27 Best & Fun Things To Do In Decorah, IA

Are you planning a travel to Decorah, Iowa, and seeking fun activities to make your journey unforgettable? Seek no longer! You’re at the right place, as we’ll explore the 27 best and fun things to do in Decorah, Iowa, making your travel memorable.

Located in Winneshiek County at the intersection of State Highway 9 and U.S. Route 52, Decorah is a beautiful city in northeastern Iowa. Its roots in Norwegian culture are evident in its architectural designs, festivals, and cultural events, offering visitors diverse activities and attractions to explore.

From rolling hills with scenic beauty and the nearby Upper Iowa River to outdoor recreation and local festivals, there’s something for all to enjoy in this beautiful town. Visitors can explore Luther College and the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum to learn more about Decorah’s rich culture.


27 Best And Fun Things To Do In Decorah, IA (2024)


1. Vesterheim, The National Norwegian-American Museum & Folk Art School

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Start your Decorah adventure by exploring Vesterheim The National Norwegian-American Museum and Folk Art School. Located in the heart of downtown Decorah, this masterpiece is a must-see attraction for art enthusiasts.

With over 33,000 artifacts, 12 historic buildings, archives, and a library, Vesterheim displays a vast Norweigan-American collection that highlights the diversity in American Immigration and historic and contemporary Norweigan folk and fine arts through educational events, publications, and lectures.

The attraction provides visitors with an opportunity to get insights into the rich history, craftsmanship, and traditions of Norwegian immigrants and immerse themselves in Norwegian heritage through exhibits, artifacts, cultural programs, folk-art classes, and workshops.

Within the Museum lie the Vesterheim Westby-Togerson Education Center, Vesterheim Amdal-Odland Heritage Center, and Vesterheim Commons to make for navigational convenience.

Address: 520 W Water Street, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

2. Phelps Park

Things to do in Decorah, IA

One of the thrilling things to do in Decorah, IA, for families, friends, and nature lovers is to find peace and relaxation at Phelps Park, a fun haven in Decorah.

Established in 1906, the 56-acre park is a focal point for walking and family activities providing 8 picnic shelters, an outdoor stage, hiking trails including unique rock work and wooden bridges, biking trails, restrooms, stone walled lookouts, a foundation, and playground equipment for visitors of all ages.

What’s more, the scenic park provides a sand volleyball court, drinking fountains, Whalen Cabin,  scenic overlooks like the Schulze Brick Kin, Larsen Fountain, and other historic information signs to delight its visitors.

Address: 613 Park Street, Decorah, IA 52101, United States

3. Porter House Museum

Things to do in Decorah, IA

One of the fun and best things to do in Decorah is to visit the Porter House Museum, located in the Broadway Historic District, two blocks south of downtown Decorah. The attraction is a haven for insights into the rich lifestyles predominant in the late 19th century.

Established in 1827, the Porter House Museum, housed in an exquisite Victorian Mansion, displays periodic furnishings, decorative arts, and exhibits describing the history of the Porter family

Visitors can explore diverse 19th-century artifacts including lush gardens, antique furniture, decorative arts, and architectural features as well as outdoor exhibits such as the Outdoor Rock Wall and the Gardens during the autumn and spring seasons.

Address: 401 W Broadway Street, Decorah, IA 52101, United States

4. Palisades Park

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Exploring Palisades Park is one of the family-oriented things to do in Decorah, IA. Nestled along the Upper Iowa River, this treasure is a hub of fun activities for both kids and adults.

Spanning 105 acres of land, Palisades Park features stunning views of surrounding river bluffs and landscape, rugged limestone cliffs, wooded areas and the winding Upper Iowa River.

The park also offers its visitors the opportunities to partake in activities like wooded area and riverbank hiking, picnicking, wildlife viewing, fishing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing thus establishing it as a hub for different forms of outdoor activities

Address: Park Drive, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

5. Bily Clocks Museum and Antonin Dvořák Exhibit

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Located in Spillville, IA, about 17 minutes drive from Decorah, a visit to the Bily Clocks Museum and Antonin Dvořák Exhibit is one of the fun things to do near Decorah.

Established in the summer of 1893, the museum is a home for such clocks as the American Pioneer Clock, the World’s Smallest Church, and the Apostles Parade Clock among other handmade clocks from 1913 to 1958.

This attraction also showcases the life and works of the famous Czech songwriter,  Antonin Dvořák through artifacts, manuscripts, and interactive displays.

