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We have been experiencing an early Spring and enjoying every minute of it. Even though the temperatures are more seasonal now (as opposed to earlier in the week) it’s so much better than the sub-zero Arctic blast we experienced in February.

When Spring fever kicks in, we want to wander. If there is no snow to contend with we want to get out on the road and see what’s going on around the area.

Where should we start our tour? Take a look at the new edition of the Iowa Travel Guide. The spring/summer edition is now available and Deb Hite should have them at the Iowa Welcome Center/Chamber office.

The free Iowa Travel Guide can also be ordered online at traveliowa.com, or by phone at 800.345.IOWA. An online version is also available.

The 139-page guide includes listings for hundreds of authentic and unexpected destinations, cabins and campgrounds. Editorial content features the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Lauridsen Skate Park in Des Moines, dog-friendly wineries and breweries, and the High Trestle Trail’s 10th anniversary.

The Ultimate Ice Cream List includes more than 80 locally owned ice cream shops, as suggested by followers of the Iowa Tourism Office’s social channels.

The guide’s cover showcases Mount Trashmore, a former landfill site that boasts trails for hiking and biking plus an overlook that provides impressive views of Cedar Rapid. Now that might be an interesting place to visit.

While in Cedar Rapids, a visit to Czech Village would be in order. It’s been a number of years since we were there. In one of the shops we found hand painted eggs and I believe the one I purchased is still intact. Very intricate painting in purple on a white egg. At the bakery we found kolaches which were much like the ones my grandmother made. The meat market was almost a mirror image of Mikes Meat Market in West Bend, owned and operated by my father and his brothers. My grandfather emigrated from Czechoslovakia and my son has been to the Prague area on work related visits. For our family, there is a connection to Czech Village.

Here’s the message from Jessica O’Riley, tourism communications manager for the Iowa Tourism Office:

“We know there is pent up demand to travel and that many people will start with more local road trips when they feel comfortable to venture out,” she said. “The spring/summer travel guide provides a wealth of ideas to inspire travel within our borders.”

Tourism in Iowa generates nearly $9 billion in expenditures and $517.5 million in state taxes, while employing 70,200 people statewide. The Iowa Tourism Office is part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. For more information, visit traveliowa.com.




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