites looming in size of more than 40 feet, the festival likens itself to the Macy’s Day Parade with choreographed musical numbers and magnificent views. As the Midwest’s largest and most colorful winter kite festival, Color the Wind continues to bring joy to attendees willing to brave the cold.

Travel Pulse Names Des Moines as a City Worth Exploring in 2022

Des Moines was named by Travel Pulse as a city worth exploring in 2022. Des Moines is home to attractions that art lovers, foodies and nature enthusiasts can all enjoy. One of the Midwest’s most impressive collections of modern sculptures can be found at Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Travel Pulse also noted that Des Moines hosts exciting events such as the return of the 80/35 music festival, Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival and the Iowa State Fair.

John Wayne Museum Expands

You don’t have to travel to the far west to see the birthplace of beloved actor and American icon John Wayne. Wayne was born in Winterset, and the John Wayne Birthplace Museum continues to exhibit the largest diversified exhibit of John Wayne artifacts including original movie posters, film wardrobe, scripts, contracts, letters, artwork and one of his last customized automobiles. In addition to viewing these iconic artifacts, you can also enjoy the gift shop to find classic John Wayne movies, books and unique memorabilia that you can take home with you. Go ahead and saddle up your car to experience one of the most interesting places in Iowa.

Perfect Girls Day in Estherville

Looking to plan a girls’ day for yourself or someone you love? There are plenty of things to do Estherville, Iowa! The town is home to shopping, beautiful architecture, serene nature and access to great walking trails. If you are looking to freshen up your home with some new décor and furniture, you’ll want to stop at Sievert’s. Another shopping favorite is Heartland Home & Gifts which showcases goods from multiple vendors. Whether you are looking for clothing, homemade crafts, pet supplies or baby gifts, you’ll find something to bring home with you.

Once you have your fill of shopping, you can stop by the historic Estherville Public Library which was built in 1903 to see its beautiful windows, woodwork and collections. There’s no better way to appreciate nature than taking a walk on a trail along the Des Moines River. Beginning at Mickelson Park, you’ll find a walking path wide enough for a stroll alongside your friends.

Published February 23, 2022

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