Tour All Seven of the Amana Colonies
There is a lot more to see in the seven villages of the Amana Colonies than you might think. It’s easy to make a quick stop in Amana, dash in to the General Store, maybe walk through the historic Woolen Mill and Furniture Store and end with a meal at one of the three German restaurants in Amana.
That is all good. But there is so much more to see and do in the colonies. Visitors really need at least two full days to visit the colonies…. and even that will leave you with things left to do next time..
Six of the villages include “Amana” in their name, with Homestead being the odd one out, (but the best one of all – where Die Heimat Country Inn and Next Door Event Center are located). The others are South Amana, West Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana, Amana, and East Amana. You can see all but East Amana when you travel the 17 mile loop that includes parts of Hwy 6, 220th trail, and Hwy 151.
Visitors can travel from village to village and tour the colonies on their own by watching for the black and white signs that mark the shops, museums, artists, and wineries. But I suggest you start with an organized tour. I recommend the Village Voyage Tours that start at the Visitor’s Center in Amana at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. They run every day except Sunday (if they have at least 4 passengers) May through October. The 14 passenger van will take you to the museum and sites of interest and a knowledgeable guide will tell you stories of the past and answer your questions. There is nothing like getting the inside story from someone who has lived here all his/her life and knows the Amana story from personal experience. You can also take a driving tour or a walking tour by downloading the Amana Colonies App to your smart phone. It’s free and is loaded with great information about the history and local businesses.
As you drive along you will notice the beauty of the landscape, the lily lake, the flower gardens, the unique historic structures, as well as the friendly locals who are happy to welcome you and to share stories of this special place.