“The only things you learn are the things you tame.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Elkader, IA – Greetings, folks! Today, Hop America is based in beautiful, historical Elkader, Iowa. The reason why we chose northeastern Iowa on this particular occasion has to do with the fact that we haven’t been here in ages. And when we say ages, we mean several articles’ worth of time. Long story short, join us on this journey through a breathtaking small town the likes of which is seldom found in the nation.

Elkader, Iowa – Hop America’s Pick Of The Week

With a population of around 1,200, Elkader is a true small town custom-tailored according to HopAmerica.com’s standards. It literally has everything: from tons of interesting history and a great vibe to culture and recreational activities. The county seat of Clayton County, Iowa, this is a place loved by many, including both the welcoming locals and curious travelers alike.

One thing we have to address by default is the somewhat peculiar-sounding name. The story goes that the city’s founders named it after a young Algerian, Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri. Back when the community was platted, which is to say, in 1846, this young man was leading his people in resisting France’s colonial takeover of Algeria. This inspired Chester Sage, John Thompson and Timothy Davis to pay homage to the fight against oppression and colonization. Of course, in accordance with America’s own revolution, which took place not a century before.

Home To Countless Cultural, Historical And Natural Treasures

Set in a gorgeous valley next to Clayton County’s Turkey River, the town of Elkader is on Highways 13 and 56. This literally means that approaching this cool site offers scenic drives from any given direction. With Iowa’s Little Switzerland region as its home, Elkader sits in a treasure chest of bluffs and river valleys, rich farmland and incredible vistas of wood-covered hills.

Interestingly, the town is also a sanctuary for no less than 11 sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Some of these include the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the Schmidt House, the Motor Mill, the Keystone Bridge, the Courthouse, the beautiful Downtown Historic District and many others. And if a guided tour of any of the aforementioned Elkader sites sounds interesting, no worries. All you have to do is contact the Elkader Historical Society and they’ll be happy to accommodate. Alternatively, you can also explore the riverside location and architecture of Elkader on a self-guided tour.

Worried About Lodging And Food In Elkader?

In terms of Elkader accommodation, we stayed at the Elkader JailHouse Inn and absolutely loved it. Situated in the historic Clayton County jailhouse, the namesake Inn is a truly memorable bed and breakfast. It provides stunning views of the Turkey River Valley and boasts three luxurious, unique suites. Other options include sites like the Elkader Pines Bed & Breakfast, Barn on the Bluff, Cedar St. Suites and several other businesses.

Elkader restaurants are numerous and more than capable of satisfying their customers. We particularly liked The Treats on Bridge Street Bistro, which serves a ton of different meals and foods. Our favorite throughout our stay were homemade candy, wraps and paninis. Schera’s Algerian American Restaurant is a cool place to visit as well, just like Fennelly’s Irish Pub and Drew’s Sports Bar & Grille. Finally, this was a really pleasant stay that simultaneously guaranteed tons of fun times and good memories. Do make sure you check it out as well!

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