Kalona Travel Guide

  • Kalona
    by leics
  • Kalona
    by leics
  • Inside Yotty's
    Inside Yotty's
    by leics

Kalona Things to Do

  • Wander the town and follow the quilt...

    If it hadn't been so hot we would have done much more of this.Although the buildings are not especially old, they are still interesting...as is looking into the various shop windows.The 'quilt pattern trail' laid in the pavements (sidewalks) would be good to follow (get the info from the Visitor Centre, which was closed when we arrived)...You could...

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  • Kalona Area Chamber of Commerse

    I want to encourage people to stop by the Kalona Chamber of Commerse because it is such a great place to learn about the darling town. The women [pictured] went out of their way to help Jill and I.I had been on their website, and I enjoyed all the information and positive spirit that they exhibited. I especially liked and agreed that "Kalona is a...

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  • Kalona Historical Village & Mennonite...

    After visiting the Kalona Quilt & Textile Museum, we stepped next door to see the Kalona Historical Village & Mennonite Museum.We discovered that this village is an excellent example of the Community Spirit that exists in Kalona. In 1969, the Alpha Club [a Federated Women's Club] had a project to "Save the Old Depot". That led to the formation of...

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  • Visit & Sample at the Cheese Factory

    Both Jill and I love cheese; thus, we decided to visit the Kalona Cheese Factory which is located a few miles north of Kalona on Highway 1.Although there is free parking in their on-site parking lot, let it be known that it is rather small and somewhat difficult at times because of trucks, buses, and eager visitors.This is a excellent place to...

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  • Kalona Quilt & Textile Museum

    Jill & I co-wrote this tip. We could not take photos so I'm just including a Kalona Quilt from another shop that I photographed.Kalona Quilt & Textile Museum is one of the many reasons that we visited Kalona, Iowa. We found the Museum after a little searching (I know it’s hard to believe we were turned around in such a small town). Happily we found...

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  • Kalona Cheese Factory

    On Hwy 1 north of Kolana is the Twin County Dairy known locally as the Cheese Factory. Open year round except Sundays, you can get fresh cheese curds on most days . Watch white cheddar being made. Many other kinds of cheese for sale.Samples available.

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Kalona Hotels

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Kalona Restaurants

  • Very nice ice-cream...

    Yotty's ice-cream is next door to Yotty's Hardware, on what I considered to be Kalona's 'main street'.The ice-cream is really rather good, soft and swirly and in a variety of flavours. I believe it is 'home-made' but i think (*think*) this simply means they use their own machine to swirl up the mix rather than buying ready-made ice-cream. My...

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  • Family style Service

    There are serveral good restaurants in Kolona. The main difference between eateries here and other places is that the food is served "family style". The only other place I have seen this is in the Amana Colonies. That means you order you meat or main course and then they bring the side dishes. These are usually a salad, mashed potatoes and gravy or...

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  • Two Recommendations for Good Food,...

    When we were at the Chamber of Commerse in Kalona, we asked about places to eat. They gave us many choices. Of course, we could only choose one.However, I think it appropriate to give these two highly recommended places for others to peruse:1. Ethel's Gourmet Kitchen Bed & Breakfast The hostess is Ethel Bontrager.1070 Highway 1, Kalona, Iowa...

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Kalona Transportation

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jill beside her Ford Escape, our transportation

    by deecat Written Jun 19, 2007

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    The very best form of travel in the state of Iowa is certainly an automobile. There are so many small, out-of-the-way towns to discover, and the only way to accomplish that is to drive.

    Jill and I realized when we began our 8-day tour that it would be far more expensive than our annual trips have been in the past. We had to pay between $3.29 and $3.59 per gallon. I will say that it was much cheaper in Iowa that week than it was in Illinois!

    Another reason to drive [if you shop like we do] is that you need plenty of room for the purchases. Jill is a quilter, and she purchases lots of fabrics. She also purchased clothing, shoes, a hat, several purses, and a hat. Some of the fabric that we purchased was for a new quilt for my bedroom.

    Also, being typical American women, we need plenty of room for the clothing and shoes that we take along [between 8-10 outfits each]. And, since we were staying in a time share where we could cook, we also took along supplies.

    We found the roads in Iowa to be excellent. At times the signage was a bit difficult, but we managed. One of the best experiences was traveling the scenic and historic Great River Road. It's a 3,000-mile network of highways that parallels the Mississippi River; thus, it goes along Iowas eastern border.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel
    • Women's Travel

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Kalona Shopping

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  • Quality Homemade Items

    While in Kalona, we went to the Kalona Bakery. While we were there, we checked out their menu. They had freshly made sandwiches and soups.They are very famous for their donuts, pastries, cookies, cakes, pies, rolls, bread, and homemade noodles. My mother always made such delicious homemade noodles [very thin], and when I saw theirs, I just had to...

