Midwest Living Review
Red barns stand out from green lawns and golden cornstalks rustle in the breeze on this 100-mile journey through east-central Iowa, where you'll see pastures dotted with cylindrical hay bales and occasional roadside stands advertising fresh produce and eggs for sale. The landscape is gentle, no looming bluffs or sparkling bodies of water, but instead features an undulating succession of rolling hills interspersed with groves of trees. Along the way, stop at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch for a trip through America's past. Go on to Kalona for a look at Amish life and perhaps a gooey pecan roll at the local bakery. Moving north to the Amana Colonies, a loop through the seven villages is part of the Iowa Valley Scenic Byway and promises more bucolic scenery along with wiener schnitzel, handmade furniture and old brick buildings. After shopping and eating your way through the Amanas, travel south to Fireside Winery for the chance to sit back with a glass and enjoy the view and warmth from the fire pit crackling in front of you.