There is nothing as sweet as a crisp autumn breeze. The hues of orange, yellow, and red paint the trees of Iowa. I could write a book about my favorite Fall things: Pumpkin Spice Lattes, apples, boots, scarves, and campfires just to name a few. But, before I jump into my romanticized depiction of Fall; I will step back to tell you, the reader, of a beautiful Saturday spent in the Madison County area of Iowa.
Harp and I gathered with our friends and significant others on this particular Saturday morning at my house. In my world, the perfect day begins with a hearty, delicious breakfast. So, we feasted on mounds of pumpkin spice pancakes and breakfast casserole before heading to Madison County.
Initially, our sights were focused on the The Pumpkin Ranch (thanks to Groupon, we were able to purchase a buy one, get one admission free voucher). Driving to the “The Ranch” there were several road detours which led us to some hidden treasures of Madison County: the bridges! The Bridges of Madison County is not just a clever movie title, the bridges are a backdrop for photographers (or for people in love who enjoy having pictures taken of themselves).
The Pumpkin Ranch is a family farm that utilizes their living space to grow a diversified pumpkin patch. As a Ranch participant, I choose to hit the pumpkin fields in search of new porch decorations. Let me tell you, they had quite a variety of unusual gourds and pumpkins. They also had classic orange ones to suit those who prefer a more traditional fall look. I would stand firm in stating that their pumpkins alone are worth the drive. The Ranch also boasts a two-mile corn maze, a playground for the children, and a food stand. The maze was a-maze-ing! I would most likely still be trapped in that thing if Harp hadn’t navigated us out of there.
Now, the fun didn’t stop at The Pumpkin Ranch. Down and around the street (please use GPS for legitimate directions), we stumbled upon Madison County Winery nestled among the intoxicating beauty of vines in Central Iowa's hills. Each "taster" is allotted 5 free samples in order to experience the wine collection. I must say, the dry, white ones were my favorite. But I am going to challenge you to complete your own wine-tasting journey, because I am not well-versed in wine refinement. I just like to drink wine with friends. The Madison County Winery has two seating options: indoor and outdoor. For those who need a moment to relax outdoors and soak up the Iowa landscape, this place is for you! Not to mention, the winery experience is ripened by the winery’s options of sodas, beers, wines, and cheeses. I am recommending that you head out quickly to enjoy the remaining weeks of fall by visiting Madison County. Please let us know what you loved about Madison County!
Photo credit: Harper Levy