Amana Travel Guide

  • Truck Parked at Amana, IA
    Truck Parked at Amana, IA
    by atufft
  • Amana's Main Street
    Amana's Main Street
    by atufft
  • Amana Colony Building
    Amana Colony Building
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Amana Things to Do

  • Visitor's Center and Heritage Needle and...

    The updated visitors center is near the best parking lots in the center of town. The folks here provide good orientation to all the Amana colonies. In the same building, on a different side is the Heritage Needle and Quilt, a must see place. Amana Colony Antiques is nearby.

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  • The Powder House Wind Mill

    A wind driven water pump does exist in town, although it's much less impressive than the Danish one of I-80 in western Iowa. It's included in a building known as the Powder House, because it produced a pharmacological product from hog's hoof powder. The complex of multiple addition buildings near it are dedicated to a rambling antique store.

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  • Appreciate Residential Architecture

    Buildings and homes are built in a communal effort, including hand hewn posts and beams, and locally quarried rock, and locally fired brick.

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  • Browse the Art Gallery's

    Amana has several fine art galleries dedicated to local creative pottery, glass, woodwork, and fine art.

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  • Appreciate the Workshop Architecture

    Each building had a purpose in Amana, and although many are converted from the original into a new purpose, many also are part of the National Park Service effort to provide demonstration workshops for visitors to see. Find the list of sites to all the Amana Colonies Here

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  • Go to the Woolen Mill

    (Oh how it pains me to spell 'woolen' with only one 'l' !)If I'd been by myself i wouldn't have bothered, but my companion (being a weaving addict) insisted. So she explored the mill and I explored the Millrace. And then I was persuaded to go inside, because my companion wanted me to buy her birthday present. And, actually, it was a pretty good...

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  • Wander the village and look...

    Despite my slight disappointment at the commercial nature of Amana, there are still visible historical elements to be seen.So spend some time just walking around the settlement. Many of the buildings date from the mid or late 1800s, and although many on 220th Trail are no commercial premises their exteriors are pretty much as they were when they...

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  • Enjoy the Millrace....

    The Millrace, a six-mile long canal leading from the Iowa River which was cut in the 1860s to power the Amana Mill, has been repaired and restored following the 1993 river floods (which damaged the Millrace's levees). It provides a rather lovely, calm stretch of water to enjoy.The Konienweg ('colony way') trail runs alongside for just over 3 miles,...

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  • Visit the General Store....

    ....if only because it's so jam-packed with things to buy that you will probably spend at least a little money there.And yes, what is on sale does look very nice and much of it does seem to be locally produced.The building itself was of more interest to me. It dates from 1858, originally sandstone and timber with a brick extension built in...

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  • Go the the Visitor Centre

    It's worth going to the Visitor Centre first (even though it may be some way from where you have parked if, like us, you park at the first place you see when you arrive in Amana!).You'll find leaflets and maps and booklets and information, of course, and some rather lovely quilts on display as well. There's a visitor book to sign (your 15 minutes...

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  • Visitor Center

    A converted Corn Crib now serves as the Visitor Center for the Amana Colonies [Amana, High Amana, West Amana, Middle Amana, South Amana, East Amana, and Homestead]. See my Corn Crib Travelogue for more images of the building.

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  • Hike or Bike the Mill Race Trail

    Running between several of the Amana's is the Mill Race, which delivered water to each communities mill. Today, there is a paved trail that follows the race between communities. On wamr sunny days (like the 70's or even 50's F - 10 to 20c) this is a wonderful walk. The water has a steady current and you are away from the crowds and traffic.

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  • Park and take a walk about town

    The mix of buildings is marvelous. Each has been preserved and they are all in use today. You'll see cut stone buildings, wood frame buildings. Off the main road, there are industrial buildings supporting the farms nearby.

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  • Shopping Amana Style

    My favorite part of the Amana Colonies is the shopping and my favorite time to go is during the holiday season, before Christmas. But any time is nice. There are wine and cheese stores where you can sample the goods. The Ackerman Winery in Amana is a favorite. They have all of these fruit flavored wines. My favorite is the blueberry! There are also...

