Travel with Sara Itinerary

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Iowa is home to 99 counties and they all offer something unique. O'Brien County surprised me on a hosted visit in the spring of 2022. I had driven the Glacial Trail Scenic Byway in the summer of 2020 and I quickly learned that this area of Iowa had a lot to offer. Wow, was I ever missing out. I hope you will make the time to put your foot on the brakes and "brake" for fun in O'Brien County. Here are the best things to see and do in O'Brien County in Northwest Iowa.

View Sara's blog post "The Best Things to See and Do in O'Brien County."

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Grounded Coffee Shop - Hartley

Grounded in Hartley will inspire you to enjoy a cup of coffee and turn your inner craftiness on.


Yesterday's Memories & Truck Museum - Sanborn

Time to tour, If you are a car/truck enthusiast, you will want to plan a minimum of four hours when visiting this hidden treasure in Iowa. If you look closely through the cabinet windows in a back building, you will find toys from your childhood.


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Prairie Heritage Center - Peterson

The Prairie Heritage Center near Peterson includes 4.9 miles of hiking trails, birding, and wildlife viewing that includes bison. Nature centers are unique, as they offer four memorable times of the year to visit.


Old Market Antiques & Bock Suite - Paullina

If you enjoy antiquing or don’t, the Old Market Antiques & Bock Suite is a fantastic place to stop. Enjoy a freshly baked cinnamon roll with the locals and even spend the night in the Bock Suite, a room above the antique shop.


Reborn Treasures - Sanborn

If you need that perfect piece for your home be sure to visit Reborn Treasures in Sanborn.


O'Brien County Freedom Rock - Sanborn

O'Brien County Freedom Rock - Sanborn

Artist Ray “Bubba” Sorenson has painted a freedom rock for all 99 counties in Iowa. The Freedom Rock in Sanborn is one of the largest on the tour and most likely the largest.


JW's Bar and Grill - Paullina

JW's Bar & Grill - Paullina

I have learned over the years that the “locals know.”


Sheldon Prairie Museum

Sheldon Prairie Museum - Sheldon

The Sheldon Prairie Museum in Sheldon is a well-done museum that showcases the history of O'Brien County and the surrounding area. In the spring of 2022, a wooly mammoth tooth was found in O'Brien County. The tooth is at the Sheldon Prairie Museum. Withso much local history, the Sheldon Prairie Museum is one of the best things to see & do in O'Brien County.


Patch-Eeten House - Hartley

The Patch-Eeten House in Hartley is a 1890s Queen Anne style home. If you enjoy visiting historic homes, put this one at the top of your list.


Prairie Arts Historical Park - Sheldon

The Prairie Arts Historical Park in Sheldon is a destination in itself. A highlight of my visit was O’Brien County’s Baker School #5. I love visiting a school house that has been refurbished and lives in the time period that students attended school. With a ceramic house on site, you will find a space where you can paint ceramics and create art. This unique stop is a one-of-a-kind experience.