The museum offers visitors the chance to engage in the detailed craftmanship of historic clocks and the life works of Antonin Dvořák, providing a mix of cultural and artistic understanding of time-keeping and musical intellectuals.

Address: 323 S Main Street, Spillville, IA 52168, United States.

6. Locust School Museum

Things to do in Decorah, IA

A visit to the Locust School Museum, located north of Decorah, IA, is one of the best and fun things to do in the picturesque city.

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Established in 1878, the historic one-room schoolhouse showcases 19th-century artifacts, pictures, and artistic exhibits showing rural school experiences

Tourists visiting the Locust School Museum are provided the opportunity to explore the preserved one-room schoolhouse, take part in practical educational activities, and learn about ancient life through exhibits, local history, and culture.

Address: 1640 Big Canoe Road, Decorah, IA 52101, United States

7. Dunning’s Spring And Ice Cave Hill Park

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Located at the base of a limestone cliff about a hundred yards north of the Upper Iowa River,  Dunning’s Spring Park is a serene recreational environment with a beautiful waterfall of about 200 ft.

Spanning 115 acres, Dunning’s Spring Park features a wooded park, walking trails, picnic tables, stunning overlooks, a cookout and bonfire grill, a stream, an ice cave, hiking trails, and a stone arch bridge crafted by local stone masons.

As one of the fun and best things to do in Decorah, spend your day engaging with nature again in this picturesque waterfront park.

Address: Ice Cave Road, Decorah, IA 52101, United States

8. Laura Ingalls Park & Museums

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Laura Ingalls Park and Museums is one of the best tourist attractions in  Decorah as it beckons on visitors to explore the diverse works of Laura Ingalls Wilder, a renowned writer in the Mid-West

Located in the panoramic landscape of northeastern Iowa, the museum features replica buildings as depicted in Laura’s books and interactive exhibits such as household chores, farming techniques, and daily routines.

The attraction offers many activities from educational programs like guided tours and workshops to scenic views like stunning vistas, rolling areas, wooded areas, and gift shops to ensure a tranquil experience for visitors.

Address: 3603 236th Avenue, Decorah, IA 52101, United States

9. Twin Springs Park

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Exploring Twin Spring Park is one of the fun things to do in Decorah, IA. This 48-acre park located in northeastern Iowa is a beehive of family-friendly fun outdoor activities.

Previously known as the site of an Iowa DNR fish hatchery, the attraction now features benches, picnic tables,  grills, a stocked trout stream, a children’s fishing pond, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking trails with a springhead spanning a 0.8-mile Odin’s Loop which leads into the hills above the stream.

As you visit, be sure to immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility, explore the scenic walking trails,  picnic by the banks of the spring-fed streams, and race through the hiking trails

Address: Twin Springs Road, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

10. Decorah Farmers Market

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Exploring the Decorah Farmers Market is one of the unique things to do in Decorah, IA, this weekend. Held every Wednesday and Saturday next to the Decorah Post Office from May to October, the Decorah Farmers Market is the best place to get fresh produce.

The market offers an excellent opportunity to sample fresh produce, meats, eggs, local honey, pasture-raised meats, vinegars, artisanal crafts, homemade soaps, and delectable local cuisine while mingling with friendly vendors and fellow tourists.

Address: Heivly Street, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

11. Nordheim Park

Things to do in Decorah, IA

One of the fun outdoor activities to do in Decorah, IA is to explore Nordheim Park. The park is a center of fun outdoor recreation for families.

Spanning 1.5 acres, Nordheim Park offers many amenities including playground equipment for kids of different ages, walking trails, picnic shelters and tables, a cookout grill, a playground diamond, and a drinking fountain.

Visit this park and have fun with your family as this attraction provides a serene environment for outdoor activities and relaxation.

Address: Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

12. Convergence CiderWorks

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Located in a legendary building in the Old Lumber Yard, the beautiful Convergence CiderWorks is among the Ideal places to visit in Decorah, Iowa for alcoholic beverage lovers.

Located at the intersection of the Plains and Driftless region, the Cidery offers a variety of handmade ciders made from locally grown apples. A tasting room is also provided to give cider enthusiasts an environment to test their unique blends.

Visitors to the Convergence CiderWorks are offered live music entertainment, cider-making workshops, and food pairing.

Address: 302 Washington St, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

13. Mary Christopher Park

Thing to do in Decorah, IA

The Mary Christopher Park is one of the pet-friendly parks offering a plethora of family-oriented things to do in Decorah, Iowa. This beautiful natural park offers stunning views of the neighboring landscape.

