Decorah Attractions

Summary: Decorah is a charming small town situated in the northeast part of Iowa. It is most notably known for its beautiful scenery, outdoor recreation options, and historic downtown. However, there are several other interesting attractions that visitors should consider exploring during their trip to Decorah.

1. Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum

The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum serves to preserve and showcase the Norwegian immigrant experience in the United States. The museum features thousands of artifacts and exhibits that highlight everything from Norwegian folk art to traditional clothing. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about the various exhibits or explore at their own pace. The museum also offers several events throughout the year, such as traditional Norwegian holiday celebrations and folk art classes.

In addition to the museum itself, visitors can also tour the nearby open-air museum that features several historic structures that have been moved to the site. This includes a 12th-century stave church that was transported from Norway and reassembled in Decorah.

A visit to the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum offers a unique glimpse into Norwegian culture and history in the United States.

2. Trout Run Trail

The Trout Run Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts visiting Decorah. The trail stretches over 11 miles and winds through the countryside, offering stunning views of the area’s natural beauty. Visitors can hike, bike or even cross-country ski along the trail depending on the season. The trail is also accessible to people with disabilities. Along the way, visitors will pass through several parks and recreational areas, including the Decorah Fish Hatchery and Siewers Spring State Preserve.

The Trout Run Trail is a perfect way to explore the beautiful landscapes of Decorah while getting some exercise and fresh air.

If you’re interested in birdwatching, be sure to stop by the Decorah Bald Eagles’ nest, which is located along the Trout Run Trail. This has become a popular spot for visitors to catch a glimpse of these magnificent birds.

3. Seed Savers Exchange

The Seed Savers Exchange is a unique attraction that is dedicated to preserving and sharing heirloom seeds. Visitors can explore the organization’s gardens, greenhouses, and seed vault which holds over 20,000 varieties of seeds. There are also educational exhibits throughout the property that highlight the importance of preserving plant diversity and traditional agricultural practices.

For those who are interested in gardening or sustainable agriculture, the Seed Savers Exchange is a must-visit attraction in Decorah.

The organization also hosts several events throughout the year, including a plant sale, workshops, and seed swaps. Visitors can even purchase seeds to take home with them and try their hand at growing some of these historic varieties themselves.

4. Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

The Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. is a popular brewery that has put Decorah on the map for beer lovers. The company has won numerous awards for its craft beers, which are made using high-quality ingredients and innovative brewing techniques. Visitors can tour the brewery to learn more about the brewing process and sample some of the company’s flagship beers in the taproom.

The taproom also offers a rotating selection of seasonal and limited edition beers, as well as small plates and snacks to accompany your drinks. It’s an excellent spot to unwind and enjoy some local brews after a day of exploring the town and its attractions.

For those who are looking for a unique souvenir, the brewery also sells merchandise such as t-shirts and glassware in the taproom.

5. Phelps Park

Phelps Park is a beautiful green space in the heart of Decorah that offers something for visitors of all ages. The park features several playgrounds, athletic fields, and picnic areas, making it an excellent destination for families. There are also several walking paths that wind through the park’s wooded areas and along the nearby Upper Iowa River.

For those who enjoy fishing, Phelps Park is a popular spot to catch trout in the river. The park is even home to the Decorah Fish Hatchery, which raises rainbow and brown trout for stocking in Iowa’s rivers and lakes.

Phelps Park is also a popular spot for events and festivals, including the annual Nordic Fest celebration that takes place in July.


While Decorah is well-known for its natural beauty and historic downtown, there are several other attractions throughout the town that shouldn’t be missed. From museums to breweries, there is something for everyone in Decorah. Don’t hesitate to explore beyond the town’s main tourist destinations to discover all that this charming community has to offer.

Whether you’re an avid outdoors person or a lover of history, Decorah has plenty to see and do. Plan your trip today to experience all of the area’s unique attractions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *