8 Must-Visit Agritourism Places/Experiences In Iowa (2023)
Agritourism is a worldwide trend and an extremely popular initiative in Iowa. Wondering what the term Agritourism means? Agritourism is a simple combination of Agriculture and Tourism. The idea definitely sounds new and alien, but it is quite widespread in the entire west. Agritourism is where visitors can spend time and enjoy agriculture-based businesses. Tourists can actively take part in farm activities, learn how’s life in agriculture, and consume knowledge about agricultural goods. Activities within this sector may include visiting a farmer’s market, spending time at a vineyard, visiting a u-pick-up farm, eating fresh from the farm, and more.
Iowa leads entire North America when it comes to corn production. Besides that, it grabs a constant position on the leader board for soybean production. And it doesn’t just stop here. Iowa is also known for its oats, rye, wheat, and apples. Seems like a lot of agricultural fame and name, right? Indeed, Iowa is well known for its food production, and the entire U.S. look forwards to it for the same. These facts also open up options for Agritourism in the State of Iowa. Here are some of the best and most popular Agritourism places/experiences in Iowa.
8 Must-Visit Agritourism Places/Experiences In Iowa
If such trends excite you, then do give a quick check to the options below.
1. Cinnamon Ridge Farms
Cinnamon Ridge is a family-owned and operated dairy farm in Donahue, Iowa. Producing some of the Nation’s best milk and dairy products, the farm features about 150 to 300 Jersey cows. Since it is a robotic dairy farm, they use robots instead of humans for milking the cows. The robotic technology they use doesn’t just provide the ease of milking but has much more. For instance, farmers can monitor how many times a day each cow has been milked or if any cow is sick or unwell. And for observing these excellent robots, Cinnamon Ridge Farms also offer tours. Visitors can choose from Farm tours, Robotic Barn tours, attend meetings, or host camps for kids and adults. And for adding a perfect conclusion to the tour, visitors can end it with Wine/Beer and Cheese Pairings. Enjoy the local beer with fresh cheese samples within the relaxing atmosphere of the farms. Lastly, before going back, consider shopping at the Country Cupboard.
2. Carroll Brewing
Carroll Brewing is a local brewery in Iowa that doesn’t gimmick the word hand-crafted, but it is truly an exception here. The facility is located in a historic building in downtown Carroll, right at 226 E. 5th Street. The interiors here will introduce and remind easy-drinking ales and lagers in just the first view. They offer a remarkable list of unique beers. These 10,000 square feet of space include a 100-person capacity taproom & bar with 30 draft lines, a 20-barrel brewhouse, an extra production space, and five 80-barrel fermenters. Since options here are truly endless, visitors of all tastes and interests can find something preferable here. Carroll Brewing is also popular for its hard cider that excites individuals who crave something truly different. The facility operates Tuesday through Saturday and offers experience at reasonable rates.
3. Living History Farms
The Living History Farms are the must-visit Agritourism places/ experiences in Iowa. This outdoor historic interactive museum narrates the story of the more than 300-year-old agricultural movement in the State. Earlier, this entire State was prairie land, but today one can observe bountiful farmland boasting all across. The history farms are spread over 500 acres featuring walking trails and endless interactive activities. Visitors can enjoy a tractor-drawn cart ride from site to the site since walking in such a grand space isn’t a cakewalk. Every single site and attraction inside makes one learn how the agricultural life and struggles were for the entire course of 300 years. Some popular activities to indulge in here include historic cooking classes, historical dinners, baseball games, farming, dairy tours, and more. Their farm is also home to a church, which isn’t obviously agriculturally significant but definitely popular for its architecture.
