This weekend, Blake Koch will get behind the wheel of his number 11 Chevy Camaro at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA. The track, designed by NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace, is a special one – it’s the only 7/8 mile track in the world. And with the competition heating up, this race is sure to be a nail biter!
Aside from the race, there’s a ton to do at the track – from camping, to food concessions, and more. But, if you’re making a vacation of it, Newton and the surrounding towns have a lot to do as well. Check out these top 8 hot spots around the Iowa Speedway to discover some fun ways to fill your weekend.
Peace Tree Brewing Company is well known in the area for its carefully crafted, full bodied beers. All their beers are worth a taste, but past customers rave about their Blonde Fatale. While they don’t sell food, they have an awesome policy to encourage customers to support local restaurants by allowing them to order take-out to be delivered right to the taproom (or they can simply bring their own food).
If you’re curious to see where the magic happens, we highly recommend taking a tour of the brewhouse where you’ll learn how they make their beers from start to finish. Peace Tree Brewing Company is the perfect place to kick back and relax after the race on Sunday!
Nestled in the midst of a little college town, Prairie Canary brings Midwestern comfort food with a twist to the table. Not only do they serve locally sourced foods and drinks, but they also put great care into making sure every aspect of the establishment has local roots. Seriously – everything from the dishware and tables is made locally. How cool is that?
Customers are abuzz about Prairie Canary’s grilled cheese and jam (see what we mean about comfort food with a twist?), as well as their fried brussels sprouts. Do your taste buds a favor and check this place out!
This enchanting little winery, which looks like a castle (but was actually once a church), will certainly make you feel like royalty. Complete with a ballroom, balcony, bistro, and Bed & Breakfast tower suite, the elegant winery is the place to be this weekend. They frequently have live entertainment, community events, and art classes, which makes for a lively atmosphere.
You can’t go wrong with any of their food or wines, but Van Wijk’s warm spinach and artichoke dip pairs nicely with Sauvignon Blanc. This is a fantastic place to unwind with a glass of vino during your long weekend getaway.
With the perfect blend of Greek and Italian cuisine, Yanni’s brings the Mediterranean to the Midwest. The Saganaki, or “flaming cheese” (the platter actually comes out one fire), is both a fun spectacle and a delightful treat. For something that draws a little less attention, but is still delicious, try the Greek Trio or Gnocchi À La Sorrentina. For dessert, their baklava is a must! This place is great for a date night or a family friendly outing, so be sure to stop by this race weekend!
Prairie City, Iowa
Goldie’s may look like your run of the mill ice cream shop, but make no mistake, it’s one of a kind. The restaurant has a sort of “cult following” because of their blue ribbon pork tenderloin sandwiches – which are an Iowan delicacy. Add in a side of their homemade potato salad, and you’re in for some good eats.
But we can’t forget about the ice cream. With countless delectable ice cream treats, Goldie’s certainly has us screaming for ice cream. From traditional malts, to more adventurous concoctions like the Butterslinger sundae, there’s something for everyone here.
You can always count on exceptionally fresh and delicious food at Relish. The menu changes every other month, so you’re sure to have a unique experience each time you visit. Relish offers globally inspired dishes as well as local favorites, and they can even accommodate food allergies as well as vegans and vegetarians, so there’s something to fit everyone’s palette.
One customer calls it a, “foodie place without the foodie price,” and another says a trip to Relish will bring, “daydreams from your experience.” Their live music nights feature local up and coming artists, which just adds even more to the ambiance. This place is irresistible.
Conveniently located on I-80, Iowa’s Best Burger Café is a great place to bring the family for a quick lunch on your way to or from the racetrack. The old diner style café offers some of the juiciest burgers in town. Top off your visit with some butter brickle ice cream.
The adjoining Kellogg RV Park is a fantastic place to make base this weekend if you’ve got an RV. They have easy access pull through sites, full hookups, clean bathroom and shower facilities, and fantastic country views. They have a race weekend special, so you’re sure to meet other friendly NASCAR fans there, too!
This place is known for its annual Tulip Time festival in May, but is a great place to visit any time of the year. Coming up on its 50th anniversary, guests of all ages will find fun here. You can meander through the historical village and museums to get a taste of Pella’s Dutch roots and visit attractions like the miniature village and Vermeer Windmill. The Vermeer Windmill is actually both the largest Dutch windmill and the tallest working windmill in the United States.
The beautiful surroundings offer a magnificent place to take family pictures and make lasting memories. If you find yourself with a little bit of time on your hands this weekend, this is the place to go!
What are your favorite places to visit around the Iowa Speedway? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!