I've been traveling a lot for work lately, mostly in the northeast corner of the state. Earlier this week, I made my first-ever visit to what could be the prettiest little town in Iowa, Elkader, just 30-plus miles away from the Mississippi River.
The town's Main Street is surrounded by limestone bluffs. The Turkey River, a popular spot for fishermen and canoers, runs right through downtown.
Elkader is one of the oldest towns in Iowa, with more than two dozen buildings listed in the National Historic Registry. A limestone bridge over the Turkey River is also a historic landmark. They don't make bridges like this anymore.
The county courthouse along the banks of the Turkey River looks like something out of an Old West movie.
Even more impressive, this town of 1,400 people has a restored opera house for community theater performances, a single-screen movie theater that now shows 3D movies (including Avatar!), a coffee shop and an antique mall.
I'm already planning another trip up to this beautiful town this summer. I have a feeling there is a lot more to discover.