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Visiting an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

This past weekend my family decided to take a day trip to an Amish Paradise, located in Kalona, Iowa. I love to travel to small towns throughout Iowa and take lots of pictures along the way, so this was perfect for me and I was so excited to visit Kalona.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

Ever since we moved to the Cedar Rapids area about 5 years ago, I have enjoyed traveling to different areas. My favorite thing to do is see animals, farms, barns, and of course the Amish. Taking pictures of the beautiful sights and checking out the local hot spots have helped create some of my best memories here in Iowa.

Everything is new to me and so different than what I experienced for the first half of my life. I can not wait to see more but for now, I am excited to share some of what we saw while visiting Kalona, Iowa.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

Since we were traveling from Cedar Rapids, we went through a town called Riverside and apparently that is known to Trekkies (Star Trek Fans) as the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk. I snapped a photo of the landmark while traveling through but I probably don’t appreciate it as much as someone who enjoys that show.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

I personally have never been a fan of any sci-fi stuff but that may be due to the fact that when I lived in Maryland, we didn’t have cable T.V. and the only channel we got in played Star Trek on what seemed like a loop, so I grew to resent it.

I wonder if the Amish feel that way about the sights in their “paradise” that I am so excited to see.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

The kids probably don’t even think twice about owning farm animals but it has always been a dream of mine. Then again, it is more like work than play to them and for me, farm animals would be my pets, not my staff or food.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

I have always fantasized about having a cow with long eyelashes and a big personality. Although I really don’t know much about them, somehow I feel like they would make a great best friend, possibly even better than dogs.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

Every time we stop in front of a farm with cows, they make their way over to our car, like they can sense that we want them to. Horses tend to do that too but that doesn’t seem to come as a surprise to me since a lot of people have horses as pets.

Cows are normally thought of as food but for whatever reason, some people think it’s wrong to eat horse meat even though at one point under the Obama administration, some laws were put in place to make horse meat more easily accessible.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

Other than sending horse meat off to other countries like Mexico for slaughter, I don’t think Americans have really delved into the horse meat business just yet.
Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

I enjoy seeing the horse-drawn carriages in Kalona, Iowa, and especially like the click clock sounds their hooves make on the roads as they cruise on by. It is pretty impressive to see how fast they go and it surprised us to see how many piles of horse manure were left along the roads in Kalona.

It makes sense, obviously, the horse isn’t going to hold it until they get home but it is just another one of those things you don’t see every day outside of an Amish town.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

We visited a lot of shops while in Kalona and I have to say that the gift shop is one of the most reasonably priced gift shops I have ever visited.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

They had a little bit of everything for sale there, from Amish dolls to gazing balls for your garden. Everything was so pretty and the woman working at the counter was full of information about the area.

We headed to some other shops in town after getting a map of the Kalona area from the helpful woman at the gift shop.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

Our next stop was the General Store, a place where you literally feel like you have stepped back in time, right into a store from childhood.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

I was so excited to see so many candies I haven’t thought of in years and the old school items I used to drool over as a child.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

They had a large selection of sodas in glass bottles, cakes, cookies, and the popular cheese curds everyone in Iowa seems to love.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

They even had something that I have been looking for years, something that I have not been able to buy at a store since I lived in Virginia, a food that is highly coveted in my family of East Coast transplants, Scrapple!

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

I couldn’t believe it when I looked into this cooler to see this delicious mystery meat, Scrapple. I have asked people in the Cedar Rapids area about it because when I first moved here I thought they may have heard of it since they had so many farms, turns out most people here have never heard of it.

I got the same reaction when I asked about it here as I did when I asked about it in the Chicago area, people really looked at me funny, so this was quite the surprise.

I was stoked to find it and we headed to the next store, Stringtown Grocery.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

This place had a lot of great deals and I was confused at first because I was originally headed for the discount store with ding and dent type merchandise but this place turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

I got some great deals on pastry flour, popcorn kernels, jams, and random things we found throughout the store.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

We also picked up a local favorite, the Kalona Bar. Apparently, they are pretty famous for these things so we had to try them.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

The outside was a graham cracker-type crust around a chocolate shell which was my favorite part, it reminds me of a vanilla ice cream bar. 

