Top 25 New Places to Stay, Eat and Play: 2012
Le Claire, Iowa: Mississippi River Distilling Company
A commitment to using local ingredients drives this sophisticated yet earthy craft distillery near the Quad Cities. Every gin, bourbon, vodka and seasonal whiskey produced here features products grown within 25 miles. Visitors learn about the grain-to-glass philosophy on free tours, culminating with a tasting in a room overlooking the Mississippi River. Even the room's decor is local, using reclaimed barn beams and area artists' work.
No need to call ahead, just show up on the hour (noon to 4 p.m.) and prepare to cheer for the two brothers who started it all in December 2010 (563/484-4342; mrdistilling.com).
(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® January/February 2012.)