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Day 1 – Two unique religious groups were attracted to the fertile agricultural soil of southeast Iowa in the mid-1800’s: the Old Order Amish, in 1846, and the Amana Society, in 1855. Both groups sought isolated, sparsely-populated areas with adequate economic opportunities, to preserve and develop the respective separatist communities.
After a day of travel, your group arrives in Kalona, IA. Here a local guide will talk about the customs and lifestyles of the local Amish and Mennonites. You will also enjoy a brief driving tour.
Our hotel, the Heritage Inn Amana Colonies, is located at the entrance to the historic Amana Colonies, in the midst of its seven villages. You will be staying here the next two nights.
Tonight’s dinner is at one of the Amana’s Colonies best restaurants, the famous Ox Yoke Inn. Founded in 1940 in the Village of Amana The Ox Yoke Inn has a reputation of fresh, quality cooking and “Family Style” service is based upon a unique menu of old world signature entrees, and recipes featuring traditional German and American favorites.
Day 2 – Following a complimentary hot breakfast at the hotel, you begin a morning sightseeing tour with a local guide. The Amana Colonies sit in the Iowa River valley amongst the scenic rolling hills and the fertile soil that drew the settlers here over 150 years ago.
Originally, all land and buildings were owned by the community. Families were assigned living quarters, and each person over school age worked at assigned tasks in the kitchens, fields, factories or shops. In 1932, the people voted to end the communal way of life and today, many of the businesses in the Amana Colonies are independently owned and operated.
This afternoon is spent in Amana, the largest of the seven villages. Its streets contain dozens of shops, galleries, wineries, the Amana Woolen Mill, a micro-brewery and German-American restaurants where you can lunch on own.
This evening is another family style dinner at the Colony Inn Restaurant. They were the first of the Amana Colony restaurants to serve family style meals – and also the first to operate under private ownership.
Day 3 – This morning with bags packed on the bus you do some last minute shopping and sightseeing. First stop is the Dutchman’s Store. An old-fashioned general store it is a quilters paradise with 1000’s of bolts of material. They also sell bulk food supplies, candy, spice, local breads and pastries, produce, gifts and flowers.
Next, is a visit to Milton Creamery, Here a Mennonite Family process Amish milk into gourmet cheese. Then before departing the region you enjoy lunch in an Amish Home. Enjoy a meal where everything is home-grown and home-cooked.
Then you will depart for home.