Pella Chronicle

January 30, 2014

Marion County Development Commission Announces the 'Best of the Red Rock Area'

The Chronicle

Pella — Hundreds of visitors and residents voted in the Best of the Red Rock Area contest sponsored by the Marion County Development Commission (MCDC) to promote hospitality and quality service throughout Marion County’s tourism industry.  Ballots were available September 1 through November 1, 2013 at 

Awards were given to the entities receiving the highest number of votes in each of 40 categories.  In addition, special recognition was given to the top ten, and the #1, vote getters in the areas of Events, Places to Eat, Places to Shop and Things to Do.

Award Recipients include


Best Salad – Applebee’s, Pella

Best Appetizer – Checkerboard Restaurant, Pleasantville

Best Pizza – George’s Pizza & Steakhouse, Pella

Best Cup of Coffee – Smokey Row Coffee Company, Pella

Best Ethnic Food – Casa Grande, Knoxville

Best Steak – Monarchs Restaurant & Lounge, Pella

Best Burger – Culver’s, Pella

Best Breakfast – Windmill Café, Pella

Best Sweet Treat – Jaarsma Bakery, Pella

Best Tenderloin – Northcote Locker & Wholesale Meats, Melcher-Dallas

Best Buffet – Pizza Ranch, Pella

Best Caterer – Central College, Pella


Best Wedding Reception Venue – Central College, Pella

Best Conference Venue – Central College, Pella

Best Hotel – Royal Amsterdam Hotel, Pella

Best B & B, Guest House or Cabin – Cordova Park Cabins, Otley

Best Place to Entertain Kids – Pella Aquatics Center, Pella

Best Place to Go On a Date – Peace Tree Brewing Company, Knoxville

Best Family Restaurant – Checkerboard Restaurant, Pleasantville

Best Bar or Pub – Peace Tree Brewing Company, Knoxville

Best Happy Hour – Applebee’s, Pella

Best Outdoor Eating Location – Reed’s Kone Korner, Knoxville

Best Campground – Howell Station Recreation Area, Pella


Best Antique Shop – Simple Treasures, Pella

Best Consignment or Thrift Store – Bibles for Missions Thrift Center, Pella

Best Gift Shop – The Next Chapter, Knoxville

Best Place to Purchase Locally Made Items – Jaarsma Bakery, Pella

Best Retail Curb Appeal – Boat’s Home Furnishings, Pella

Best Shop for Clothing, Jewelry and/or Accessories – Embellish, Pella

Best Shop for Fresh Meats – In’t Veld’s Meat Market, Pella

Entertainment & Recreation:

Best Live Entertainment – Peace Tree Brewing Company, Knoxville

Best Golf Course – Bos Landen Golf Club, Pella

Best Place to Work Out – Anytime Fitness, Pella

Best Park or Gathering Place – West Market Park, Pella

Best Recreational Activity – Biking the Volksweg Trail, Lake Red Rock


Best Local Source for News – KNIA/KRLS, Pella and Knoxville

Best Place to Work – Vermeer Corporation, Pella

Best Library or Genealogy Research Location – Pella Public Library, Pella

Best Hospitality – Jaarsma Bakery, Pella

Best Bank – Marion County Bank, Pella

Top 10 Events:

Bike Night in Knoxville

Farm Crawl, Rural Marion County

Independence Day Celebration in Pella

Knoxville Living Windows

Knoxville Nationals

Pella Tulip Time Festival

Pig Out, Pleasantville

Ragbrai, Knoxville & Pella

Red Rock Balloon Fest, Knoxville & Pella

Thursday Nights in Pella

Top 10 Food Places:

Checkerboard Restaurant, Pleasantville

Coffee Connection, Knoxville

George’s Pizza & Steakhouse, Pella

In’t Veld’s Meat Market, Pella

Jaarsma Bakery, Pella

Kaldera Restaurant & Lounge, Pella

Peace Tree Brewing Company, Knoxville

Red Ribbon, Knoxville

Reed’s Kone Korner, Knoxville

Smokey Row Coffee Company, Pella

Top 10 Places to Shop:

Best of Thymes, Pella

Cornerstone, Pella

Embellish, Pella

Founders, Knoxville

Iowa Bike & Fitness, Pella

Lee’s Hallmark, Pella

Silver Lining, Pella

Simple Treasures, Pella

The Next Chapter, Knoxville

Work of Our Hands, Pella

Top 10 Things to Do:

Bike the Volksweg Trail

Boat at Lake Red Rock

Central College Sports Events

Climb the Cordova Observation Tower

Lake Red Rock Nature Programs

Performances at the Pella Opera House

Playing at the West Market Park Playground

Racing Go-karts at Slideways Karting Center

Riding Equestrian Trails at Elk Rock State Park

Weekly Races at the Knoxville Raceway

Voting for The Best of The Red Rock Area 2014 takes place from February 1 through November 1, 2014 by going to and clicking on the “Vote Your ‘Best of’ Now” icon.   A full list of the 2013 winners will  be posted on the web site by the end of February.  For further information about the contest, contact MCDC at 641.828.2257 or


Want to know where to eat or what to enjoy in Marion County? See below for a printable listing!