Family Vacations in Iowa

Family Vacations in Iowa: Amana Colonies

©Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors Bureau. Blankets and fabric were produced at the Amana Woolen Mill. Most of its wool came from sheep raised in nearby East Amana.

Amana Colonies America has always had a strong utopian streak, whose sweetest fruit is on display in eastern Iowa's gently rolling hills where you can find the seven communities that make up the Amana Colonies. The Amana Colonies made up a historic utopian society in Iowa's River Valley. Established shortly before the Civil War by German immigrants of the Community of True Inspiration sect, the colonies today are on the National Park Service National Register of Historic Places.

The Amana communities encompass 20,000 acres and 31 historic places. They were one of the world's longest active communal societies, lasting from 1855 to 1932. Hundreds of buildings were once part of the communities; almost 500 have survived, including the Ox Yoke Inn, the Colony Inn Restaurant, the Amana Woolen Mill, Roger's Anvil/Industrial Machine Shop Museum, the Amana Furniture Shop, and the striking Millstream Brewing Company.

Probably the best place for visitors to start, however, is the Museum of Amana History, which helps explain what the communities' religionists called "the Great Change" away from shared life. The Amana Church remains pivotal in the communities: Residents still attend services and live their lives infused by their faith.

Amana Colonies Information

Address: Amana Colonies Visitors Center

622 46th Ave

Amana, IA

Telephone: 319/622-7622 800/579-2294

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Iowa State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Iowa, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.