Sunday, August 02, 2009

Ice Cream & Willow Creek Campground: Reasons to Visit Le Mars, Iowa

I can give you two good reasons to visit Le Mars, Iowa – Blue Bunny Ice Cream and Willow Creek Campground!

Le Mars claimed the official title as “The Ice Cream Capital of the World” in October 1994. The town’s local Wells’ Dairy – the makers of Blue Bunny Ice Cream – produces over 120 million gallons of ice cream a year. That’s more ice cream produced by a single company in Le Mars than in any other city in the world!

When we arrived in Le Mars, I made a quick visit to the Ice Cream Capital of the World Visitor Center. When I found out they weren’t giving out samples, I headed straight to the 1920’s Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor next door. I tasted a few flavors before settling on one for my cone. I chose a vanilla ice cream laced with a ribbon of caramel and some chunky, crunchy pecans. It reminded me of my Baskin- Robbins favorite Pralines n’ Cream only richer.

Did my Blue Bunny treat deserve the raves I heard preceding my visit? Yes, but I would venture to bet that these Blue Bunny loyalists have never tried what I still consider to be the best ice cream. The Creamery at Penn State University in College Station, Pennsylvania remains #1 in my ranking. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream Shops are my favorite neighborhood ice cream parlors especially when they are serving Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. I am loyal to Baskin-Robbins for an occasional treat too since I scooped their ice cream for extra cash in college. On occasion, just give me a spoon and you’ll catch me eating some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream right out of the grocery store pint size container. And, when in Texas I learned that Texans love their Blue Bell Ice Cream just like the folks in Le Mars love their Blue Bunny. On a hot day, just about any ice cream will satisfy me.

Just like the ice cream, Willow Creek Campground gave me a good feeling. This Le Mars Municipal Park offered trees to shade our coach on the sunny days and a scenic place to barbecue our dinner. We could have filled several days here riding the bike trails, walking the paths, swimming in the pond, fishing, or testing our golf swing. Our two day stop flew by and we were on the road before we had time to appreciate these amenities around us. For a Municipal Park, Willow Creek exceeded my expectations. RVers passing through should consider this affordable location.

July 21 - 23, 2009

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