Indianola has a ton to offer to a curious traveler such as myself. It’s close to Des Moines, but far enough to away feel different culturally. One could easily spend a day exploring the area, which is just what I did recently.
La Vida Loca Winery, just outside of Indianola, has a different flair than most Iowa wineries. You’ll notice it the moment you pull up and see their sign outside featuring dancing jalapenos wearing sombreros. It turns out they actually make a jalapeno wine that is a best seller! Most people use it for cooking, but some are brave enough to drink it straight or add it to a Bloody Mary. La Vida Loca is known for their cooking wines and eclectic atmosphere. The view overlooking their vineyard and fruit trees is beautiful. I purchased a cinnamon wine which, by the way, goes perfectly warmed up with apple cider!
I headed into town to wander around the square next, ending up in Indianola Glass Creations. The storefront is full of beautiful blown glass designs in jewelry, ornaments, tableware and more. I was fascinated by the talent of the shop owner, as she did almost all of the work herself. She also has a pottery painting studio above the glass shop where you can pick your own piece and paint it to your heart’s desire. The pieces are fired right there in the shop for you to take home and admire! I will definitely be returning with my friends for an afternoon of pottery painting.
Just across the way I wandered into Adorn. I felt like I was in downtown Chicago with the chic flair and feel of this boutique. From candles, soaps, journals, baby gifts and jewelry, this adorable shop is perfect for finding a unique gift for that hard-to-buy for person on your list.
Just down the street is Crouse Cafe. Their cherry pie was voted Iowa’s best during the Iowa Tourism Office’s Pie Madness promotion in 2015 and, let me tell you, it is some of the best pie I’ve ever eaten. I tried the cherry pie warmed up, and it was perfectly tart and sweet with the flakiest crust I’ve ever laid eyes on. The Crouse Café is a local favorite for hearty meals, conversation and, obviously, pie. (And, yes, if you noticed, I did have dessert first this day.)
Wrapping up my day, I headed out to the Garden Barn, just north of town. Walking inside the old barn, I saw adorable antique and primitive décor, potpourri, dips, jams, lotions and kitchen tea towels. It’s a great place to find the perfect gift.
I had an awesome day in the Indianola area and I look forward to going back for more exploring.