The Cheesemaker’s Inn is located on the southwest edge of Pella within 5 minutes of Bos Landen Golf Course, Lake Red Rock, Central College and historic downtown Pella.  Our Inn has direct access to the Volksweg Trail, a 13-mile paved biking/walking trail.

Pella looks, tastes and sounds like Holland, filled with windmills and wooden shoes, delicate Dutch pastries, a musical and animated Klokkenspel, courtyards and sunken gardens, and the tallest working windmill in the United States.  Old World charm and annual tradition peak in May and December at the Tulip Time Festival and the Christmas Tour of Homes. 

Whether you’re here to experience Lake Red Rock, our Dutch heritage, or one of the many other activities found in and around the Pella area—including two golf courses, ten tennis courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools/water park, bicycle paths or Central College—you are sure to find plenty of things to enjoy in Pella!

To discover more of the Pella area, visit the links below.

Area Overview

Flip through the pages of this virtual pamphlet as a great way to get to know what is in store for you in the communities surrounding The Cheesemaker’s Inn. We’re sure you’ll find a ‘Must Do’ for everyone during your stay with us!

Bos Landen Golf Course

Bos Landen—which means Land of the Woods in Dutch—is a beautiful golf resort that is nestled among 350 acres of rolling hills. This golf community, founded in 1994, features a scenic five acre lake and 200-year-old oak and hickory trees. Bos Landen provides golfers with natural beauty, and a challenging, yet enjoyable, golfing experience.

Central College

We are just 5 minutes from Central College! Central College, founded in 1853, is a private four-year liberal arts college affiliated with the Reformed Church in America.

Flower Gardens

We are just 5 minutes from downtown Pella where there are many beautiful flower gardens.
Tulips, annuals, perennials and roses paint the Historical Village and Scholte House Gardens with a vibrant palette from April through October.
The waves of colorful tulips that mark Pella’s annual Tulip Festival in May are replaced by beds of perennials, annuals and flowering shrubs that provide for a vivid and inviting summer and autumn.
The 25,000 tulips on the Pella Historical Village grounds make way for summer shade gardens, perennials, annuals and roses after their peak during the Tulip Festival.  In winter, the Village grounds become a garden of lights in celebration of Christmas Walk.
Each year more than 80,000 tulip bulbs and annuals are planted at…

  • Historical Village
  • Central Park
  • Sunken Gardens
  • Scholte Gardens
  • Curb plantings
Frisian Farms

The Cheesemaker’s Inn maintains strong family ties to the homestead’s heritage as a dairy and will be happy to direct you to the cheese production facility which is open to the public.  Ask about our special offers of select Frisian Farms products!

Historical Village

Pella Historical Village is a collage of more than twenty buildings, some more than 150 years old.  Others were built later or moved in and restored in keeping with our Dutch heritage. These structures are nestled in a courtyard laced with brick walkways in the shadow of Pella’s dominant landmark, the Vermeer Mill.

Iowa Speedway

Iowa Speedway is a 7/8-mile paved oval motor racing track in Newton, Iowa—approximately 30 miles north of Pella.  The track was designed with influence from Rusty Wallace and patterned after Richmond International Raceway, a short track where Wallace was very successful.  It has over 25,000 permanent seats as well as a unique multi-tiered Recreational Vehicle viewing area along the backstretch.

Knoxville Raceway

The Knoxville Nationals is an annual sprint car event held at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, 13 miles from The Cheesemaker’s Inn.  The event is considered the premier event in sprint car racing, and is nicknamed “The Granddaddy of Them All.”

Lake Red Rock

Lake Red Rock is Iowa’s largest expanse of public land, encompassing over 50,000 acres. Woodlands, rocky bluffs, wetlands, and sandy beaches provide homes to hundreds of wildlife species.  Recreation enthusiasts from near and far come to experience boating, bicycling, camping and many other outdoor adventures.

