Iowans who are sick of winter might find a little solitude in a new book that highlights some of the many wonderful things the Hawkeye State has to offer. Lauren Rice, of Des Moines, is the author of “Iowa: An Explorer’s Guide.” Rice says it’s great for visitors, newcomers and longtime residents.

Rice says she spent four months traveling some 6,000 miles across Iowa for the book, keeping her eyes open for new places to explore or familiar sights that needed a fresh look. The 408-page book features a list of unique attractions all over Iowa. She says there was plenty of eating during her journey.

On the trips, she tried to find the best pork tenderloin in Iowa, but says it’s difficult to name a favorite. A restaurant in St. Olaf offered a one-pounder, which was the largest tenderloin she encountered. Rice has a few suggestions for travelers exploring the state.

Get off the interstates and visit small towns, ideally staying in bed and breakfasts. “Bed and breakfast owners themselves are treasure troves of information,” Rice says.

“They have so much knowledge and they can really send you to spots that regular people aren’t going to.” Those spots include attractions and great food, in addition, the B-and-B owners can fill you in on juicy local gossip and legends. Find Rice’s book at: “” or hear her talk Friday at 7 P.M. at the Kendall Young Library in Webster City. She will also host a writing workshop Saturday at the library.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City