If you’re in need of calm place to get away from everything, head to Red Cedar Lodge in Charles City, Iowa. These lovely and luxurious cabins offer the perfect spot to relax, unwind, and recharge. While you’re there, check out these fun things to do!
*I was treated to a Winter Glamping Retreat courtesy of Red Cedar Lodge, but the opinions here are all mine.*
Winter Glamping at Red Cedar Lodge in Charles City, Iowa
Life can really be overwhelming sometimes, can’t it? Between work, families, cell phones, school, and all our other obligations, it’s hard to turn it all off. Sometimes, a getaway is what we need to re-charge so we can attack our lives with gusto again.
Red Cedar Lodge offers the perfect place to do that. Located just outside Charles City, Iowa in the north central part of the state, this lovely vacation spot features three luxuriously appointed log cabins nestled along the Cedar River. Awarded the Outstanding Lodging Award by Travel Iowa, you will not be disappointed when you book a glamping getaway here.
What is glamping anyway?
Shortly after our stay at Red Cedar Lodge, I posted pictures of the cabin and our time in Charles City on facebook. Another travel blogger asked about the definition of glamping, as in her mind glamping happens in elaborate, luxurious tents. She wondered when the term evolved to include cabins, chalets, and resorts. I wasn’t sure, so I posed the question to Lorraine, the owner of Red Cedar Lodge. Here’s what she said:
Yes, I believe originally the term Glamping was all about luxury tent camping with some modern conveniences.
However, in recent years it seems to have transitioned to overnight lodging that embraces nature. So these days, cabins, yurts, treehouses, cute vintage trailers and of course, tents are all the means in which to Glamp.
But, not just any old dusty, buggy, musty accommodation provides Glamping. It must be beautiful, clean, cute, unexpected, and luxurious in its own right.
And Red Cedar Lodge offers all of that and more! From soft fluffy pillows, to bathrobes, to fully equipped kitchens, hair dryers, and even iron and ironing boards, you don’t have to take anything on your trip except yourself and a swim suit. Well, you might want to bring clean clothes too. 😉 While I enjoy tent camping too, I very much appreciate arriving at a beautiful location where everything is already set up for me.
But seriously. I have stayed in cabins before where we were required to bring our own sheets, towels, and dishes. As far as I’m concerned, if I have to pack all of that, I might as well stay in a tent.
Glamping in the Winter
Typically, I think of glamping as an activity for the summer. But winter also a great time to glamp. While, it doesn’t need to be winter to head to Red Cedar Lodge, it is a lovely time of year to visit. Think of softly falling snow. Crunching footsteps. Crackling fireplaces. Beautiful Christmas decor. It’s only found in winter.
Be sure you take the right people along when you head to Red Cedar Lodge. I was thrilled to spend some time with fellow travel writers. It’s always fun to collaborate and who says a little bit of learning can’t be relaxing?
Spend Quality Time with Great Company
Kylie from Between England and Iowa took this photo of Red Cedar Lodge with her drone. I have been so inspired by her DJI Spark drone photos that I got one for my son for Christmas. He’s started taking photos around our homestead and they are amazing. I guess I’m either going to have to learn how fly the drone myself or start bringing him along on all my blogging getaways. 😉
Besides Kylie, I also got to meet Mary from Farm Girl Cookin’ for the first time in real life. She made the amazing beef stew I shared the recipe for recently. We also made a wonderful crunchy artisan bread and homemade ricotta! Mary told us all about the beautiful farm weddings she’s starting offering at her lovely farm. If it had been a possibility when I got married 21 years ago, I would have loved to have my wedding at her place! So beautiful.
Teresa Goodrich from The Local Tourist was also one of my housemates. We met a couple years ago on a quick trip to the Minnesota State Fair and she is absolutely amazing. Couldn’t ask for a more inspiring roommate! Maybe one of these days I will be able to put her genius photo organization tips into action.
Val Plagge from Corn, Beans, Kids, and Pigs was there as well. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Val several times. She helped organize the Franklin County Harvest Tour my family was treated to in Hampton, Iowa several years ago. And she brought sausage that she and her husband made themselves from pigs they raised and also butchered themselves! You know I’m a sucker for homegrown and homemade.
And last but not least, Katy Flint from Flint and Co. was there too. We also met in Minnesota several years ago and she’s always ready with a laugh and easy smile.
Things to do in Charles City, Iowa in the Winter
While it’s perfectly acceptable to hole up in one of the cabins at Red Cedar Lodge and not leave, there are several reasons to head into Charles City, even in the winter.
Where to Eat in Charles City.
Your cabin is equipped so you can cook your own food if you want. But there are several yummy restaurants to explore in Charles City. I thoroughly enjoyed the Cheeseburger Pizza from Cedar River Pizza Co, even hough I thought I would never like cheeseburger pizza. I mean pickles on pizza? Sounds a little gross – but tastes delicious! This delicious pizzas is carry out only, so pick one up to enjoy at your cabin!
We also enjoyed good pub fare at the Pub on the Cedar. They serve a large selection of brews we were happy to sample. I ate a turkey bruschetta sandwich and tried Katy’s sweet potato puffs! Pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. Pub on the Cedar is included on Iowa’s 99 Must Try Restaurants list – so make sure you stop in!
Looking for good coffee? You’ll find a great cup of joe at Aroma’s. Aroma’s roasts their own coffee beans so you can buy a cup and also a bag of beans to take home!
Peruse the local shops.
I love checking out local shops and Charles City has several to choose from. From Iowa State gear (not much for you Iowa fans in this town, I’m afraid), to art, souvenirs, and even plants – here are a few of the shops I really enjoyed.
Here you’ll find lovely baby shower gifts, women’s clothing, hats, scarves, jewelry, and maybe even a few truffles if you’re lucky! You can pick up a bottle of local wine at this cute little boutique as well.
The Rustic Corner has a little it of everything including personalized ornaments they can make on the spot, Hallmark ornaments, home and decor. They also have a hilarious collection of socks, kitchen towels, and more that some people might find inappropriate but I loved. And you can even attend painting classes and more here as well.
A walk through the warm greenhouse on a cold day was really fun for me. I love plants and flowers and they have a lovely assortment at Otto’s Oasis. They also sell fun gifts and decor items as well. But my favorite thing here was a DIY succulent bar where you can pick out succulents and make yourself a little planter. Super cute!
Check out the Mooney Art Gallery.
Located in an unassuming library, this free art collection is completed unexpected. You’ll have to stop in and check out this amazing collection of original classic art prints from famous artists including Dali, Picasso, Rembrandt and Goya! This astounding collection of art was donated to the Charles City Library in 1941, but it took over 50 years before it was made accessible to the public. Not only was there no space to display the art, but each piece had to be framed, matted, and treated for preservation. You’ll definitely want to stop in and see this art collection!
Head out to the Carrie Chapman Catt Girlhood Home and Musuem
I loved this stop so much that I dedicated an entire post to this amazing woman who helped pave the way for the 19th amendment and my right to vote! Head over here to read all about it.
If you haven’t been to Red Cedar Lodge or Charles City, Iowa, what are you waiting for?