Published October 30, 2019
In mid-October, six travel bloggers from the Midwest Travel Network spent three days in Ottumwa, touring with the CVB and getting an inside look at what our town has to offer its visitors. Their stops included locally owned restaurants, museums, street art, the riverfront, our trail system and some of the historic places you can only find in Wapello County. They met many local residents, took hundreds of pictures and went home ready to share the story of Ottumwa with their blog followers. But before they left, they shared just a few of the highlights that they loved the most.
Walkability: “You can park the car downtown and walk anywhere you want. You can walk the trails, across the bridge because it has everything in a six-block radius. Trail System is great because you can keep working out even when you’re on the road. Walk out the back door and there it is.” Thena Franssen from Columbia, Missouri: www.hodgepodgehippie.com
Local and ethnic restaurants: “The foodie scene is great. Not many other Midwest towns can say they have a professional chef in the events center. He gets what he’s doing and setting the bar high. The outdoor eating spots like Canteen Alley are special, and there is so much great, authentic ethnic food here.” Sara Broers from Mason City, Iowa: travelwithsara.com
Coffeehouses: I like the number of local coffeehouses, and I like to check that out when I travel. They have a mission, the profits for those who need help. They’re all totally different and appeal to different people. The coffeehouse scene and their Give Back To The Community attitude. really impressed me.” Tim Trudell from Omaha, Nebraska: thewalkingtourists.com
Our history: “I love how the local and global history is mixed together here. There’s the trains, the trail system, there’s a microbrewery in town for people to plan trips around. We gravitate to water, so we’re glad there are plans to revitalize and update the riverfront.” Kay Johnson from St. Louis, Missouri: happytrailshiking.com
Video Game Capital of the World: “Expanding on the video game heritage here will be huge. I would drive six hours with my family for that, and I’d bring them here because of the coffee scene. Four locally owned coffeehouses is huge for a town this size, and some people will try them all when they travel. For families with teens and kids, having all together is a major benefit.” Jamie Ward from Middletown, Indiana: fieldsandheels.com
Our people: “The town has really pulled together to reinvent itself. Look at Canteen Alley, at the riverside. It’s about repurposing, revamping, rebuilding. This is a ground-floor opportunity for travelers to watch it along its journey.” Dannelle Gay from Madison, Wisconsin: operation40k.com
Click the links below for their Ottumwa stories:
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