Decorah Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Decorah Trip Guide

In the state’s northeast corner, Decorah (population: 8,200) has deep Norwegian roots and some really good restaurants.
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    Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum claims to be the most comprehensive museum in the United States dedicated to a single immigrant group.
    Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
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    Gardens, a visitor’s center and abundant garden supplies await visitors at Decorah’s Seed Savers Heritage Farm.
    Decorah’s Seed Savers Heritage Farm.
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    Downtown Decorah boasts local shops hidden under rows of nautical striped awnings.
    Downtown Decorah


Dunnings Spring Park Lush foliage surrounds a waterfall that works its way down a 200-foot-tall cliff face.

Trout Run Trail The 12-mile biking/walking route circles the city limits. Stop at the Decorah Fish Hatchery, where a quarter's worth of feed brings thousands of frenzied brown and rainbow trout to the surface of concrete tanks.

Seed Savers Exchange Pick up gardening tips, seeds or gifts and roam the grounds at the 898-acre heritage farm, the nation's largest nongovernment seed bank. More than 25,000 rare or endangered vegetable varieties are preserved here.

Shopping Immerse yourself in Decorah’s local arts scene and Norwegian roots by exploring downtown along Water Street. You’ll find everything from traditional rosemaled (decorated) wooden plates to T-shirts reading “Hanging with my gnomies." 

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum With more than 24,000 artifacts and 16 historical buildings, the Vesterheim claims to be the most comprehensive museum in the United States dedicated to a single immigrant group.


La Rana Bistro Pair a mojito or The Frog (vodka, cranberry and lime juice) with locally raised meats, such as a smoky Rock Cedar Ranch burger or lamb sliders with cumin and smoked paprika aioli. (563) 382-3067

Mabe's Chewy, thin-crust pies from this 63-year-old staple have drawn national attention. We love the Chicken Cordon Bleu pizza.

McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita Their specialty is thin-crust wood-fired pizza. Try the Thai Kickin’ Chicken or Greek pizza, but be sure to get good directions to this secluded restaurant.

Rubaiyat Local flavors in creative dishes star at this elegant establishment. Save room for one of their fabulous desserts.

T-Bocks Sports Bar and Grill The bar is known for its peanut butter cheeseburgers, but you’ll find plenty of other options, too.

Toppling Goliath Tap Room Their mission: Make big beers in small batches. Try the King Sue Double IPA, voted one of the top 50 beers in the world by website RateBeer for its hoppy citrus explosion.


B&B on Broadway Victorian charm reigns here. Luxe baths and a central location make this an easy choice. Breakfasts include caramel French toast.

Hotel Winnishiek In the heart of downtown, the renovated 1905 hotel offers 34 comfortable rooms within walking distance of boutique shopping, restaurants and the Trout Rail Trail.

For information: Winneshiek County Convention and Visitors Bureau (800) 463-4692;

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