Explore Delafield Lake Country, Wisconsin: Guest Blogger Janet Frost, of Go Learn Things

We enjoy stories of hometowns and we love how Janet of Go Learn Things makes time to explore in her own backyard. We hope you enjoy learning about Janet’s hometown of Delafield Lake Country- Delafield, Wisconsin, as we do. Janet’s backyard not only consists of Wisconsin, but the great state of Michigan is a hop, skip and a jump for her, as well.

Go Learn Things- Janet Frost

In the Our Town series I am taking a new look at familiar places.  The catalyst for the series really started as I looked around the beautiful town I live in and realized it rarely gets mentioned as a tourist destination.  Many of my friends and readers have visited Milwaukee, Kenosha, Janesville and Beloit but you have missed a true gem in the Delafield Lake Country. Delafield, Wisconsin is located 25 miles west of downtown Milwaukee. Lake Country loosely refers to the Northwest corner of Waukesha County and includes these communities:
Pewaukee, Delafield, Hartland, Merton, Nashotah, Chenequa, Okauchee Lake, Oconomowoc, Summit, and Lac La Belle.  These communities are covered with inland lakes, parks and trails that are perfect for year round outdoor recreation. Delafield is centrally positioned for a weekend getaway of hiking, biking, watersports, shopping and dining.  Come visit me and share in the beautiful town I call home.

Let’s go learn things about Delafield, Wisconsin…..

Delafield Lake Country

To showcase a place called Lake Country, I need to start with the lakes.

Nagawicka Lake

The quaint downtown village of Delafield sits on the western edge of Nagawicka Lake. Nagawicka Lake is 980 acres of clear water and recreation. Naga-Waukee Park stretches from the eastern shore of Nagawicka Lake to the western shore of neighboring Pewaukee Lake.

Nagawicka Lake Delafield Lake Country

 

 

Pewaukee Lake

The western half of Pewaukee Lake is Delafield and the eastern half is Pewaukee. Downtown Pewaukee is another cute little village of shops and dining. This is a beach town with shops that flow out onto the walk. On a beautiful summer day the village is full of beachgoers, paddlers, fishers, walkers, bikers and diners. I love to head out on my kayak on quiet Sunday mornings when the locals run their sailboat regattas across the lake. This lake is over 2,400 acres and very popular for fisherman and recreationers alike.

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One Fine Day In Iowa City, Iowa: Featuring Guest Blogger Kylie Neuhaus

Iowa City, home of the Iowa Hawkeyes and the famous ‘Kinnick Wave’ (where the whole football stadium turns around and waves at patients on the 12th floor of the Iowa City Children’s Hospital next door) and listed as one of a handful of cites in the world to be recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature! There are plenty of things to keep you busy during a visit!

Keeping with the football theme, any Hawkeye fan would love a stop at the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum!  It celebrates some of their greatest athletes and achievements.  I particularly enjoyed seeing the progression of the sports through the years and seeing how the uniforms have changed!

Iowa Athletic Museum

Some of them look so impractical for physical exercise!

For those that are interested in history, the Old Capitol Museum is located in Iowa’s first state capitol building that was in use in the mid 1800’s.  Some are the rooms are set up to look like how the did during this time!  The building is now part of the University of Iowa’s college campus.

Iowa City, Iowa

 

It wouldn’t be a city guide without the mention of food!  The Vue Rooftop Bar and Restaurant is on the top floor of the Hilton Garden Inn hotel.  It has loads of cool technology features (some behind the scenes) as well as an awesome outside seating area with views across the city and amazing food for very reasonable prices!

The Hamburg Inn is famous for being a stopping point for former presidents during their visits to Iowa City.  This cozy retro restaurant with a large menu pack with comfort food dishes, great prices and great ‘pie shakes’, hosts the ‘Coffee Bean Caucus’ during elections.  There are plans to open a 3rd ‘Hamburg Inn’ location in Iowa City and then potentially stretch as far away internationally as Asia!

Other places worth mentioning are ‘Scratch Cupcakes’ because who doesn’t love cake?! And Scratch Cupcakes do them brilliantly well! The Wig and Pen is a British themed pub and the Clinton Street Social Club is a cute hidden little ‘speakeasy’!  Iowa City has so many bars and restaurants to pick from, it’d be impossible to mention them all, I haven’t even touched on their live music scene!

Kylie blogs at Between England and Iowa. She resides in Dubuque, Iowa and has a passion for travel and adventure. Visit her blog and connect with her through social media, as she’s always traveling somewhere that will spark your interest.

Explore Dubuque, Iowa: Guest Blogger Katy Flint, of Flint & Co.

Katy Flint of Flint & Co. resides in Iowa and enjoys exploring her home state.

Katy FlintKaty is sharing one of her favorite Iowa river towns, Dubuque, Iowa. We enjoy what Dubuque has to offer and we hope you will find inspiration to plan a visit.

The Midwest is full of so many great destinations! We love finding those treasures that are close to home and Dubuque is at the top of our list for weekend getaways! While Dubuque has a rich history as “The place where Iowa started”, it is a modern and thriving community that offers a little something for everyone! Whether you are taking off on the weekend with the family or for a quiet couples weekend, you will find more than one thing to do while visiting this river town!