Spanning 1/2 acres, the newly redesigned Mary Christopher Park features unique structures as playgrounds for children of all ages, a picnic shelter, picnic tables benches, a drinking fountain, and restrooms to add convenience and fun to visitors.

The intergenerational park also features the Winneshiek County Veterans Memorial .

Address: E Water Street, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

14. Duncan Sandbar

Things to do in Decorah

Situated along the Upper Iowa River, The Duncan Sandbar is a recreational area  made popular for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities during the spring and winter seasons

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The picturesque Sandbar offers various outdoor activities such as kayaking, picnicking, fishing, canoeing, and swimming. It also nature enthusiasts a beautiful landscape with sandy beaches and wooded areas.

Moreover, the attraction offers alluring spots for wildlife viewing, hiking, and biking trails allowing visitors, especially romantic partners explore the region by bicycle or foot.

Address:: Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

15. Barbara Barnhart Van Peenen Memorial Park

Things to do in Decorah, IA

One of the many fun things to do in Decorah, IA, is to explore the Barbara Barnhart Van Peenen Memorial Park, a serene and picturesque green space named in honor of Barbara Barnhart Van Peenen, a local philanthropist and community leader.

The 120-acre park features 8 acres of tall prairie grass, hiking trails, mountain biking and cross-country skiing. The park also features a variety of terrain including steep climbs, a Rocky Road, and pine forests with easy bailouts suitable for novice riders

The park, being Decorah’s latest park, also offers a tranquil setting for relaxation and recreation, featuring walking paths, benches and beautiful landscape gardens.

As a visitor to this attraction, you are opportune to enjoy the peaceful ambiance, surrounded by native fauna and flora, making it a famous spot for picnics, sober reflections, and leisurely walks

Address: Quarry Hill Road, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

16. River Trail Trail Head

Things to do in Decorah, IA

One of the many fun things to do in Decorah, Iowa is to explore the panoramic River Trail Trail Head, a 6.4-km outward-bound soft trail that follows the spiral route of the Upper Iowa River.

Situated in Dunning’s Spring Park, the River Trail Trail Head features a plethora of trailhead amenities including parking facilities, restrooms, picnic areas, and informational signage to improve visitors’ experience and supply the essential resources for enjoying the pathway safely and comfortably.

What’s more, the attraction offers beautiful vistas of the Upper Iowa River and its bordering natural beauty as well as leisure activities like hiking, walking, and running open to locals and visitors of all ages and abilities.

Address: Ice Cave Road, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

17. Luther College

Things to do in Decorah, IA

There are a plethora of fun and educative things to do in Decorah, IA, for music, sports, and outdoor enthusiasts. As a tourist, immerse yourself in vibrant camp activities at the famous Luther College.

Established in 1861, the vibrant school offers a picturesque setting and liberal arts education embedded in Norwegian ancestry, promoting educational excellence and cultural exploration to satisfy the intellectual curiosity of its visitors and students.

Address: 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

18. Chattahoochee Park

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Exploring the beautiful and fun-filled scenes at Chattahoochee Park is among the fun things to do in Decorah, IA for visitors and residents alike.

Situated at the northwest edge of Decorah, IA, the 27-acre alluring park is an abode for fun enthusiasts, featuring picnic shelters, fire rings, a gravel parking lot, diverse water activities, and scenic sights at the Upper Iowa River to give a thrilling experience.

Visitors to this beehive are offered a chance to reconnect with nature thus providing a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Address: Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

19. Decorah Scare Haunting House

Things to Do in Decorah

Are you in search of the best place to get your adrenaline fix? Exploring the Decorah Scare Haunting Huse is one of the fun things to do in Decorah, IA, during the Halloween season.

The Haunting House features clowns, butchers, werewolves, spiders, and a haunted trail, a perfect blend of indoor and outdoor activities to enrich your Halloween evenings

On your visit to Decorah, make sure not to miss out on the thrills, chills, and scares offered by this attraction.

Address:  2427 Tamarack Drive Road Suite C, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

20. Twin Springs Supper Club

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Another unique thing to do in Decorah, IA, this weekend is to experience fun at the Two Springs Supper Club, an extension of the beautiful Two Springs Park.

Located in the scenic hills and valleys minutes from downtown Decorah, this attraction offers the very best in Steaks, Chops, and Seafood in the region by using locally obtained products.

As you tour Decorah, IA, Indulge in the culinary delights and ambiance at the Twin Spring Supper Club; where every bite tells a story, and every moment is a savory journey.

