When people think of Iowa, they often think of rural farm towns stuck “in the middle of nowhere” with “nothing to do”. Clearly, these people have never stepped foot in the Hawkeye state.
Sure we are made up of rural farm towns and agricultural communities connected by dirt roads and power lines, but we have a lot more going on than they might think. For example, take little Ely, Iowa, population 1,776. Sitting just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of nearby Cedar Rapids, Ely offers a slower pace of life and that close-knit atmosphere we love about our small towns.
If you ever have the chance to spend a day getting to know this little map dot, here are a couple of things you just have to do.
1. Grab a bite at Odie’s Bar and Grill
Known for their delicious burgers and ice cold brews, this local restaurant serves up homemade dishes that you have to taste to believe.
2. Take a guided tour of historic Dows Street
Ely citizens are proud of their history and work hard to preserve it. If you’d like to take a guided tour through a few notable locations and buildings on the towns favorite street, contact the Ely Community Historic Society.
3. Shop til you drop at the Downtown Dachshund
Live like the locals do and hit up this trendy downtown boutique. Plus, you might even get to pet with the shops mascot, Cuddles the dachshund!
4. Catch some fish in the Ely Pond
There are few activities that calm the mind quite like fishing. Turn off the phones and tablets, take out the ear phones and connect to the nature and people around you. You’ll be glad you did.
5. Take a walk down the Hoover trail
This 2.7 mile trail is the perfect distance to take a walk (or run!) and see some of Iowa’s beautiful wooded countryside.
6. Grab an ice cream cone from Dan & Debbie’s Creamery
With a ton of farm fresh flavors and an impressive list of cheese curd concoctions on the menu as well, this place is a must visit!
7. Reach for the stars at the Palisades-Dows Observatory
Take in the night sky at the observatory and see the stars like you’ve never seen them before!
Plan your trip to Ely today!