All female vacations, or girlfriend getaways, are becoming more popular in the stressful lifestyle that we lead today. Girlfriend getaways provide bonding, escapes, adventure and personal growth. New friendship dimensions are created and unforgettable memory experiences are enjoyed. Sometimes all girl trips are taken as a rite of passage, a desire for independence from responsibilities and a time to make life changing decisions. Historic Bentonsport, located along the banks of the Des Moines River in Southeast Iowa, is a perfect spot for a girlfriend’s weekend escape.
Personal time contemplating may be spent sitting alongside the riverbank staring at the tree covered hills, two white church steeples and a few visible houses along the shoreline. An active group may choose to explore the ruins of old mills or take a morning jog across a century old iron bridge. The river is perfect for fishing, kayaking and canoeing during the warmer months. Musical, educational and craft festivals are scheduled throughout the year.
Girlfriends will enjoy meandering into the many shops in Bentonsport. Iron and Lace is an ironwork and artistic pottery shop. The shop contains handwoven rugs and unique gifts. Greef General Store is located in an 1840’s restored building near the county park on Hawk Drive. The general store carries primitive furniture, quilts, toys, glassware, rag rugs, jewelry, soaps, lotions and other items. Bentonsport Artisan Co-op is a unique accumulation of handmade items from regional artists including textiles, paintings, jewelry and other crafts.
The group should take time from shopping to visit the Bentonsport Rose Garden. Roses, a butterfly garden and a water garden are located within the walls of the old mill foundations. Tony Sanders Indian Artifacts Museum is worthy of a visit. The museum features over 4,000 arrowheads and tools excavated from Van Buren and surrounding counties. Ax heads, mammoth teeth, grinding stones and deer antlers are displayed in cases from the floor to the ceiling.
Bentonsport offers a number of interesting lodging accommodations. Hattie's Corn Cottage offers reasonable weekly lodging rates and is truly a home away from home. The cottage is located only a block from the river. The kitchen is fully equipped. Linens, towels, a full laundry, central heat, air conditioning and even Wi-Fi are furnished. Information for reservations for the cottage is available on the website.
Bentonsport Bed and Breakfast is located in the Hancock House, which was constructed in 1847. The bed and breakfast is complete with period furnishings. Guests may enjoy a leisurely breakfast in a formal dining room, read a good book by the fire in the library or enjoy complimentary coffee and bottled water in the upstairs sitting area. Please visit the website for reservation information.
Mason House Inn and Caboose Cottage are hosted by Chuck and Joy Hanson. The hotel was built by Mormon craftsman 167 years ago. A full country breakfast is served each morning. A cookie jar is kept filled in each bedroom for the pleasure of guests. The hotel and caboose offer free Wi-Fi. The caboose cottage is a fun place to stay for train enthusiasts. Reservation information is available online.
Bentonsport is an excellent location for a girl's weekend escape. The shops, museum, rose garden and excellent accommodations present a fun and restful retreat. The river and beautiful landscape add to the enjoyment of the trip.
Photo courtesy of Bentonsport Bridge, Bentonsport IA as uploaded by Kevin Stewart on Flickr’s Creative Commons.