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Attractions in ‘charming’ Charles City featured on travel website

  • The Rustic Corner in Charles City is listed as one of the community’s eight attractions in a recent article on the online website “Travel Awaits.” (Press photo James Grob.)

  • The Rustic Corner in Charles City is listed as one of the community’s eight attractions in a recent article on the online website “Travel Awaits.” (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Red Cedar Lodge in Charles City is listed as one of the community’s eight attractions in a recent article on the online website “Travel Awaits.” (Press photo James Grob.)

  • Red Cedar Lodge in Charles City is listed as one of the community’s eight attractions in a recent article on the online website “Travel Awaits.” (Press photo James Grob.)

By James Grob,

The attractions in Charles City may be small, “but they are all served on a grand scale when it comes to outstanding experiences.”

This according to an Aug. 20 article on the web page “Travel Awaits,” an internet site that offers travel advice for people 50 years and older, located online at

The article, written by Sara Broers, is entitled “8 Reasons To Visit Charming Charles City, Iowa.” The eight local attractions listed include the Mooney Art Collection located inside the Charles City Public Library, Charles City’s Whitewater Rafting Park, the Charles Theatre and the Charles City Arts Center.

“Charles City really does have a lot to offer,” said Emily Kiewel, CCAC director. “It’s great to have that published on the travel blog.”

Kiewel said that she believed the arts center and the seven other attractions listed were all deserving of mention.

“We have different art every month, we have classes and we are housed in the old Carnagie Library, so it’s an historic building,” Kiewel said. “It’s good to get the word out, and we’d like to get people out to see us.”

“Travel Awaits” states its goal is to “share the world’s unique, hidden and once-in-a-lifetime locations with you to create unforgettable memories.”

“Our mission is to serve the 50+ traveler,” the website says. “We want to inspire you to explore new destinations, discover new experiences and savor the journey.”

The article says that Charles City “is one of the most charming river towns in the Midwest. It offers unique history, art, outdoor adventures, foodie experiences, and luxury lodging in a fun little community.”

Other attractions listed on the site include the Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Girlhood Home, the Floyd County Historical Museum, the Rustic Corner and Red Cedar Lodge. The article includes photos of most of the places listed, and also talks about Charles City’s quiet, small-town atmosphere.

“If you do one thing while in town, head down to the river and find a spot to watch the river flow through the town,” the article says. “A little water always calms the soul and makes it easy to reconnect with yourself and nature. … Most importantly, enjoy the ambiance that this small community offers. Immerse yourself into the culture that the people have created.”

Lorraine Winterink of Red Cedar Lodge said the author of the article, Sarah Broers, lives in Mason City and is part of a north Iowa blogger group, which does a lot of promotion for the midwest. Winterink said that Red Cedar Lodge has done a number of promotions with Broers and other bloggers and organized blogger visits to Charles City, with tours of the community.

“We try to think of spots to take them to in order to help promote all our businesses in Charles City, and selfishly, we hope we can get people to stay at Cedar Lodge,” said Winterink, who called Broers a “big voice” for Iowa travel and national travel.

Broers is described as an “Expert Contributor” on the Travel Awaits website.

“She is passionate about travel, as she is the CEO of Travel With Sara and the co-owner of the Midwest Travel Network,” the site says. “She travels where the plane, train, ship, or car will go.”

Some other of Broers’ numerous articles include “11 Charming Midwest Towns You Must Visit,” which features Mason City, Clear Lake, Pella and Winterset among the towns listed. She also has a recent article entitled “9 Best Places To Go Camping In Iowa.”

“Any time our blogger friends write something about Charles City, our phone rings,” Winterink said. “It’s been a good partnership, and I think it brings a lot of value to our community.”

Of the Red Cedar Lodge, the article says “These cabins make for a great romantic weekend away or a special celebration with family. … Do some stargazing and get up at the crack of dawn to experience sunrise for two epic experiences while in the area.”

Winterink said that in recent months, Red Cedar Lodge has had weekend customers from Omaha, Kansas City, Chicago and Twin Cities.

“People have wanted to come to Iowa,” she said. “We find that we are centrally located here, and that’s been appealing to people.”

The article also recommends taking a painting class at the Rustic Corner.

“If you have always wanted to take a painting class but were afraid that someone you know might be in the class, why not enroll in one when out exploring a new town?” Broers asks. “The Rustic Corner is the perfect place to do this.”

Tami Vetter, owner of The Rustic Corner, said the painting class is led by local artist Robin Macomber.

“Robin designed and directs all of the painting classes that we do, and we partner with other local establishments and take our craft to their locations,” Vetter said. The classes are two hours long and Vetter said the goal is for people to take some pride in what they’ve created and have a little fun.

“We find that people enjoy it so much that they sign up for the next class,” she said.

The article mentions that the Rustic Corner has more to offer than the class.

“This cute shop also prides itself on the fun home decor and products that they offer in their Main Street shop,” Broers writes. “Plan to spend a good hour in this shop, as you will walk out with a fun bag of merchandise.”

Vetter said she was pleased to see her business mentioned, and hopes it will bring business to the community.

“We like being one of the coolest things in Charles City,” she said. “We’re not for local shoppers only. Our goal is to bring in shoppers from out of town and out of state, and give them something to remember and talk about.”

Vetter said she hoped articles such as this one would also alert local residents to some of the unique establishments that Charles City has. She said the Rustic Corner has been open for 14 years, and she still gets local customers who are shopping there for the first time.

“We believe in promoting the other local businesses as well as our own,” she said. “When we do that, it highlights the fact that we do have a lot to offer in this town.”

Vetter said she thinks Charles City has become a “destination location.”

“We should always think bigger than our city limits, and share all the things we have to offer with others. When we do that, it benefits everyone,” she said.