Sunday, April 12, 2015

Destination of the Week: Amana Colonies Area, IA

Destination of the Week: Amana Colonies Area, IA

Summary:
Some tourist regions just slowly fade away.  Irish Hills in Michigan was a big draw until the 1970s.  Same with Cave City, KY, but at least it is near Mammoth Cave National Park.  One may someday see the Amana Colonies added to the list.  Located far from major cities (see below), the area is out of the way of even out of the way places.  Add a lack of activities, hotels/parks, etc., and one wonders why anyone would spend a few hours traveling to this spot.

But you should, even if it is only for the day!  Comprised of seven villages on 26,000 acres, the settlement was organized by a group of German Pietists.  While some of the attractions feel a bit dated, it does give the open-minded GLCTer some time to slow down and relax.  Many historic buildings are open and have knowledgeable and friendly docents.  Daytime activities include golfing, museums, breweries/wineries, and outlet malls.  At night the selection becomes a little narrower with two theatre companies and the option of just sitting under the stars.

Most hotels are located along I-80 which is a few miles south of the area. Cedar Rapids is only a short 30-minute drive away.

Go if you like:
-Agritourism
-Cultural tourism
-Family-friendly activities

Distance (Driving):
-Minneapolis: 296 miles/4h 35m
-Davenport: 76.6 miles/1h 21m
-St. Louis: 282 miles/4h 29m

Also serviced by:
No commercial airport.

No Amtrak service.

Link:
http://www.amanacolonies.com/

Map:




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