In December, me and some of my Midwest Travel Blogging buddies were invited to Red Cedar Lodge in Charles City Iowa, for a winter glamping girlfriend getaway in their beautiful cabins along the Cedar River!
Disclosure: My stay was hosted by Red Cedar Lodge and Charles City. As always, opinions are 100% my own.
Red Cedar Lodge
Iowa cabin rentals for a winter getaway
If you’re looking for cabins in Iowa for a weekend getaway, look no further than Red Cedar Lodge in Iowa. You may have seen my previous post about glamping in Iowa, but these cabins take glamping to a whole other level!
Red Cedar Lodge has 3 cabins that each sleep between 8 – 10 people, making it perfect for a family or a group of friends. I stayed in ‘Moonlight Bend’ which I believe offers the best views out of the 3!
As you enter the cabin, you are greeted with a fully stocked kitchen (food and drink not included!) with 2 dining room tables and a large island with bar stalls. This is where we spent most of our time socialising as a group!
For me, I LOVED the sitting area and the large 2 storey windows that look out over the river, you can’t help but keep staring out of them, they are a work of art on their own! Especially during a winter stay, hanging out in front of the fireplace is such a cosy place to be! We kept the main lights off and just had the glow from the fireplace and the Christmas tree!
The living room does only have seating for 5 people but there are obviously other areas in the cabin where you could easily spread out to if you were a bigger group (the kitchen area has 10 chairs/stalls)!
There’s a TV and even a basket full of books which were suitable for both adults and children. To be honest, we didn’t even turn the TV on once during our stay!
The cabins have 3 main sleeping areas. There’s a master bedroom which has a built in wardrobe, an ensuite bathroom (the shower has TWO shower heads!) and a king sized bed. The second bedroom has a queen sized bed and then a large loft area with a queen bed and a set of single bunk beds. (I believe Eagle Nest has a slightly different layout which has an additional set of bunkbeds).
There’s a 2nd downstairs bathroom too complete with miniature toiletries!
I stayed in the loft area and loved standing on the balcony looking down on the living room and out of the large windows. The large windows don’t have curtains or blinds but I didn’t find this a problem when it came to lighting, the loft area still stayed kinda dark!
As a group of bloggers and writers, obviously internet connection was a big thing for us! Each cabin has WiFi and I found that I always had a decent phone signal.
Now I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to Iowa winters, but for those brave enough, the Red Cedar Lodge cabins even have a hot tub! The hot tub is on a patio area located between Moonlight Bend and Sunrise Ridge so it’s a bit of a walk from the cabins if you can brave a half naked dash through the snow! The hot tub has a 5 person capacity and it is shared between the 3 cabins.
Ideas For A Winter Girlfriend Getaway
A big part of our winter getaway to Red Cedar Lodge of course involved food and drink! We had a cooking lesson from Mary who blogs over at Farm Girl Cook’n, with each of us bringing different bits and pieces. We made homemade bread that tasted AWESOME.
Another interesting thing we made was a variation of Kahlua (coffee flavoured liquor) which goes AMAZINGLY well with hot chocolate (thanks for the suggestion Katy @Flint & Co!). What we didn’t drink we divided up and took home! Theresa @The Local Tourist brought homemade Amaretto.
If you need any food or other items, there is a Hy-Vee food store literally a 5 minute drive down the road!
In the kitchen area there is a basket of cookery books with ideas for quick and simple recipes!
Being writers we had times where we’d just be relaxing and catching up on online things or bouncing ideas off each other, giving each other ideas and tips etc.
For those that like the outdoors, you’ll find fire pits, a sledding hill and river side walks.
Things To Do In Charles City Iowa
Of course if you really don’t want to cook, there are places in Charles City where you can go and eat. One evening we had takeaway pizza from Cedar River Pizza Co which we brought back to the cabin and ate at our leisure. They even catered to my no cheese needs and smashed it out the park.
