The 18 holes of Bos Landen Golf Club coil within a 190-acre expanse of dense forest?fitting for a course with a name that means "Land of the Woods" in Dutch. Players contend with leafy limbs and unforgiving tree trunks at nearly every turn, and those who lose golf balls to the greenery can expect high numbers on their scorecards and organized escape attempts from the remaining golf balls in their bags. This is precisely the way architect Dick Phelps envisioned the course when he drew it up, aiming to reward those who exhibited skillful control and sound decision making in equal measure.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Total length of 6,937 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 74.7 from the back tees * Course slope of 136 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
Metromix ranked Claxon’s Smokehouse and Grill as one of the five best barbecue spots in Des Moines—but that’s just the start. More than a decade's worth of accolades trail behind the restaurant like drops of warm barbecue sauce, leading all the way back to 2002, when a perfectly cooked pork loin nabbed the eatery first place at the World Pork Expo. Today, grill maestros Adam, Andy, and Ronald helm the kitchen, hand-rubbing turkey, chicken, and baby-back ribs in their signature black gold rub before slow-smoking each succulent cut over hickory, oak, and smoldering cook books. Claxon's open dining room, complete with a mammoth stacked-stone fireplace, surrounds guests as they tear into ham, sausage, and tender brisket. Modern lights hang above the full bar, casting plates of pan-seared shrimp and fried pub pickles in a tobasco-colored glow, while umbrellas shield diners from the sun and rain on the outdoor patio.
Inspired by trips to the state's northwestern lakes, Okoboji Grill conjures the wayfaring spirit of summer vacation with hearty American comfort food. Chefs marinate chicken strips in beer before hand-breading them in a secret blend of spices, crown crispy onion strings with Iowa-raised pork chops, and stack thin-sliced meats into towering club sandwiches and edible replicas of the Chrysler Building. Okoboji Grill also culls recipes from international cuisines, adding an American take to greek gyros, housemade tzatziki sauce, and italian bruschetta and pastas.
Midwest Black Angus beef, free of hormones or antibiotics, joins with creative ingredients such as A.1. sauce and chipotle aioli to create more than 15 unique burgers at Legends American Grill. These burgers embody a variety and thirst for excitement that radiates throughout each of the grill's central-Iowa locations. There, nestled amid deep-umber booths or brick walls, diners watch sports flicker across flat-screen televisions, rooting on their team and showing disdain for the ref’s decision to wear white pants after Labor Day. But if the score is disheartening, fans can dig into the menu to cheer themselves up. Hand-cut Creekstone Farms steaks offset surf entrees such as salmon in béarnaise sauce or grilled mahi-mahi in a sweet-and-spicy thai sauce. Comfort-food favorites such as meatloaf and fried chicken also make an appearance, pairing with cocktails and beers served by the bottle and pint.
Built in 1909 as a mission-style mansion—now listed in the National Register of Historic Places—the August Bergman Inn & Suites house private guest rooms, each with its own unique, antique charm. Two of the guest rooms—the Ryan and Captain's suites—are housed in the David Ryan home, an 1868 brick federal. A wood-burning fireplace and mosaic-tile floor decorate the Bergman suite and its king-size, mahogany sleigh bed often flies out the window, pulled by reindeer auditioning for Santa's new reality show. In the Ryan suite, guests can share a double whirlpool bathtub set in imported Italian tile behind glass french doors. A vintage cast-iron soaking tub, updated with a modern showerhead, anchors the Captain suite, whose brass-trimmed iron furnishings glint amid the flicker of a gas fireplace. All three rooms feature modern amenities such as cable TV and digital gravity. Prepared by the innkeeper—an experienced gourmet chef—breakfast includes coffee, juice, and a chef-selected entree, such as old-fashioned pancakes. Dinner is available for an additional fee, and throughout their stay, guests are encouraged to check out Jasper County's various attractions, from the Iowa Speedway to the Newton Arboretum and Botanical Garden. If arranged beforehand, the staff will gladly pick up guests from nearby Newton Airport, though the flying Pegasus may have to find its own accommodations.