Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Biking with a twist - and five major turns

Looking back on my childhood, I can remember every nook and cranny of our yard. I spent all the time my mother would allow gallivanting around our yard dressed as Wonder Woman and frequently rolling down the hill in our front yard. I still love to be outside and the rolling hills of southeast Iowa are a calling card for adventure seekers like me.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not named Snake Alley in Burlington the world's crookedest street. Biking enthusiasts should check out the 30th annual Snake Alley Criterium, slated for Saturday, May 26. It tests the skills of even the most seasoned of cyclists as they maneuver the five major turns while they ascend 60-feet on the 276-foot-long alley. I’m more of a runner then a biker, but every time I see Snake Alley, the kid in me imagines rolling down it.

The area has other great outdoor adventures like Starr’s Cave Park and Preserve with its massive limestone bluffs rising from the creek, and, of course, the Mighty Mississippi River. There are several great restaurants with picture perfect river views.

If you are traveling with kids, you may want to pay a visit to FunCity. The complex includes indoor/outdoor water parks, bowling, go-karts, laser tag, restaurants and a hotel all under one roof. Not far from FunCity, you can sit back and enjoy America’s favorite pastime as you watch the Burlington Bees, a Class A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Every game features a fun promotional event like Dollar Mondays to Community Basket Day, with this year’s basket including a $10,000 prize!

Want to see more in southeast Iowa? Check out these nearby destinations:

  • Old Fort Madison, Fort Madison – Rebuilt in the likeness of the 1808 original, Old Fort Madison features living history demonstrations and costumed interpreters.
  • George M. Verity Riverboat Museum, Keokuk – Check out a retired paddlewheel steamboat that was built in 1927 along with photos of 19th century riverboats and artifacts of the steamboat era.
  • Villages of Van Buren – A unique cluster of towns offering antiques, historic lodging, bed-and-breakfast inns, wineries and specialty shops.
 Colleen Murphy, Iowa Tourism Office

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