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  • LILY LAKE

    Between Main Amana and Middle Amana lies what is known as Lily Lake, a shallow lake full of water lilies. Bike paths and hiking paths circle the lake, blending a bit of nature with the Amana blue of the Amana Refrigeration factory in the distance.Another interesting trail to take giving you a feel for the countryside of the Amanas is the...

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  • AMANA REFRIGERATION FACTORY – Middle...

    Employing over 2000 employees, this is the giant of Amana today. The appliances made here have a fine reputation for quality. Originally, Amana was the product of former Colonists, but the company left Colony hands long age and has recently been bought by another Iowan appliance giant, Maytag – itself of Mennonite origins. There are no factory...

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  • HOMESTEAD STORE MUSEUM – Homestead

    Within this former general store you can see how Amana and the outside World interacted. There are several exhibits demonstrating how Amana created goods for sale outside the Colonies and what they needed in return.

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  • COMMUNAL KITCHEN AND COOPER SHOP –...

    A guided tour explains how the dining halls functioned. Unlike in the communal hall of Bishop Hill, Illinois where all 1000 people sat down to dine at the same time, here in Amana, there were several smaller dining halls in each village – about the size of a large family house. This house in Middle Amana is the last intact communal kitchen...

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Amana Hotels

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Amana Restaurants

  • Local Traditional Choice

    Another long standing option in Amana for dining is the Ox Yoke Inn, which again, we didn't try. Check out the website Here

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  • Local Food That's Popular

    We arrived at a busy time, and when I peered in the lobby found a lot of people waiting for lunch. The restaurant looked impressive enough, but Belinda and I didn't have the time to wait for a table. Take your time though :-)

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  • Local....

    When it was decided that I would be driving to the Amana Colonies I explored its website and decided that, if I were to be visiting, I would like to eat at the Ox Yoke inn.I liked the look of the menu, I liked the fact that it had been established for a long time (since 1940) and was in an older building (1856).Unfortunately, the heat of the day,...

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  • Country Cooking

    An Amana Colonies tradition since 1940. Daily lunch, dinner and Sunday Champagne Brunch. Child's menu. Sandwiches, daily specials and home baked desserts. Wine, beer and cocktails. Gifts. Free wireless Internet. We had the chicken dinner, family style. Wonderful food.

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  • Inauthentic but nice

    I can't imagine that the rather stern pietists who found the Amana Colonies would have approved of the Chocolate Haus dessert and coffeehouse, but it's nice for us "English" to have it here.Note the simple signage on the exterior of Amana's shops and restaurants. Nothing garish. It's one of the thing that makes this a pleasant place, a welcome...

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  • Traditional country cooking

    Family-style dinners and traditional country cooking are on the menu here. This old-fashioned establishment orignally served the Amana Colonists from their communal kitchens.Not an ideal place for vegetarians, but if you are one, they would probably make you a nice big salad if you asked nicely.

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Amana Shopping

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  • Stop in for Food Supplies

    The Amana General Store has all sorts of locally made candies, canned jellies, jams, mustards, and pickles, among a wide variety of other heirloom quality foodstuff and souvenirs.

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  • Garden Furniture and Ornaments

    Amana is full of little shops with imported garden wind ornaments and other curiosities, as well as wood furniture, some of which is locally made.

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  • Iowa Artwork

    Amana has more than one fine gallery with locally produced arts and crafts for sale. I'm very fond of the midwest artwork, that's all I'm gonna say. Browse for yourself. Just through the old wood houses where they are on display is worthwhile.

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Amana Local Customs

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Today within the True Church of Inspiration there are only 420 members of whom over 25% are class A Amana stockholders, meaning they were born before 1932. The Church is only to be found within the Amanas and services are held in both German and English. There used to be 11 meetings during the week, but that is down to two. Visitors are welcome – respectable dress and please respect the sex segregation within the chapel. The Main Amana Chapel is the larger of the two chapels still used by the Church. There have been no new werkzeuge – instruments – since the Church was transplanted to America. Maybe as important, there do not seem to be any ‘discerners’ – those who could tell a true instrument from a false one.

    Church of True Inspiration in Middle Amana
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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