Eagle Point Park

Eagle Point Park definitely has something to offer for everyone! Spend hours watching the barges enter and exit, Lock & Dam #11 or explore the many pavilions. The kids can enjoy the playgrounds, green space, tennis courts, horseshoe courts, or the rock garden and fish pond! Adults will enjoy the beautiful and historic pavilions as well as the walking path that runs along the Mississippi River!

Fenelon Place Elevator

Whether you’re looking for a fun adventure with the kids or a romantic event with that someone special, the Fenelon Place Elevator won’t disappoint. Take a ride on the historic (as well as the world’s shortest, steepest scenic railway) as it raises 189 feet above the town of Dubuque.

 

Fenelon Place Dubuque

 

Then, enjoy the view from there! Kids will enjoy the historic elevator and the views are bound to be the perfect setting for a picture with your loved one!

National River Museum & Aquarium

This museum located right along with Mississippi River is a great place for kids to learn and have fun! Pet a stingray, watch the river otters swim, along with a large variety of fish! The kids can get up close and personal with the history of the river and its purposes including touring an old dredge barge, the Steamboat William Black! Don’t forget to visit the remote-control bumper boats and the gift shops!

Hotel Julien Dubuque

If you’re looking for a place to stay, look no further than the Hotel Julien Dubuque.  It has had a place in Dubuque for over 130 years and thanks to a $33 million renovation recently, it is simply gorgeous and a part of history you don’t want to miss!  If you take the kiddos, there is a great pool for them to enjoy and if you’re making it a romantic weekend, make sure to catch a treatment at the Potosa Spa or a drink from the Riverboat Lounge!

Whether you’re looking to spend a family weekend or a romantic getaway, Dubuque will not disappoint!  From nature to history, there is something to fit everyone and every agenda!

Thanks Katy, as we always enjoy what you bring to us, in regards to midwest travel. It looks like Katy enjoyed Dubuque as much as you loved your experience in Branson, Missouri.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Niabi Zoo a Giraffe Experience!

Cindy of Traveling Adventures of A Farm Girl shares her adventure at the Niabi Zoo in the Quad Cities. When is the last time you were in Iowa or Illinois exploring this area of the state?

What could be more fun than a trip with Allie, my adult daughter and a chance to see some wild life up close and personal?  This past July, I had the chance to see what was new and different in the Quad Cities on a sponsored trip and one of the places I was fortunate enough to visit was the Niabi Zoo.  Located near Coal Valley, we arrived early to experience the Giraffe Encounter.

Giraffe at Niabi Zoo

The zoo is located in a rural area and we were amazed at how big the zoo was.  Niabi zoo offers more than 600 animals representing over 200 species from around the world.  We parked and entered the offices and caught up with Tammy Schmidt, the assistant director.  Tammy took us on a whirlwind tour as we wound our way to the giraffes.

The first thing we saw when we entered was the new exhibit called Oceans.  This educational exhibit is an aquatic-themed habitat that includes a giant Pacific octopus, a moray eel, jelly fish, fish eating anemones and more.  What we loved was the bright colors of the fish and a placard explaining how the slim chances of being bitten by a shark. With a husband that watches and believes any and every shark threat, Allie and I were quite amused by this and took a photo to share with Keith upon our return!

Shark Retreat

Tammy shared that the zoo sits on over 40 acres and that the zoo has a deep commitment to preserving nature and ecology.  Allie was quite excited when she viewed the Big Cat exhibits on our way to our giraffe encounter that was the big draw for her.  There is a Big Cat Encounter and if it is as cool as the giraffe encounter, we may have to go back!

The giraffe encounter was amazing.  We got a chance to see the two species of giraffes and we were amazed by how much larger the male was than the female.  Our guide told us that it has only been recently that they have learned that there are distinct differences in some of the giraffe species, it is astounding what we are still learning year after year about animals, their environments and interactions.

Niabi Zoo

 

The animal trainers have taught the giraffes to move through a shoot from place to place.  They play with toys they have mounted on bars and the male giraffe was quite attracted to scratching his head against the bars.  Never having been this close to a giraffe, I didn’t really realize how big and tall they really are.  After watching them and learning about them for a bit, we had the chance to feed them large lettuce leaves and see their beautiful faces up close. What a wonderful thing to see and do.  Elementary school and older children would love this opportunity!

reptiles at Niabi Zoo

After our encounter, we wandered through the zoo and saw the reptiles, the beautiful cats and we were entranced by the lovely snow leopard.  We saw birds, goats that stood on high rocks and more. The heat of the day was the only downside to our visit.  I would love to go back again in the cool of early spring or fall!

The  Niabi Zoo has educational opportunities for kids and a zoo ranger program as well.  When we traveled to our next stop, the Creekside Vineyards, the young man there said he was a zoo ranger and expressed how wonderful he thought it was to have the chance to be at the zoo and share information with the public was.

There is something for everyone at the zoo; there is a lovely carousel and even a train ride to travel around the zoo.  They even have birthday parties, family reunions and other events that can be arranged.  To find out more information, log onto http://www.niabizoo.com/ and make plans for your very own wild life encounter!