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Estherville, Iowa is one of those Midwest towns that are small enough to know everyone, but not so small that that everyone knows everyone else’s business. If you want to feel like a resident when you visit, you should follow our 10 Steps to Be a Local in Estherville Iowa – then you can blend right in with the 8,000 or so people who live there!
10 Steps to Be a Local in Estherville Iowa
These 10 steps are in no way the ONLY way to be like a local, but stood out to us the most on our last visit. There is so much to see and do in this great community, but these are our highlights.
- Start your day at Central Perk
Central Perk is your go-to place in Estherville Iowa if you are looking for great coffee, incredible desserts, and yummy lunches. Start your day off by grabbing a cuppa with a pick of their freshly baked goods – there is no better way to start your day! (Unless you are like me and prefer a smoothie – their Strawberry-Mango rocks!) Maybe try the chocolate/raspberry latte? Doesn’t that just sound like a warm hug in a mug?
- Check out the Historical Museum
#BeLikeMillie and get into the past of the place so you can understand the present better. If you are a local and haven’t been here yet? Shame on you! So much history in such a small space – between the old Bolstad School, old church, authentic log cabin, buildings that house vignettes of scenes from the area’s past and even an old post office? Add in the fact that it is run by volunteers and this is probably one of the best histoical collections I have ever come across in my travels. It makes for a great peek into that past that makes the Midwest so amazing.
- Visit Esther’s Grave
The town’s namesake, Esther Ridley, should be a stop that all townie’s make. Bring flowers and help spiff up the area – after all, shouldn’t everyone take pride in their origins?
- Stop by the Casey’s General Store
Stop in for a chance to learn how to solve the world’s problems. Let’s face it, we have this same group of characters in every Midwest town and they are a hoot to be around. In Estherville, this is where they hang out. It is worth the price of a coffee and a bit of your time for the education (and entertainment) you are sure to receive.
- See the Meteorite
On May 10th, a 507 pound meteorite struck, at 5:00 pm. The year was 1879 and Estherville became international news. While many think the sculpture outside is the meteor, you really need to see the quaint museum dedicated to the event.
- Hit Mother’s for appetizers
I love unique ways to spin lunch and sharing a few different appetizer plates with friends is a great way to go. Try these nachos that are made with waffle fries, or even the chicken wings that they are known for.
- Be a Swinger!
The Estherville swinging bridge brings out the inner child in you as you bounce across it. This suspension cable bridge is a gem from the Works Progress Administration from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. Updated in 2011, this treat that is the main feature of the River Walk area deserves a little attention from you.
- Relax at the Public Library
Libraries are so much more than a place to get books these days! With tons of programs for all ages, the ability to check out things like knitting needles and cake pans, and even STEM kits for the littles? Add in the fact that this building has been incredibly maintained as it was updated and this is a place not to miss.
- Go for a wine tasting at Little Swan Lake Winery
What do you get when you combine a Bed & Breakfast with a winery with buffalo and even toss a little live music in there? The amazing environment of the Little Swan Lake Winery and Bed & Breakfast that is just a short drive from Estherville, Iowa! The free wine tasting will have you investing in a bottle or two to enjoy later, but there is so much more to Scott and Diane’s amazing venue.
- Hit the Drive-In Movie Theater
Maybe this is a Midwest thing, but I have great memories from these even as a child! The locals embrace it here – complete with lawn chairs, coolers, and their dogs. It really is a treat and a bargain priced one at that – unless the season is over, then you can hit the indoor theater where all shows are just five bucks.
Are you an Estherville local? What would you suggest visitors do to experience your incredible community the way you do?
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