May 3-6, 2023
Celebrate vibrantly blooming tulips and the rich Dutch heritage in Pella Iowa, at their annual tulip festival! Includes stops at the Amana Colonies and Kalona Iowa.
Day 1: Today we head north into Iowa. Iowa is home to a rich heritage of Amish, Amana, and Dutch communities. We reach Coralville IA for a two night stay.
Day 2: This morning we visit the Amish & Mennonite community of Kalona IA with a local step-on guide. We stop at an Amish Dairy Farm which milks an average of 200 goats twice a day. Our next stop is an Amish family buggy shop where we discover what goes into the construction of hand-built buggies. A delicious home-style lunch is served at a Mennonite home. This afternoon we take a guided tour of the Amana Colonies important historic sites, which gives us an insight into the communal era. Some of the stops include Middle Amana and the only surviving intact communal kitchen, High Amana General Store, and the old Homestead Church. There is also time for shopping in the quaint German shops. Dinner is included at one of the landmark restaurants with a simple, old-fashion meal. Return to Coralville for the night. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Today is the Pella Tulip Festival! This festival, which happens once a year, is full of Dutch costumes, demonstrations, performances, a craft and vendor fair, quilt and flower shows, and beautiful tulip gardens. In the morning we take a narrated open-wagon tour of the city, passing historical landmarks and beautiful tulip gardens. Included is a tour of the historical village and the old windmill. Take some free time for lunch and stroll through the festival. We have reserved seats in the grandstand for the afternoon Pella Tulip Parade, featuring elaborate floats, marching bands, and residents in authentic Dutch costumes. The festivities continue with a Dutch dinner and entertainment. After a full day in Pella we overnight near Des Moines. (B, D)
Day 4: With wonderful memories of Pella and its Dutch customs we make our way back home. (B)