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Kayaking is a popular activity on Backbone Lake, part of Backbone State Park near Strawberry Point, Iowa.

Delaware County was established in 1837 when Dubuque County was divided into a number of smaller counties.

Delhi was the original county seat until 1880, when Manchester took over after an election. Today, it is the largest city with a little more than 5,000 people.

In the southeast corner, Hopkinton is the site of the former Lenox College. Classes were held there between 1859 and 1944. Several of its buildings remain today and are maintained as the Delaware County Historical Museum Complex.

But, as with most counties in the area, this one is primarily agricultural, and much of that heritage will be celebrated at the county fair July 8-14 in Manchester.

We also suggest you consider a couple of communities in neighboring Jones County. Anamosa, with its motorcycle museum, and Monticello, with its famous county fair, are worth a visit this summer.

Manchester

Check this out: Manchester Whitewater Park, 218 West Main St. This 900-foot-long whitewater course includes six 18-inch in stream drop features. Pick up items to use on the water at Watershed Rentals, 252 N. River St., 563-920-5347.

Places to stay: Bailey’s Ford Park, 2379 Jefferson Road, tinyurl.com/mpzm38t, a 170-acre park with 57 electrical sites; Simply at Home B&B, 512 E Fayette St., 563-927-3218; Big G’s Campground, 2540 Pioneer Road, Delhi, 563-920-6592.

Don’t miss this: Backbone State Park, 1347 129th St, Dundee. Iowa’s first state park, it encompasses 2,000 acres with thick wooded trails overlooking Backbone Lake.

Manchester Fish Hatchery,

  • 22693 205th Ave., 563-927-3276. See and feed trout in raceways and ponds. Kids can view giant trout up close. Trout fishing with artificial lures and a minimum length limit in stream.

When you’re hungry: The Bread Basket, 113 E. Main St., Manchester, 563-927-4611; Chuong Garden Chinese Restaurant, 118 E. Main St., Manchester, 563-927-2353; Wolfey’s Hoptown, 300-398 SE Locust St., Hopkinton, 563-926-2171; Jr. Willie’s, 216 Main St., Colesburg, 563-856-5095.

A night on the town? Blue Collar, 112 E. Main St., Manchester, 563-927-3009; Fireside Pub & Steakhouse, 205 S. 12th St., Manchester, 563-927-9200; Buliceks Landing, 306 Franklin St., Delhi, 563- 922-2731; Showroom Lounge, 105 SW First St, Hopkinton, 563-926-2683.

More on Manchester: www.manchester-ia.org

Monticello/Anamosa

Check this out: Great Jones County Fair, 800 N. Maple St., Monticello. This fair annually draws the biggest recording acts of any in the tri-state area. This summer’s July 17-21 lineup includes: Hootie & The Blowfish, with special guest Barenaked Ladies; Chris Stapleton, Tim McGraw, with special guest Trace Adkins; and Toby Mac, with special guests, We Are Messengers. For more information, go to www.greatjonescountyfair.com.

Places to stay: Blue Inn campground, 250 N. Main St., Monticello, 319-462-0770; Front Porch Bed & Breakfast, 21078 180th St., Anamosa, 319-465-4606.

Don’t miss this: National Motorcycle Museum, 102 Chamber Drive, Anamosa. Founded in 1989, this museum has something for any cycle enthusiast, with a variety of exhibits and special events. For more information, go to www.nationalmcmuseum.org.

When you’re hungry: Larry’s Place, 221 W. Main St., Anamosa, 319-462-6950; La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant, 1304 E. Third St., Anamosa, 319-462-9083; Darrell’s A Family Tradition, 225 S. Main St., Monticello, 319-465-3168; Grand China, 116 E. First St., Monticello, 319-465-4528.

A night on the town? General Store Pub, 12612 Stone City Road, Anamosa, 319-462-4399; Scooters Bar & Grill, 10537 Shaw Road, Anamosa, 319-462-3663; The Jitney Bar, 126 E. First St., Monticello, 319-465-7094; Hillside Sports Bar & Grill, 21592 U.S. 151, Monticello, 319-465-3624.

More on Anamosa/Monticello: www.anamosa-iowa.org; www.ci.monticello.ia.us.

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