"Amish ice-cream..." Kalona by leics

Kalona Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 45 photos

We didn't stay long in Kalona...it was, mostly, shut.

We pulled in a quick visit on our way back to Iowa City, on a very hot day which had involved (for me) almost 100 miles of driving on my first day of driving-an-automatic-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-road. So I was tired, a little tetchy, worried about how I'd park the car in IC (needn't have worried, it was dead easy)... I just wanted to get back to the hotel really...

But my companion wanted to see Kalona, one of the furthest-West Amish colonies, so that's where we went.

It's all very clean, and very tidy, and very neatly laid-out. Kalona was first established as an Amish settlement in the 1840s and is now home to a growing antiques, handicrafts and local produce 'industry'.

My companion bought something from the general store, and was intrigued to see that transaction rung up on a huge wooden mechanical till, the taxes calculated by using a convenient table.

We both had ice-creams from Yotty's: they were very pleasant, and very good.

We wandered a little around the centre, looking at the quilting patterns which have been laid in coloured cement blocks....the 'quilting trail'...and gazing into shop windows.

We should have gone to Kalona Historic Village, although it wasn't open by the time we arrived anyway. So we didn't...and anyway, even if it had been open, by that time we were both too hot, too tired and too tetchy.

Next time I visit Iowa City, exploring Kalona properly is a 'must'. Although I acknowledge that it is as visitor-focused as many another Amish community, it is still fascinating.

If you can't visit, Amish produce and crafts are also regularly available at Iowa City's magnificent twice-weekly farmers' market.

The Visitor Information Centre wasn't open when we arrived, unfortunately....

Main street, Kalona...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Some interesting historical bits, good produce & crafts
  • Cons:None that I came across
  • In a nutshell:Amish community
  • Last visit to Kalona: Aug 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (2)

Comments (1)

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    "Our" Amish tend to be very private people, and they definitely don't like their pictures taken. But you can sneak a shot of Old Order buggies in town or behind them on the road, if you're lucky, If you have a zoom, you might even be able to snap some of the rosy-cheeked young people from a distance.

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Mar 14, 2014 at 2:41 AM

      No, no!! It's fine - especially as her face isn't showing. It's more that they will duck a camera if they see one, and don't have the sorts of pictures of family/friends taken that the rest of us do. It's a vanity/graven image thing.

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Mar 14, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      Yes, understand. That's why I took the photo the way I did, and no others. Mind you, there was hardly anyone around anyway.....must have been early-closing day, I think. :-(


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