Beat the winter blahs with a weekend getaway to Marion County and explore Knoxville, Pella and Leighton.
Things to Do
Vermeer Mill & Downtown Pella
Although formal tours aren't offered January through March, you can still marvel at the Vermeer Mill (the tallest working windmill in the country), take a winter stroll along the Molengracht or "mill canal," listen to the Klokkenspel and visit the Tulip Toren. While you explore, pop into the retail shops in downtown Pella to warm up and do some shopping.
National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum
Knoxville is known as the "Sprint Car Capital of the World" for good reason. Race fans from all over the world converge in Knoxville each year to watch some of the loudest and fastest cars battle it out on the half-mile dirt track. In the off-season, visit the museum located right next to the track and browse the racing memorabilia - even non-racers will find the history fascinating.
Lake Red Rock
Lake Red Rock is a major stop for many migratory birds, including bald eagles. On winter days, spot these magnificent birds in flight around the lake from Elk Rock State Park.
A to Z Foodie Trail
Although not every stop on Marion County's A to Z Foodie Trail is open in the off-season, you can still hit several locations, including Peace Tree Brewing, Van Veen Chocolates, Jaarsma Bakery, Nearwood Winery, The Wijn House, Tassel Ridge Winery, Vander Ploeg Bakery, Cellar Peanut Pub, Grape Escape Winery, In't Veld's Meat Market, NoCoast Beer Co. and more.
Where to Eat
Smokey Row Coffee Co.
If you're still hungry after sampling your way from A to Z, grab a meal at locally-owned Smokey Row Coffee Co. (locations in Pella and Pleasantville). The menu includes soup, sandwiches, burgers, breakfast and more.
Hometown Meats & Deli
If you’re in a rush or on the road, grab a quick made-to-order meal or coffee at Hometown Meats & Deli. Try their award-winning breaded tenderloin or their infamous chicken salad.
Voted best breakfast in Marion County, this cozy café serves breakfast all day along with lunch specials and homemade soups and pies. With speedy service, there’s no waiting to satisfy your hunger.
Where to Stay
The Cheesemaker's Inn
This charming B&B is on a former dairy farm. It's centrally-located to all of the attractions in Marion County and breakfast includes a traditional Dutch spread and Frisian Farms gouda cheese, made just down the road.