Irish Meadows Alpaca Farm, La Motte
Located in far eastern Iowa south of Dubuque, this picturesque 1850s farm is all the sweeter with alpacas. With about 140 of the fluffy animals and several old brick-red barns, it’s easy to snag Instagram photos. Shop for socks, hats, scarves, blankets and yarn on-site or online at irishmeadowsalpacafarm.com.
Rusty Stars Alpaca Farm, Winterset
Open Saturdays to visitors, this Madison County farm also has a shop featuring stuffed alpacas, plus socks, yarn, shirts and candles. But the real fun is entering the alpaca enclosure, feeling how super soft their coats are, and seeing their natural reactions (they’re not huge fans of dogs, so leave the pooch at home). Like their relatives the llamas, they will spit as a defense mechanism.
J&J Alpacas, Muscatine
Available by appointment only, this farm southwest of Davenport offers tours for a nominal fee. If you’re lucky, you’ll see crias (the babies) and learn their names from owner Jody Ehler. Raw fibers are also available for sale in up to 12 colors.