Bringing wine to school is typically frowned upon, but the team at Dale Valley Vineyard turned the rebellious act on its head: They brought a 19th-century schoolhouse to their vineyard. Nowadays, it serves as the tasting room for the vineyard that Cityview readers named the Best Local Iowa Day Trip for two years in a row. In the schoolhouse's single room, visitors sample award-winning wines such as White Schoolhouse?a catawba with citrus notes and an evocative chalkboard minerality?and V?s Berry, whose cherry and apple flavors commingle with raspberry and vanilla aromas. Live music entertains visitors most Saturdays from May through September, and the winery?s annual festival, dubbed Winestock, commences in July.
Eight types of grapes grow along twisting vines at Penoach Vineyard & Winery, a family-owned winery 12 miles west of Des Moines. Just meters away from the vineyard stands the winery's tasting room, housed within a restored barn originally built in 1917.
Visitors can lounge by the barn's flickering fireplace while sipping wine, or head to its covered patio to watch the sunset. Sipping options include varietals such as the semi-dry Iowa Frontenac Ros? and the Dallas County apple wine, which is made with locally grown apples and can be sipped hot or cold. Sweet and savory snacks, winery tours, and events such as live concerts are other reasons to visit.
More than a century ago, 216 S. Second St. in Winterset, Iowa, was the childhood address of John Wayne. Today, the four-room home houses the John Wayne Birthplace, a museum that celebrates the legendary actor's career and has attracted more than one million visitors to date. On display are rare photographs of Wayne, letters to him from fellow actors, and memorabilia from his films, including an eye patch he wore in True Grit .
Since 2000, the Remodelers Council of Greater Des Moines has sponsored the Tour of Remodeled Homes, a journey through area homes that have undergone design and construction transformations. This year’s tour highlights 13 residences of different styles, ages, and price ranges, with projects that ranged from kitchen updates to full remodels. At each stop on the tour, the remodelers will be onsite to answer questions, and most of the sites will also have representatives from the sponsors or suppliers who worked on the projects. All of the featured craftsmen are members of the council, and this year’s flipbook gives a preview of their handiwork.
Since 1998, Jester Park Equestrian Center has welcomed guests for horse-related activities year round. Part of Polk County Conservation, the facility includes a large indoor arena available for rental, as well as 40 stalls in stables, an inside patio, and a full-service kitchen, where chefs prepare elaborate meals for parties and the picky horses. May through early November, groups bestride the friendly steeds to explore the surrounding countryside's trails. And for those who would like some pointers, the staff leads English- and Western-style riding lessons.
Crepes in San Francisco. Butter chicken in Toronto. The organizers behind Dishcrawl connect people with the local dining scenes of cities across the United States and Canada. They do this in two ways?first, through Dishcrawls, which are self-guided tours to an array of restaurants. Dishcrawl's second method highlights single restaurants through special dinners, giving chefs a chance to dazzle visits with their favourite dishes.