Several weeks ago, a friend and I decided to go visit Pella, Iowa, to see if we could see some eagles (yes! "real" eagles!) flying around by Lake Red Rock. We took a pair of binoculars, and, within 10 minutes of Lake Red Rock, we remembered that there is a lovely Dutch bakery, Jaarsma's ("J" is pronounced with a "y" sound). So we "detoured" into "downtown" Pella (the city square) to get some treats at the bakery before continuing to eagle-watch.
As we returned to our car from the bakery and drove around the square, we both noticed the Vermeer Windmill. (We had seen it at a distance on several previous trips, but had never gone inside. In fact, we weren't even sure that one *could* go inside!) Being super-spontaneous, we re-parked the car, and hopped out to take a look-see at the *outside* of this beautifully-constructed windmill... That is when we realized that it was open *that* very day (a Saturday, Sept. 21st), and that we could still get in for the *last* tour of the day!
The gentleman who served as our tour guide was absolutely wonderful! He not only shared all of the "basic" tour information with us; he was *even* better than that: He let us ask him questions! There was a few couples present as well, so perhaps there were just 6 or 7 of us, allowing our guide to share additional fascinating information about the working of the mill.
For anyone intrigued by mechanical things, puzzles, or true "gearheads" (who love mechanical toys/gadgets, etc.), then ***this*** is one place you'll definitely want to stop -- especially if you are between Kansas City, MO and Des Moines, IA, or even if you have Des Moines as your trip base, and would like a wonderful day excursion "back in time"!
There are also numerous buildings immediately adjacent to the windmill itself -- they make up the "historical village". Each building has the tools/wares of a typical business in a Dutch village at the time Pella's founders arrived from the Netherlands.
By the way, when taking the tour, be sure to have non-slip shoes -- you'll be walking several stories above ground (outdoors) from the main building to the windmill itself, and one's high heels could possibly get stuck in the planks! FYI: this is a "working" mill -- that is, they are actually grinding wheat here! (You can even see the mill stone... several memorable statements by famous people in history come to mind when being just an arm's length away from a massive mill stone!) For those who love the taste of whole wheat, be sure to visit Jaarsma's bakery, since they *sell* the "windmill flour" that is ground there at the windmill. (A small bag of the flour would be a dandy souvenir for a friend/family member who loves to bake.)
May you be as lucky as we were in getting a wonderful tour guide!
n.b. After purchasing the tickets to the Windmill, as you enter the garden adjacent to the Vermeer Windmill building, you may notice what appears to be busy hummingbirds (depends on what time of year one visits, of course). In reality, these winged beings are not hummingbirds after all, but are rather *tiger moths* -- and monstrous moths they are! The gardens have a pleasant floral fragrance that wafts across the area -- if you like Greenfield Village (Dearborn, MI), or Living History Farms (Urbandale, IA), or any historical place, then... THIS is a can't-miss place for you!
There are various coffee shops/pizza places/restaurants on the town square, though I don't believe that there is actually any food or beverage for sale on the premises of the Vermeer Windmill (unless they maybe sell snacks on a special festival day/weekend).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.