Imagine a world where you don’t have to tell your kids to put down the phone at dinner time or to turn down their music. This world exists at Iowa’s nostalgic Amish or Mennonite settlements. Here, residents commit to self-sustainability by producing their own food and baking treats from the best of ingredients. They embrace the simplest ways, such as not owning cell phones or having televisions in their homes so they can truly focus on family. Visit any of Iowa’s Amish communities for lasting memories of simpler times.
Davis County Amish, Drakesville & Bloomfield
Visit the Davis County Amish community where you can find more than 90 different Amish businesses, such as Yoder’s Country Korner where handcrafted furniture and gifts await. Or head to the Southern Iowa Produce Auction in Bloomfield where Amish-grown vegetables, flowers and other items are available.
Buchanan County Amish, Hazelton
A popular place for handmade furniture, the in this area are known for their quality craftsmanship. Considered the most conservative denomination in Iowa, the Buchanan County Amish have almost 50 businesses open to the public. Stop in at Raber’s Clock & Furniture Shop to take home a piece of custom furniture such as a quilt rack.
Established before Iowa became a state, the Kalona Amish and Mennonite communities are the best-known. Take a guided tour of their settlement with the Amish By-Ways Tour and eat an authentic Mennonite meal to top off your tour. Make sure to visit the Kalona Historical Village and the Golden Delight, an Amish bakery, for some of Iowa’s best donuts.
Van Buren County Amish and Mennonite, Cantril & Milton
Van Buren County is home to a Mennonite-owned creamery known for its award-winning cheese. Milton Creamery LLC uses milk sourced from local Amish families to produce a variety of cheese products. Be sure to take check out the Dutchman’s Store in nearby Cantril where you’ll find more than 5,000 bolts of beautiful fabric, lots of food preservation items and Amish-made baked goods.
Note: Many Amish and Mennonite businesses aren’t open on Sundays, as it’s a strict day of rest. Plan your trip accordingly and be open to unexpected stops and surprises.