East Central Iowa · Family Adventures · Iowa Food · Iowa Wine, Beer, and Spirits

Shop Local, Eat Local, Repeat-The Holiday Crowd Everyone Enjoys


Amana, IA: Iowa County

We have covered thousands of Iowa miles and we are always looking for more places to discover. But there is always a place that calls us back, a place that folks visiting Team Goodvin keep requesting return trips back year after year to support Iowa businesses. It’s the holiday shopping season and this place has a little something for just about anyone. Prepare yourself for local wines, fluffy wool sweaters, an army of jelly and jams, craft beers, gift shops, and A LOT of sauerkraut. We’re headed back to the Amana Colonies!

We walked up and down the main drag and hit up tons of shops. If you have plans to “shop small” this year, and every year, the Amana Colonies can be the easiest way support family run businesses. We weaved in and out of the growing population of shoppers and ever-present tourists of Main Amana and found just what we needed for our Christmas lists. One of the places that will be helping us stuff our stockings is Millstream Brewing. One of my favorite all-time breweries and they had all the classics and seasonal brews ready to go. We stopped by for a sample or two- root beer for the kids, beer beer for me. Our family from Texas said, “Beer me Amana!” and took home a 4 pack and growler.

Meet more of the family! Groups from Iowa, Arizona, and North Carolina! Where else would we go for a premier family meal? 

One of the many perks of the Amana Colonies is the family style service at some of their restaurants. One of the places that has been cooking for large groups, like this hungry crew, is the Ox Yoke Inn. A constant stream of food comes to the table with its family style service. Order your entrees and prepare yourselves for heaping helpings of coleslaw, cottage cheese, soft German bread, creamy mashed potatoes and gravy, warm sauerkraut, steamed green beans and corn, and one of my favorites, pickled ham and onions! Oh, yeah…I mentioned those entrees. Below are some of those very selections. (Click on the pictures for descriptions)

See how all that gravy just shines! This was only a sample of our selections from our family style meal. You thought that this was all you got with your visit, right? Wrong! You can get a slice of homemade pie with your meal and you aren’t leaving with out it so adjust an internal organ or two and make some room.


I think you can officially say that anyone can find something they can get use to in the Amana Colonies. If smoked meats, beer, and pie won’t get you out for a shopping excursion than I don’t know what will. We haven’t even mentioned the baked goods, saltwater taffy, wine tastings, toy stores, wood working, furniture, quilts……


Be sure to read about more of our adventures in East Central Iowa and Iowa County.

Thanks for reading! -Team Goodvin

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