Go behind the scenes at facilities that make some of the top "made in Iowa" products - including everything from motorhomes and machinery to sculptures and spirits.
Visit Winnebago Industries in Forest City to tour the headquarters of the largest motor home manufacturing facility in the world. Free factory tours are offered twice daily, Monday through Thursday, at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Reservations are recommended. The Visitor Center and Winnebago Outdoor Store are open year-round.
These handcrafted sculptures created using a unique concrete casting process were made famous by artist Isabel Bloom. The pieces, all of which resemble a weathered Victorian-era garden sculpture, are still made today at the Isabel Bloom Studio in Davenport. Free behind-the-scenes tours are offered at 10 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays and by appointment for groups.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at innovation in agriculture at John Deere. Free factory tours are offered at three different facilities in Waterloo - John Deere Engine Works, John Deere Tractor Cab Assembly Operations and John Deere Drivetrain Operations. Each facility has slightly different schedules; check their website for details. In addition to the factory, tour the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum for a historical look at the company.
Tour Iowa's largest sawmill, Kendrick Forest Products in Edgewood. Watch how logs are transformed into lumber and how this no-waste facility uses all manufacturing by-products - even the sawdust. Tours are offered twice daily, Monday through Friday, at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Reservations recommended. After your tour, shop the beautiful home decor at the company's retail store, The Markket.
5. Amana Shops
A viewing window allows visitors to watch as clocks, furniture and gift items and handcrafted from walnut, cherry and oak wood at the Amana Furniture & Clock Shop in the quaint Amana Colonies. Nearby, the Amana Woolen Mill provides a glimpse into the historical process of weaving fabrics into blankets, scarves and more.
Master furniture maker Robby Pedersen has more than 20 years of experience building historically accurate furniture using only the tools, techniques and finishes used in 1875. Tours are available at his Jefferson workshop by appointment.
This fun and educational museum tells the history of the Kinze Manufacturing Company, which produces farm equipment including grain carts and planters. Visitors can walk through displays of the very first Kinze implements to their newest products and innovations. Factory tours are also available with advance reservations.
This small-town distillery began production of its rye whiskey over 100 years ago. The Templeton Rye recipe lived on through Prohibition and is still popular today. Tours of the distillery and museum are available at regular intervals throughout the day, Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations are recommended and can be made on the Templeton Rye website.
Continue your distillery trip by heading across the state and visiting the Mississippi River Distilling Company in Le Claire. This distillery offers daily tours from 12 to 4 p.m. and a chance to enjoy the spirits created on-site in the Cody Road Cocktail House.
Toppling Goliath has become world-renowned for their IPAs and barrel-aged stouts and in the last 10 years, has ramped up production and built a new facility in their hometown of Decorah. Brewery tours are offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and include a commemorative glass and a beer sample. Many other Iowa breweries also offer tours of their facilities.
Taste award-winning wines made with Iowa-grown grapes at Tassel Ridge Winery. Tours of the winery are free and available during regular business hours. Visitors can elevate their trip with a vineyard tour in the Grapemobile, which are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 1 and 3 p.m. Tassel Ridge also serves a bistro lunch on weekdays and select weekends and regularly holds special dinner events. Several Iowa wineries also offer tastings and tours.