4. Center Grove Orchard
Iowa is home to multiple Orchards, but the Center Grove Orchard is one of the best them. Center Grove is an Apple Orchard just north of Ankeny and south of Ames. To reach here, drive 5 miles east of I-35 on Highway 210 and then exit 102, Cambridge. Further, drive north 1/8 mile at 32835 610th Ave. The farm has been operating since 1986 for over three decades now. Today, its 20 acres of space house over 6000 apple trees, producing a variety of fruits. The facility operates for pre-picked apples as well as pick your own apple tours. However, the fun here doesn’t end up with this single fruit. Instead, it expands towards exploring and picking gourds, sunflowers, pumpkins, strawberries, and others, depending upon the season. The other engaging activities here include a corn maze, Jumping Pillow, daily hayrides, corn pool, apple slingshot, rubber duck races, pedal carts, pig races, visiting farm animals, and more. Center Grove Orchard invites visitors throughout the week, with weekends offering music and live entertainment as well.
5. Summerset Winery
Summerset is a local winery near Des Moines and a must-visit agrotourism place in Iowa. Spread over a huge area, it produces award-winning wines with locally grown and harvested Iowa grapes. Its wine fruits come from various Rhône varietals, including Syrah, Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache, Spanish Macabeo, Monastrell, and more. Every single bottle of wine here comes to life after going through a true winemaking process that will generate a desire to tickle your senses. Despite you being an experienced sommelier or a wine-drinking novice, Summerset Winery has something or other within its grand option menu for you. The idea for many to visit Summerset is generally to sip a few glasses of wine. However, the winery also offers vineyard tours where you can breathe in the fresh air and even pick a bucket of grapes for yourself. The location is surprisingly beautiful, with a lush forested setting surrounding the winery and vineyard.
6. Wildlife Lakes Farm
The Wildlife Lakes Farm is a working elk farm producing a variety of products. It is just 10 minutes from the Mississippi River, right outside West Burlington. Upon visiting inside, one can spot bull elk, cows, and babies. Each year the bull elk shed (from January to April) and grow new antlers. The Wildlife Lakes Farm offers tours upon request. These tours are all about walking the majestic wild from close and learning new things about them. Besides being an elk wonderland, the farm also offers the perfect backdrop for a curious agricultural detour. The farm produces everything from life-size bronze elk statues to dog chews and all-natural elk meat. Wildlife Lakes Farm is also a great spot for spotting trumpeter swans or cygnets. The best part is, even in winters, this farm looks no less than a wonderland, making it an all-season affair. Going back, one can also buy farm products and take them back home.
7. Iowa State Fair
The Iowa State Fair is another must-visit agrotourism experience in Iowa. It is one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in North America and the largest of such events in the State. This annual state fair gets organized in Des Moines during the month of August. The event has been a tradition since 1886 attracting more than a million people from all over the world every single year. The idea behind its organization is to simply celebrate the best of agriculture, industry, entertainment, and achievement in Iowa. A visit here will introduce you to endless food options, a lot of them flaunting the healthier side by directly coming from the farm to your plate. Besides food, carnival rides and tractor pulls are some extremely famous fair activities here. The event also hosts multiple agricultural contests. It includes the one for the largest boar, ram, bull, rabbit, and pigeon. Besides that, they also have shown swine, beef and dairy cattle, horses, and other dairy/ poultry animals.
8. Hawkeye Buffalo & Cattle Ranch
The Hawkeye Buffalo & Cattle Ranch is another agritourism place in Hawkeye State, Iowa. This family-operated farm is located in the Northeast part of the State and has been owned and operated for over 150 years by the same family and generations. The Ranch today hosts animals, including Hereford cattle and grass-fed bison. The individuals at authority offer wagon tours that take participants close and up personally to the animals. The idea of the tour isn’t just to introduce humans and animals but also to educate about the history of the farm and bison. Visitors can also hand-feed some of the Buffalo, though ask the guide before since a few of the animals here can prove a little aggressive. Visitors who are interested in tours must call beforehand to book one. Tours at sight aren’t usually appreciated at the Ranch. Occasionally, if luck is by the site, one can also see eagles, deer, sandhill cranes, hawks, songbirds, and other wildlife. Every tour at the Ranch last about an hour and a half and costs about $1.