The historic Amana Colonies—with shopping for handmade items, dining on German specialties and a new boutique hotel—await just 5 miles north of Interstate-80 in Iowa.
hotel millwright lobby amana iowa
Credit: Courtesy of Hotel Millwright

Day 1

Founded in 1855, the Amana Colonies stand within each reach of Iowa City. The colonies include seven original villages (with names like South Amana and High Amana), but the place to start is Amana proper. Stroll down the sidewalks and stop at Ackerman Winery (to sample black raspberry and rhubarb wines); Amana Furniture and Clock Shop (for handmade tables, chairs and grandfather clocks); and the Amana General Store (for food, gifts, decor and the year-round Christmas room).

The High Amana General Store sports the original tin ceiling and sells old-fashioned toys and soaps.
Amana General Store
| Credit: Jay Wilde

Tasty brews draw patrons to popular Millstream Brewing Company, and at The Ronneburg, the sauerbraten and Wiener schnitzel come family-style. Snuggle in at cozy Zuber's Homestead Hotel or the new Hotel Millright created within the revitalized Amana Woolen Mill complex.

Hotel Millwright
Credit: Courtesy of Hotel Millwright

Day 2

In Middle Amana, the Ruedy House just opened to visitors in 2022. Take a self-guided tour of the traditional Amana home, with the upstairs furnished to depict life from the 1850s to 1920s and the downstairs furnished as an Amana home would have been from the 1920s to 1960s. Visitors also can see the Ruedy Kitchen, the only intact communal kitchen remaining in the Amanas.

The lovely Iowa Valley Scenic Byway awaits your leisurely drive. Pastoral scenes of cornfields, charming farms and grazing sheep fill this backroads trip, which is especially nice in fall. End with a celebratory sip of Cordovan and some warm Brie dip at Fireside Winery in Marengo.

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