Several Iowa farms allow the public to interact with their alpacas, which are prized for their fleece.
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, visitors can snap photos and 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 allows you to meet and feed alpacas with names like Niko, Ginger, Tanzie and Maybelle. A shop features 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.
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.