("Things to do, Places to go, People to see")
Shopping: Most shops open daily: 10am to 5pm, April - Oct. and weekends only in Nov. and Dec.
Forever Sweet Creations is a new store in the old Post Office building. They offer sandwiches, salads, ice cold drinks, and home made fudge. Open Weekends from 11am to 4pm.
The Greef General Store is where you can find antiques, crafts, and delicious homemade fudge! (319) 592-3579 www.greefstore.com Closed Mondays.
Iron & Lace features Queen Anne's Lace pottery and hand-forged artistic ironwork by our own artists-in-residence, Bill and Betty Printy. (319) 592-3222 www.ironandlace.com
Bill and Betty at work.
The Quilt Shop has fabric and quilting supplies and quilts for sale. Ask about sewing classes.
Take a virtual Town Tour
Things to see:
Indian Artifact Museum: Home to an extensive collection of Native American Indian artifacts including an impressive display of arrowheads (open by chance or appointment).
Old Presbyterian Church Building: Visit this historic building on the hill north of the village. Open daily 10am to 5pm, May - Nov. The building is available to rent for weddings, programs, services, etc. Call Betty Printy at 319-592-3222 for more information.
Historic Bridge: Built in 1882 for horse and buggy traffic, this bridge is the oldest and longest iron truss bridge still in use across the Des Moines River. Open to foot and bicycle traffic. (Photo by Steve Stimmel)
Rose Garden: Set within the rock walls of the old Mill foundations, this garden is complete with walkways, benches, water garden, and a variety of perennial plants. A great place for a picnic or wedding, or just sit and read in the peace and quiet.
The Stone House: What used to be called the Mormon House, is now restored and has a name change. (due to the Grant we received to restore the building, it can't be affiliated with any certain religion.) The building has A/C and heating, a kitchen, and two bathrooms. It seats 80 people comfortably. The building can be rented for Wedding Receptions, meals, gatherings, meetings, classes, etc. Call Betty Printy at 319-592-3222 to reserve the building.
Things to do:
Have a picnic in the park. * Hike the Nature Trail north of town. * Take the Self-Guided Walking Tour of Bentonsport. * Hunt, fish, and watch the eagles during the winter season. * Enjoy the sunrise and sunset on the river. (Photo by Steve Stimmel)
*Take a class with the Villages Folk School - www.villagesfolkschool.com Many different arts and crafts taught in various areas throughout the county. In Bentonsport, Bill teaches blacksmithing, Betty teaches pottery and weaving, and Joy teaches quilting and container candle making. Take one of Joy's classes and stay the night at the Mason House Inn and receive a 5% discount off your room rate. Mention this discount when making your reservation.
Shop for crafts and antiques. Tour the Historic Bonaparte Pottery Archeological Site (www.bonaparte-pottery.com) Stop for tea at the Burns Gallery and Tea Room.
1. Bonaparte's Retreat in the old grist mill (319) 592-3339 Open daily for lunch from 11am to 1pm. Open every day except Sundays for supper from 5pm to 8pm. (Open Sundays for lunch, 11 - 1, but not open Sunday evenings.)
2. Jet Stop - convenience store with gas, pop, sandwiches, pizza, eat in or take out. (319) 592-3281
Hiking, fishing, swimming at Lacey-Keosauqua State Park and Lake Sugema
Swimming pool, golf course, tennis courts at Riverview Country Club (319) 293-3200
1. Riverbend Pizza - pizza, steak, salad, sandwiches (319) 293-9900
2. Cup and Cakes - (319) 293-8200
3. Misty's Malt Shop- Open Sundays. Hamburgers, BBQ sandwiches, ice cream OPEN SUNDAYS
4. First Street Grill - pizza, steak, salad, sandwiches, pasta, OPEN SUNDAYS
Hawkeye Canoe Rental: rent a canoe for fun on the river (319) 293-3550
Van Buren County Fair - July
Whispering Pines Winery - Owned and operated by Steve & Becki Tucker, 18356 222nd Street, Keosauqua www.whisperingpinewinery.biz
Crane Winery - A new, small family owned business in a small town setting. (641) 936-4355 Open Fridays 5pm to 10pm, Sat. & Sunday 11am to 5pm 11420 Main St., Hwy 16, Selma.
Stone Fox Winery - Newly opened, located in Birmingham. Open weekends. 210 E. Cedar, Birmingham (319) 498-4331
Dutchman's Store: bulk food items, fabric, shoes & boots, homemade items, fresh produce and other grocery items. (Run by Mennonites for the Amish. Not open Sundays.)
The Nook: A quaint little cafe across the street from the Dutchman's Store. Open for breakfast and lunch.
Walk the lovely Waubonsie Park trails.
Visit the 4-story round barn at Wickfield Farm (open by appointment). Built in 1918. (319) 293-3129
Milton Creamery - Delicious cheeses and cheese curds, made on premises. 202 East Hwy 2, Milton (641) 656-4094 firstname.lastname@example.org
Shimek State Forest is the largest of Iowa's three state forests with 9,000 acres. Four large ponds are stocked with fish. Electric trolling motors allowed. Public hunting in season. Winter sports and equestrian trails. Indian Lake Park is located SW of Farmington on Hwy. 81. The park is 177 acres, including a 44-acre lake with great fishing. There is a 2-mile multi-purpose trail around the lake. Boat rentals and swimming available. Farmington's Strawberry Festival is the 2nd weekend in June. Crafts, flea market items, and lots of free ice cream with strawberry topping!
Bridge Cafe & Supper Club - Open Tues - Sat. Homemade pies, entree menu, Sunday noon buffet. (319) 878-4000
H & K Pony Express - Salad, sandwiches, tacos, ice cream. Closes at 3pm on Mon, Tues, Thurs. OPEN EVERY DAY INCLUDING SUNDAYS
Mt. Pleasant: Don't miss the Old Threshers Reunion held annually in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. Always 5 days ending on Labor Day. Only 45 minutes north of Bentonsport on Hwy. 218. www.oldthreshers.org . Spend the day there, and have a pleasant nights rest here!
Nauvoo: Visit the historic town and shops. See the rebuilt Mormon Temple. Golf in Nauvoo at the Great River Road Golf Club (800-233-0060). www.golfnauvoo.com
Baxter Winery: Baxter's Vineyards is a small family-owned winery in Nauvoo, Illinois. The winery was established in 1857 by Emile Baxter and continues in the family. Kelly Logan is the fifth generation Baxter to grow grapes and apples. He and his wife Brenda are still producing and bottling Baxter's Old Nauvoo Brand wines. Baxter's Vineyards offers free wine tasting & self guided winery tours daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit their website at
Fort Madison: Tour the old Fort, the museums and shops.
Heartland Harvest Winery: Heartland Harvest Vineyard & Winery is a two family owned company that sets just outside historic Fort Madison Iowa on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River with a seven acre developing vineyard in the country. They offer quality wines made from French Hybrid and American varietals. They also make country fruit wines. They offer free tasting in the spacious tasting room and wine shop with many made-in-Iowa area items. They have live music in the Wine Garden April thru October. Ask how they can help you plan for your upcoming special outdoors event.
Keokuk: See the lock and dam system in action! Experience a Civil War Reenactment in Rand Park, April TBA. Reenactments take place Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 2:30pm. Check their Events Calendar for more fun things to do at www.leecounty.org . Spend the day there and have a pleasant nights rest here!