If you want somewhere to dine in, The Pub on the Cedar is an option. They have a beer menu with lots of options from local breweries. I had ‘Tip The Cow’ which came from SingleSpeed Brewing in Waterloo.
Aromas coffee shop is worth a stop in too! I opted for a cherry vanilla latte (possibly the first one ever made…lets say it was a bit of a custom order!) and it was very tasty.
Check out these attractions in Charles City!
Me and Katy attended a drop-in early morning yoga class at Snap Fitness. It focused very much on core strength and balance rather than relaxation or mediative yoga, so this is something to keep in mind!
Payment to a class will also give you access to the regular gym machines and equipment throughout the day (you can even go away and come back later). If you are a member, you can purchase a heart rate monitor which is synced with a TV in the gym which I thought was a cool idea.
(Photo Credit: Katy from Flint & Co)
I also had a go on an EcoMill treadmill which is a self powered curved running machine, which is SO comfortable to run on! It even has an onboard generator where your movement powers the display panel and can even charge a phone! Amazing!
As part of a girlfriend getaway, shopping could well be on your radar! I really liked The Rustic Corner which has a huge range of gifts (and joke items!), home decor items and even a whole area for personalised gifts which can be laser engraved then and there right in the shop! They also have guided painting and craft classes during the week.
Next door to the Rustic Corner is the Charles Theater which dates back to the 1930’s! They show a movie every day at 7pm on a weekly rotation for a bargain price of $2 for an adult and $1 for children and seniors! (Movies are ‘new’ releases but are shown around a month later than the large cinema chains).
I’m also a bit of a closet fan when it comes to garden centres. Otto’s Oasis has some unique gifts and home decor, as well as a greenhouse full of plants. During December they hold ‘The Festival of Trees’ where local businesses and organisations decorate a Christmas tree that people can then vote for.
Charles City Library has a permanent art gallery which houses the ‘Mooney Art Collection’ with works of art by artists such as Picasso and Dali.
Those on a girlfriend getaway may get a kick out of visiting the Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Girlhood home which is located on the outskirts of Charles City. Carrie Lane Chapman Catt was a large influence in the woman’s suffrage movement in the early 1900’s which resulted in the 19th amendment in women being given the right to vote in the USA.
As someone that has no right to vote in the USA, I felt that I could relate to how women felt back in the day. I live, work and pay taxes in America yet have no right to vote on things that affect my life too. It’s frustrating and makes you feel like you’re not good enough for your opinion to matter.
The Girlhood Home during the off season (Labor Day to Memorial Day), only have tours avaliable by appointment only. Entrance is free. To find out more, visit the Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Girlhood Home website.
If visiting in the summer season you may be interested in experiencing Iowa’s first whitewater park! Can you believe that yes, it is possible to go surfing in Iowa!? Charles City Whitewater park stretches for 1/4 mile along the Cedar River and is free to use. You can tube, kayak, canoe and paddle board!
Weekend Getaways in Iowa: How to book a stay at Red Cedar Lodge!
So if you want to stay at the Red Cedar Lodge cabins in Iowa, here’s what to do! There is a 2 night minimum stay at the Red Cedar Lodge. The majority of weekends in summer are already booked up (isn’t the thought of summer such a nice thing right now?!), with a peak season stay setting you back $578 for the 2 night cabin rental ($289 per night).
If you are after a winter getaway, a 2 night rental is $478 ($239 per night) saving yourself $100! Just think, you can hang out by the cosy fireplace for a couple of days! By travelling as a group of friends or as a couple of family members, you could divide up the cost of the rental which would make for a very reasonably priced stay!
You can find more about the Red Cedar Lodge and book a stay on their website which you can find HERE.
Lorraine and Tom at Red Cedar Lodge are AMAZING hosts. They are so friendly and helpful and will make sure your stay is perfect. The cabins are absolutely SPOTLESS, I honestly couldn’t believe how clean they were. This is definitely luxurious glamping at its best!
You can find my fellow Midwest Travel Blogging friends, that I spent my stay at the Red Cedar Lodge with below!