Interesting Facts about Red Rock Dam

  • The dam is 5,676 feet long and 110 feet tall. (one mile = 5,280 feet)
  • The earthen sections of the dam contain 4,000 acre feet of dirt, enough to fill 143,000 train cars. That would stretch 350 miles.
  • The concrete wall separating the lake and the inside of the dam is 13.4 feet thick.
  • The control structure contains 200,000 cubic yards of concrete; enough to build a road 66 miles long, 24 feet wide, and 8 inches thick.
  • At the average elevation of 742.0 feet above sea level, Lake Red Rock is 11 miles long and has a water surface area of 15, 250 acres.
  • The record high lake level occurred on July 13, 1993. The lake reached an elevation of 782.67 feet above seal level and covered 70,000 acres.
  • The highest inflow of water into Lake Red Rock was recorded at 134,900 cubic feet per second (cfs) on July 12, 1993. The Highest outflow of water through the control structure was 104,400 cfs on July 15, 1993.
  • Outdoor recreation opportunities abound in these beautiful rural parks.  Boating, fishing, bicycling, camping and many other adventures are waiting here for you!
Molengracht Shops/Dining/Cinema

The Molengracht Plaza, located in the Pella downtown business area, was built to replicate an authentic Dutch canal and is over 100,000 square feet. The better of two worlds, the Molengracht complex combines a 21st century entrepreneurial spirit with Old World charm. The Molengracht’s Grand Opening took place in January of 2001 and has grown to include retail shopping, entertainment, casual & fine dining, business offices, residential condominiums, retail/office space for lease and an authentic canal and working drawbridge.

The Molengracht buildings open onto an attractive plaza featuring a Dutch-Style canal and fragrant flowerbeds. With the canal as a focal point, the Molengracht is a popular gathering spot for weekly events sponsored by Molengracht businesses and the Pella Chamber of Commerce.

Don’t forget to make a stop at the klokkenspel. Designed and created especially for Pella, the carillon clock has eight, 4-foot mechanical figures and 147 bell chimes that perform at regular intervals throughout the day.

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

See this link for activities and events at this 5600-acre wildlife refuge located less than 30 miles away.  This refuge, a unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System, includes ranger tours, learning center, open prairie, bison and many other native wildlife species and ecosystems.

Pella Bakeries

Pella has two wonderful bakeries—Jaarsma’s and Vander Ploeg’s.

The pastry cases are piled high with traditional favorites you won’t want to miss – many with such enchanting names as krackelings, goat’s legs, almond bankets, and figure 8s.

The Dutch letters are many people’s favorite. They come in only one letter, an “S.”  Flaky pastry surrounds a delicious almond paste filling, baked to a very light brown and sprinkled with sugar. We recommend getting a dozen, because they keep well and can also be frozen.

Other favorites are old-fashioned creme horns with creamy filling guaranteed to end up everywhere and our favorite—almond macaroons!  There are also racks of sunny-yellow angel food cakes made into circles and loaves and shelves with many kinds of bread including apple bread, a gnarled loaf with a caramel frosted top.  It is more pastry-like than bread-like.

The bakeries are worth a trip to Pella in themselves!

Pella Chamber of Commerce

Pella Chamber of Commerce

Pella is a community that has it all—cultural heritage, business opportunities, and recreational abundance.  Whether you’re here to learn about Lake Red Rock, our Dutch heritage, manufacturing in Pella, Pella’s Central College, relocating to Pella, economic development or just to experience ‘A Touch of Holland,’ you are sure to find plenty of things to admire about Pella!

Pella Opera House

The historic Pella Opera House presents internationally acclaimed artists from the entire spectrum of the performing arts to Pella for public performances and educational activities that entertain, uplift, educate and inspire audiences, students and artists. 

Since it’s renovation and grand re-opening in 1989, the Pella Opera House (POH) has presented over 250 performances of the world’s finest music, dance and theatre.

The Pella Opera House is the largest institution for the arts in Marion County and provides a key anchor in the touring schedules of artists for Midwest audiences.


Every year since 1973, the Des Moines Register newspaper sponsors the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI).  The route varies from year to year, but always begins on Iowa’s western boundary at the Missouri river and ends on Iowa’s eastern boundary at the Mississippi River.  Frequently, the route passes near Pella, in fact on July 25, 2013 it passed directly in front of the Cheesemaker’s Inn.

It’s important to note that the RAGBRAI tradition is a bike ride and not a bike race.  Participants are sure to enjoy the true culture of Iowa they’ll find along these routes less traveled.  One can meet all ages, walks of life, nationalities as you peddle with thousands of other colorful cyclists at your own pace and on your own schedule.  Need a homemade slice of pie from a front porch?  Perhaps a homemade ice cream treat from the dairy?  A siesta under a shade tree?  Just pull over anywhere you see an inviting site on this Midwestern slice of Americana.

