Last weekend while visiting my family in Iowa we took a trip to the Amana Colonies for the Iowa Beer Festival. The Amana Colonies are a group of villages founded in the 1850s by a German religious group and today the villages are a tourist attraction for their shops and restaurants. When I was little we went to our favorite Amana restaurant, the Ox Yoke Inn, for special family dinners and celebrations with our cousins and grandmas. This year, the family took a trip to the colonies to drink beer…how times have changed. :)
Beer drinking aside, my sisters and I couldn’t dream of leaving the colonies without stopping into our favorite shops – the chocolate shop, toy shop, leather goods store, winery, woolen mill and the bakery. As I walked through the village and looked around at the quaint stores, inns and restaurants, it made me realize it would be a perfect spot for a weekend getaway. Chicken dinner at the Ox Yoke, homemade fudge for dessert, horse-drawn buggy, Christmas crafts shops and Iowa wine – what more would you need?