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

After making our purchases, we checked out the bulletin board posted inside with lots of local ads. It’s pretty cool to see some of the things for sale and wanted to buy in that area. Does anyone have any lambs for sale?

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

After leaving Stringtown Grocery we headed to Central Discount where I meant to go in the first place.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

This store is known for having ding and dent type merchandise for sale as well as lots of expired goods at discounted prices.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

You can buy candy bars 5 for $1.00 and in other sections, you can pick them up for just a dime.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

Although the price sounds great and the selection is unbeatable, everything has passed its expiration date so nothing is going to taste quite right.

I was pretty amazed when I first stumbled upon a store like this in Marengo, Iowa. I had no idea it was legal to sell outdated food items to the public no matter how low the price. I guess it is because the store was booming and lots of Amish folk were buying things inside.

Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

We had a lot of fun visiting Kalona and I am excited to plan a day back there when the weather is a little bit warmer so we can spend more time outside, possibly even do a tour or have dinner with an Amish family.


Travel to an Amish Paradise in Kalona Iowa

It’s places like this that make me anxious for the day that we finally move away from Cedar Rapids and buy our dream house on an acreage in the country. Until that day comes, it is a lot of fun to visit the Amish in Kalona, Iowa. Have you ever visited an Amish town? 

About Thirty Something Super Mom

Melissa Dixon Thirty Something Super Mom
Thirty Something Super Mom | Website

My journey started after a Crohn's disease diagnosis, inspiring a commitment to well-being. This site shares my distinctive approach to healthy living with my collection of nutritious recipes that boast authentic flavors, mimicking the indulgence of traditional dishes. I love sharing guilt free recipes for low carb, keto, gluten-free, paleo, and the specific carbohydrate diet. I also share tips on natural living, including homemade cleaners and cleaning hacks. I also share my experience as a veterinary technician and pet groomer, to integrate pet health tips, homemade dog food recipes, and grooming insights to ensure your pets thrive.

ellen beck

Sunday 6th of May 2018

I have been to Kalona just once. I have mxed feelings about it, as it has become very commercialize. For example, he 'Amish' dolls... real Amish dont put faces on dolls at all, so it is rather odd seeing doll faces. I know it depends on the order they are in, but it seems Kalona is mostly for tourists which is fine too.


Wednesday 30th of May 2018

Oh my I am so glad you stopped by, I have wondered about this as well. I have only been there a handful of times but it does seem like there are some differences between the Amish in Kalona and the Amish I have read about in the past. I know there are different types and while some will not use modern technologies some will, I just assumed it was something like that but now I want to head there and interview people! I love digging deeper into things like this, maybe I will post about it if they give me the go ahead. lol

Gemille Sleweon

Tuesday 19th of December 2017

I grew up in Philadelphia and remember us visiting Amish towns on school field trips. It’s always quite interesting, kind of like taking a look into history! We can all learn a lot from Amish communities as they live lives apart from all the commotion of the rest of the world

David Elliott

Thursday 14th of December 2017

There is something about living in and visiting an Amish community. I really do like just kind of a different living where you don't have to feel stressed by the craziness of the outside world. Although my biggest memory was a dead pig on a farm. Ah well! But this does look like it was quite an interesting adventure.

Anosa Malanga

Wednesday 13th of December 2017

Haven't been here yet and its actually the first time that I learn about the place. Well, I guess its better late than never as I can still reschedule my vacation here. I love how serene the place is. One week vacation seems good for this.


Tuesday 12th of December 2017

What a fun adventure! Thanks for sharing both the good and ugly of your trip. That water/sugar ice-cream reminded me of my childhood growing up haha. You reminded me that you don't have to travel far to enjoy the world around you.

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