Red Rock Area Attractions

See this link for a comprehensive list of local area parades, festivals and celebrations, including breweries, vineyards, meat markets, bakeries, car shows, speedways and factory tours of local industries.  In addition to what to see and do, this site also presents where to stay and where to eat in the communities surrounding Lake Red Rock near The Cheesemaker’s Inn.

Tassel Ridge Winery Tours

Tassel Ridge Winery tours are available anytime during their regular business hours.  You will experience an adventure in winemaking as your tour guide highlights the steps from vine to bottle that captures the unique terroir of Iowa’s rich and fertile soils. 

Learn about the history of grape growing in Iowa, the vineyard planting and harvesting process, and the processing, fermenting, blending, and bottling of wine.  If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of their skilled winemakers as they craft one-of-a-kind wines.  Finally, indulge your palate as you enjoy complimentary samples of their wines.

The Scholte House

Dominie Scholte’s historic home sits quietly surrounded by award-winning flower gardens.  It is located on the north side of the square in historic downtown Pella, Iowa.

Led here in 1847 for religious freedom, Scholte, along with 800 Hollanders, immigrated from the Netherlands. The Dutch pioneers chose Pella for their new name meaning “City of Refuge”.

Dominie promised his wife a home like the one she left in Holland.  He held true to his word and about one year later the house was ready. This remarkable old house with 22 rooms still stands today ready to welcome visitors.

Many of the rooms are preserved as they were when the Scholtes lived here.  Fine original antiques representing their past adorn the Scholte House Museum.

Tulip Time


Experience A Touch of Holland—Experience Historic Pella, Iowa.

Pella is beautiful and unique all year long, but at Tulip Time it comes alive with tulips, Dutch attire, parades, food, fun and more.  Thousands of residents wear Dutch attire and celebrate our Dutch heritage.  Three days each spring (the first Thursday, Friday and Saturday in May), Pella becomes Holland to Pella residents and visitors alike.

Anytime you visit Pella, there are historical sights, ethnic foods, Dutch architecture, great shops, and friendly people.  Please visit Pella this year and “Re-discover Iowa’s most colorful tradition!”

Make your reservations at the The Cheesemaker’s Inn early to ensure availability for this popular event.

Vermeer Windmill

Tallest Working Windmill in the USA!

Be sure to tour the authentic working Dutch Mill while in Pella.  Many parts of this windmill were built in Holland, then assembled in Pella by skilled Dutch craftsmen.  The Vermeer Mill grinds wheat into flour using only wind power and is the tallest working windmill in the United States.

Completed in July 2002, the Vermeer Mill and Interpretive Center are the newest additions to the Historical Village.  The Interpretive Center serves both as an entrance and a Welcome Center. The Media Room displays a timeline that outlines the history of Pella.

Vermeer Mill Facts:

  • Windmill is 100% wind powered
  • Total height to the tip of the most upright blade is 124′,giving the Vermeer Mill the distinction of being the tallest working windmill in theUnited States
  • Built by Lucas Verbij from Hoogemade, Netherlands and assembled in Pella by two Dutch craftsmen
  • Authentic, working grain mill patterned after a similar 1850s grain mill in the province of Groningen, Netherlands
  • The Vermeer Mill reflects Pella’s Dutch and agricultural history
  • Built taller than surrounding buildings and trees so the blades capture the wind
  • The mill is used to grind wheat into flour.  The stone ground flour is packaged and used by local bakeries and restaurants.  Souvenir bags of flour as well as an extensive display of imported Delft and other mementos of your visit to our Village are available in the gift shop.
Volksweg Trail

The Volksweg Trail starts in the City of Pella and travels across our property down to below the Red Rock Dam.  From there, this asphalt trail climbs the hill to follow along the north side of Lake Red Rock and continues nearly 20 miles to the Fifield Recreation Area.  The Volksweg Trail is a combination of Private, Federal, State and County efforts and is accessible in Pella at University, on HWY T-15 near North Overlook and at Fifield Recreation Area—or from our lane at The Cheesemaker’s Inn.

For more information, see

Check the links above for many more things to do in the Pella and Red Rock Lake areas!