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Things to do in Decorah and Winneshiek County

Heat map of Decorah attractions
Use the color key on the right to get an idea of everything there is to do in Decorah! Vesterheim is located right downtown, in the heart of all the activity.

Decorah is a great place to visit. It’s a warm and vibrant town that makes a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The surrounding Winneshiek County is nestled in the midst of towering bluffs and beautiful scenery, offering plenty of outdoor recreation, cultural and historic venues with numerous events and festivals, plus a thriving artist community.

Find complete information about everything Winneshiek County and Decorah have to offer at Visit Decorah. Learn more about the whole Northeast Iowa area at Northeast Iowa.

Decorah was featured in Smithsonian Magazine’s annual list of the 20 best small towns to visit in America, as well as being named in Forbes “America’s Prettiest Towns” list and Best Choice Reviews 50 Best Small Town Downtowns in America.

Some great outdoor attractions in the area include:

  • The Trout Run Trail, an 11-mile biking, walking, and running trail that loops the town
  • The Upper Iowa River, with opportunities for canoeing and inner tubing, or just strolling along
  • Numerous scenic parks with streams, springs, and waterfalls; trails for biking, walking, and skiing; and even playground equipment for kids
  • Decorah Fish Hatchery, home of Decorah’s famous eagles
  • The Decorah Community Prairie, which includes a butterfly garden, river access, benches, native prairie plantings, and trails for walking, biking, and cross country skiing

Extend your visit to Vesterheim and tour the area’s many great attractions, including:

Be sure to come for Nordic Fest, celebrating all of the wonderful community spirit of Decorah and its Scandinavian heritage, held each year on the last full weekend in July!

Round out your visit to Vesterheim with a stroll through Decorah’s thriving and charming downtown, a delicious meal at one of the area’s wonderful restaurants, and a stay in Decorah’s historic or modern hotels and B & Bs.

Whatever the season—your stay is sure to be unforgettable!

Siewer's Springs is the site of Decorah's fish hatchery, Trout Run Trail, and eagle nest.
Seiwer’s Springs is the site of Decorah’s fish hatchery, Trout Run Trail, and eagle nest.