Des Moines Journals

Iowa - America's Heartland

Best of IgoUgo

An April 2007 trip to Des Moines by MilwVon

Hogback Covered Bridge Photo, More Photos
Quote: Having lived here for nearly three years, it's time to write about some of the sites around the state using Des Moines as a home base.

Iowa - America's Heartland

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

The Amana Colonies of Iowa Photo,
Quote:
We moved to Iowa in the fall of 2004 after taking a job that brought us to Ames – the home of Iowa State University. During our nearly three years here, we have gotten out to see a little of what the state has to offer in the way of sights and dining opportunities. Des Moines is the capital and is pretty much in the dead center Iowa and is easily accessible via car or plane.Des Moines sits at America’s crossroads of I35 (which runs north/south from Canada to Mexico) and I80 (which reaches coast to coast from San Francisco to New York City). The city itself is relatively small for a capital city but then again, Iowa is primarily agriculture and farming. Corn, soybeans and hogs are the primary p...Read More

Ox Yoke Inn Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Ox Yoke Inn Restaurant Photo, Amana, Iowa
Quote:
Located in the center of Amana, the largest of the seven Amana Colonies, the Ox Yoke Inn Restaurant is a delight that holds true to the original Amana Colonies style of meals. Served family style, meals are delicious and ample. We stopped in for dinner early on a Saturday evening, without reservations. While not a problem this early in the season (April), it is highly recommended that reservations are secured especially for weekend dining.As we entered the main part of the restaurant we were taken back by just how large it was inside. There were several dining rooms throughout the main level. Once seated, we were immediately greeted by our server who provided beverages and an overview of what ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 22, 2007

Ox Yoke Inn Restaurant
4420-220th Trail
Amana, Iowa 52203
(800) 233-3441

David in Iowa's Largest Walnut Rocking Chair Photo,
Quote:
The Amana Colonies were founded by Germans who had left their Buffalo, NY homes to find a better life in the Midwest. This religious group founded seven communal villages which by design were one hour by ox cart from one another. In the communal village culture, the community owned all of the buildings and land, with residents contributing to the village through their work effort. Communal schools, kitchens, and churches existed in each village to support those who resided there. With the depression came, question as to whether or not their communal lifestyle was still viable. A vote was taken in 1932 to dissolve the communal system. Many of the original buildings remain in tact today and are open for...Read More
Ackerman Winery Photo,
Quote:
We enjoyed a lovely spring afternoon visiting the Amana Colonies, located approximately 75 minutes from Des Moines. We started at the far southern and western end of the 10 mile loop road, ending our tour here in Amana. Here there is the largest number of historical buildings and modern day shops, including restaurants and wineries. We first drop down through the main village street to get a general feel of what there was here to see and do, and parked at the far end at the Amana Woolen Mill.At this end of the town, there was a lot to see and do, and plenty of places to spend money. We started in the Amana Woolen Mills which is celebrating their 150th anniversary this year! Today they largely ...Read More

Bridges of Madison County (Iowa)

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Imes Covered Bridge Photo,
Quote:
Once we moved to Iowa one of the first things I wanted to see was the bridges made famous in the movie "Bridges of Madison County" staring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. Still one of my all-time favorite romance stories, I still cry as he drives away in the rain as she contemplates leaving her husband to join photographer Robert Kinkaid.Madison County is an easy drive from Des Moines, approximately 30 minutes to the southwest of the capital city. As you enter the community known for their covered bridges, there is a small information area in the town of St. Charles with a bridge that has been relocated to a small ravine. This is the Imes Covered Bridge, the oldest of the six remaining br...Read More