As we head into the 4th of July weekend, everyone is excited for a sunny forecast, albeit with plenty of heat to go along with that glorious sunshine. July 4th is on a Sunday this year, so many people have Monday off as the "official" Independence Day holiday. You know what that means...three-day weekend!  A perfect time for a road trip to the land of tulips, windmills, wooden shoes, and those tasty pastry treats, "dutch letters".

Our Small Town Iowa series continues with a trip to Pella

A trip to the actual Netherlands may not be within most people's budgets, however, a road trip to Iowa's version of Amsterdam is probably achievable. Located about two hours south of the Cedar Valley, Pella is a town of just over 10,000 people in Marion county.

Pella = the "City of Refuge"

In 1847, 800 Hollanders seeking religious freedom landed in the U.S. and followed their faithful leader Dominie Henry P. Scholte to Iowa. After a rough start, the settler's resiliency and hard work paid off along with the fame of their butter and cheese insured their future prosperity.

While Pella is known for many things, of course, its biggest attraction is the Tulip Time Festival held in early May. The annual event celebrates the area's Dutch heritage. In 2019, it was estimated that nearly 250,000 people attended the event.

Keep scrolling for a virtual tour of one of Iowa's most treasured communities

Now let's find out what other attractions you can find in Pella.

Small Town Iowa: Road Trip to Pella - Photos

When you mention Pella, most people say "they have all the tulips right?" Where that would be correct, there is so much more to this town. Pella is also home to two manufacturing companies, a college, the largest working windmill in the U.S. and it's the boyhood home of the legendary Wyatt Earp. Now, let's go on a virtual tour of this excellent example of picturesque small-town Iowa.

More Small Town Iowa: Matchstick Marvels Museum in Gladbrook

Don't miss out on what people from all around the world have come to see. The museum is located at 319 2nd Street in Gladbrook. Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm, or by appointment.

Small Town Iowa: Bily Clocks Museum in Spillville - Photo Gallery

No photo can do "justice" to show the true beauty of these historic clocks. You have to see them in person to fully appreciate the intricacy of each piece, along with their working and moving parts. Plus, the relaxing sounds of the chimes going off or music playing. Before you make the trip to Spillville to see them for yourself, let's take a virtual trip and see the highlights of Frank and Joseph Bily's work. (Photos taken by permission)