You must visit the Historical Village and Vermeer Mill. The mill is the largest working windmill in the country. You can't miss it; it's enormous! Inside are many interesting treasures. My daughter still talks about the miniature village every time she hears "Pella." The twice daily parades are unmatched by any parades I've seen. Live music and street scrubbing are all part of the fun, but the unique floats really tell the story of this Dutch community.
I love food, so no visit to Pella is complete without a stop at one of their delicious bakeries. If you don't know what a Dutch letter is, it doesn't matter, you should try one. Or try any of the other sweet treats and traditional Dutch cuisine like vet bollen (deep fried dough with apple current and raisins); poffertjies (miniature Dutch pancakes); stroopwaffle; Pella bologna; Dutch letters (pastries with almond paste filling); Dutch Sinterklaas Koekjes (Santa Claus cookies); Dutch cocoa and much more.
As I write this, I can picture my little girl standing in gigantic wooden shoes on the town square and smiling big for the camera. Tulips or not, it's one festival that will always bring a smile to my face.
Want to see more in the area? Check out these nearby destinations:
- Cordova Park Observation Tower, Pella - Climb this 106-foot converted water tower for unparalleled views of the Des Moines River Valley and Lake Red Rock.
- Peace Tree Brewing, Knoxville - Enjoy handcrafted, full-flavored beers produced by passionate brewers.
- National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, Knoxville - Visit the world's only museum dedicated to preserving the history of "big car" and sprint car racing.
- Tassel Ridge Winery, Leighton - Sample award-winning wines from dry to sweet at this family-owned winery.
- Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, Prairie City - See wildlife, native flowers and grasses, buffalo and elk along auto tour and foot trails. (Read previous blog post.)