Are you up for a unique experience in a 1870s County Jail House? Come to Elkader, Iowa, to be locked up in the Jail House Inn. There's nothing to fret about though. All doors are open and you'll be released in the morning after a delicious homemade breakfast with freshly brewed coffee.
Nestled between the rolling green hills and rocky limestone bluffs of Clayton County, along the Turkey River, lies the small town of Elkader. This unique Northeast Iowa community offers something for every desire. Enjoy the scenic views while walking and browsing the local unique shops, hiking, biking trails, canoeing, or kayaking down the Turkey River. View this upper Iowa waterway as you stroll across the largest Keystone Bridge west of the Mississippi. Relax and treat yourself to a spa day at JEM. Consider an evening out dining on a riverside patio at Schera’s, a remarkable Algerian-American Restaurant, or pop into Fennellys’ Irish Pub for a cold pint with fish n’ chips. Or, take in a newly released movie at a restored Elkader Cinema. You can also enjoy the historic Opera House for a live performance.
Situated on three acres overlooking historic Elkader, is original Clayton County Jail. The two-story limestone jail functioned in that capacity until 2006. Today’s visitors at the Jail House Inn can stroll through the colorful gardens while listening to birds chirp, enjoying a glass of sweet red wine or beer in the cell block. The spacious cell block has a large screen TV perfect to watch a game, play a round of shuffleboard, or enjoy other board games for your pleasure. Guests can choose from three luxurious and spacious suites with private baths. You can even take a relaxing lavender bubble bath during your peaceful night stay in the Jail House Inn. Thanks to host Julie Carlisle-Kane and Dr. Tim Kane, the historic character of the jailhouse has been retained.
By Gianna Manternach
Image credit: Elkader Jail House Inn