Take a tour of the Amana Colonies, starting with these 6 spots

AMANA — Aaron Cronbaugh stood near the entrance of his business in Amana, formerly two homes that have been transformed into an eccentric retail space, like the upstairs “North Pole” with Christmas decorations galore.  

As customers passed him with their purchased items in hand, Cronbaugh told the Press-Citizen that “there isn’t a bad store in town.”

Cronbaugh owns and operates Margie Jane’s with his wife and daughter.

It’s among the businesses newer to Amana, the seven historic villages in eastern Iowa that attract locals and tourists alike.

“Amana is one of these lucky little spots in the world,” Cronbaugh said.

He pointed to the fact that there’s practically no crime, how the community gathers after businesses close — and one more phenomenon that he observes frequently: It’s a place people can hear “please” and “thank you.”

“Each shop is privately owned,” he said. “Everyone puts their heart and soul (in it).”

Megan Cronbaugh works at Margie Jane's, a retail store located at 4550 220th Trail in Amana, with father and owner Aaron Cronbaugh, June 27.

With tourism season in full bloom, the Press-Citizen stopped into businesses in the Amana Colonies to hear from employees about what’s new, and what they’d recommend checking out when visiting the historic community.

Here’s what we found.

More:Iowans expect to take road trips across the state this summer. Here’s what’s new.

What’s newer to Amana: The Ruedy House, Margie Jane’s and The Rusty Tractor