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Iowa Valley Cultural Byway Road Trip

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As you travel along the Iowa River corridor, the meandering east central Iowa byway takes you across the Iowa River several times, where you might glimpse people boating in the water or fishing along the muddy banks. Vast prairies, rangelands and wetlands dominate this byway as well as crop fields, farmsteads, small towns and silver grain silos.
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1
Le Grand to Homestead
Begin your journey on US 30 with vistas of rolling hills and valleys in what the locals nicknamed the “Bohemian Alps,” after Czech immigrants that inhabited the area. Follow CR E66, SR 212 and US 6 to South Amana, a small town featuring an abundance of red brick buildings. The narrow town of Homestead runs parallel to train tracks used to ship goods from the colonies.
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2
Homestead to Amana
A dense forest opens up to crop fields along US 151 on the way to Amana. Amana Colonies’ seven villages reflect the German heritage of its settlers. The meandering streets in Amana, the original village, resemble a German town. Antique shops, German restaurants, breweries and wineries are plentiful in this small town.
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3
Amana to Marengo
The byway (SR 220) skirts Lily Pond, where you will marvel at the pond covered by yellow lotus lily blossoms in fall. Early settlers, whose homes did not have kitchens, popularized communal kitchens like the one in Middle Amana. You’ll pass rolling hills on one side and wetlands on the other side beyond the crop fields before crossing the Iowa River one last time.