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  • Horses and more Horses

    The first Monday of every month is Horse Sale day. Since the Old Order Amish still drive horse and buggies there is a demand for horses. They also farm with them. This sale draws sellers and buyers from several states. It runs for hours and includes the sale of harnesses and tack. Horses of all sizes including Draft horses. Harness and tack.

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  • Quilt Shopping in Kalona

    Even though Kalona is known as "The Quilt Capital of Iowa", Jill was somewhat disappointed in the merchandise available in places that sold quilts. Her take on it is that she will shy away from shops that sell too many diverse items in addition to quilts and/or quilt materials.Yoder's Antiques, Gifts, and Quilts is a shop that is jam-packed with...

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Kalona Local Customs

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    by deecat Updated Jun 21, 2007

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    The Amish arrived in 1846, which was more than 30 years before Kalona was a town. They have remained here all these years and, of course are an accepted part of the community.

    As Jill and I have learned throughout our travels, "Faith underlies everything that the Amish do. They refuse any form of government aid or benefits and never buy life, health, or property insurance; to do so would show a lack of faith in God. Instead, the community of all Amish is their security, their insurance." [The Kalona News]

    Kalona and the surrounding area has the largest Amish-Mennonite settlement WEST of the Mississippi River. They live without electricity, telephones, automobiles or other conveniences of the modern world. Jill and I have found that they are friendly, helpful people.
    Both the Amish and the Mennonites are pacifists.

    The Mennonites have church buildings, but the Amish use homes on a rotating basis every other Sunday, alternating with German-language Sunday School. You should note that The Beach Amish do have church buildings, use automobiles and have telephones but dress similar to the Old Order Amish; and, they both share a number of theological beliefs.

    The men wear broadfall trousers, simple shirts [no neckties], utilitarian jackets & coats, and black hats. Women wear simple dresses [never prints], a white prayer cap covered with familiar black bonnet when in town. The Amish clothing has no buttons, hook and eye [they use pins or hook and eye].

    Mennonites [named from Menno Simons, the 16th century Anabaptist leader] are more modern than Amish. They are pacifists and very active in missionary and relief work. It's obvious that the Mennonites, as well as the Amish have influenced Kalona.

    NOTE: The Amish do not pose for photographs ["make no graven image"]

    Jill and I noticed that the Amish and Mennonite are not as visible in Kalona as the Amish and Mennonite were in Ohio.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Road Trip

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Kalona Tourist Traps

  • Sister's Garden and Bloom IS a great...

    Don't be fooled by the bad comment, Sisters' is a great place to visit, current with all the trends in decorating. Two houses filled with fun decor, old and new and if you read any of the popular decorating magazines, you will see many of the products here. Beautiful Iowa found primitives fill the store, the country setting is nostalgic and the...

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  • Big Disappointment

    Sisters' Garden was on my list of things to see in Kalona because I am an avid gardener and always love to see what garden shops have to offer. So, we drove to this place 6 miles north of Kalona on Highway 1. We would have passed right on by.What a disappointment. It was one of the most disorganized, ill kept places that I've seen. It advertises,...

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  • Kalona Hotels

    2 Hotels in Kalona

    13 Reviews and Opinions

Kalona Favorites

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    Iowa Mennonite Relief Sale Poster

    by deecat Written Jun 21, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: For 28 consecutives years, the Iowa Mennonite Central Committee has held a relief sale to fund world hunger projects. It's usually held the first weekend in June. Usually about 10,000 people attend raising about $100,00.00. ALL proceeds to to feed the hungry in more than 50 countries around the world.

    An important portion of the even is the annual quilt sale They have about 120 handmade quilts and wall hangings; most are auctioned. In addition, large wood items are auctioned as well as antiques, and collectibles. They also have a Children's Auction.

    They are feature food stands that sell strawberry pie, apple fritters, donuts, homemade bread, homemade ice cream, and cheese curds from the Kalona Cheese Factory. They present food, plant, and craft booths too.
    Barbecued chicken or smoked pork lin dinners will be served one evening, and all-you-can-eat pancakes, eggs, and sausage breafast is also served.

    This wonderful event is organized annually by 38 southeast Iowa Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches. They work year-around to plan this. "We welcome volunteers from any faith" says a spokesperson for the event.

    Fondest memory: The best way to find out about the annual MCC Relief Sale is through their webpage: www.iamccreliefsale.org.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Arts and Culture
    • Women's Travel

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