Address: 2149 Twin Springs Road, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

21. King Pin Entertainment Center

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Exploring the fun-filled King Pin Entertainment Center is one of the best activities to do in Decorah, IA as it ensures a thrilling experience for its visitors.

King Pin Entertainment Center offers many fun activities including 16 bowling lanes, axe throwing, leagues, arcades, darts throwing, hyper bowling, and numerous pool tables. The entertainment center alley also organizes several special nights for special events.

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The Entertainment Center also provides other services such as event and celebration planning, a Sports Bar, and a grille, making it a complete entertainment hub for fun enthusiasts.

Address: 400 Heivly Street, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

22. Vennehjem Park

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Located within the beautiful Driftless Area, Vennehjem Park is one of the best places to visit in Decorah, IA, as residents and visitors swarm this charming destination all year round.

With a park size of 2 acres, this public park boasts diverse features, including walking trails, playground equipment, picnic areas, open green spaces, picnic shelters, picnic tables, grills, and serene natural surroundings open to visitors of all ages.

What’s more, it features a creek that gives opportunities for water activities such as fishing, observing local wildlife, and wadding, thus adding to the park’s tranquil ambiance.

This attraction offers its visitors the opportunity to explore the wooded areas, take strolls, have picnics, and also encounter native wildflowers, songbirds, and small mammals while on the quest.

Address: Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

23. New Minowa Players Theatre

Things to do in Decorah, IA

A visit to the New Minowa Players Theatre is one of the most entertaining things to do in Decorah, IA, at night.

Established in 1975, the well-equipped 46,000-seat auditorium offers a wide range of live performances, including plays, musicals, and other theatrical productions aimed at bringing scripts to life. The theatre also gives opportunities for both experienced and inexperienced artists to take an active part in the arts, age notwithstanding.

What’s more, the New Minowa Players Theatre organizes classes, workshops, and educational programs aimed at promoting innovation and talent.

Address: 906 S Mill Street, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

24. Your Place

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Looking for a place to relax after a long day’s work and hustle? Your Place, a small restaurant and bar located in Decorah, IA is one of the best places to get the weight off your shoulders.

Founded in 1984, Your Place is a well-established restaurant and bar that offers a variety of delicious and friendly-greeting cold drinks, an indoor bar space with fresh popcorn, and a wide outdoor veranda with numerous TVs to watch any competition of your choosing.

The attraction also provides a cozy lounge environment for visitors to relax, enjoy their meals, and grab drinks with friends and family.

Address: 307 W Water Street, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

25. GamesXP Decorah

Things to do in Decorah, IA

Are you having a boring weekend and in search of a place to get boredom laid off? GamesXP is one of the best gaming hubs in Decorah,  Iowa.

GamesXP features a video game/arcade room including Xbox One, 360, and original; PS1- PS4, Wii and WiiU, PC games, Game Cube, N64, Dreamcast, Sega Genesis, SNES, NES, Intellivision, and Atari games AND game systems suitable for game enthusiast of all ages. The hub also provides such services as DVD rental, sales of used DVDs, and Internet sales on Amazon and eBay.

Hang out in this picturesque gaming room loaded with couches and chairs, 7 TVs, 80’s vintage arcade machines and pinball and explore the gaming world in a different dimension.

Address: 105 W Water Street, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

26. The Landing Market

Things to do in Decorah, IA

If you’re visiting Decorah, don’t miss the lively Landing Market, an indoor food and retail market, and a home for varieties of flavors and goods featured by local retailers and members of the community.

Located on the west side of Decorah,  The Landing Market provides different locally sourced produce, handcrafted, and homemade goods in a vibrant environment with live music, food vendors, and participatory activities for all ages.

The commercial hub offers opportunities for visitors to explore fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, handwrought jewelry, and special gifts as well as spots to wine and dine.

Address: 211 College Drive, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

27. T Bock’s Sports Bar and Grill

Things to do in Decorah, IA

One of the excellent and relaxing things to do in Decorah, Iowa, during the weekends, is to explore T Bock’s Sports Bar and Grill as a sport and fun lover.

Established in 1994, the attraction features 22 collections of tap beer, specialty bottled beers, and wine and has a rotating offering of local craft brews from all the best local and best area craft breweries under one roof. It also provides food and drinks to locals and visitors of all ages.

What’s more, the Sports Bar provides a special family-friendly sports environment with lots of TVs to ensure sports enthusiasts derive the pleasure of watching their favorite games.

Address: 206 W Water Street, Decorah, IA 52101, United States.

Plan Your Trip To Decorah, IA

Decorah, Iowa, presents an array of activities for visitors age notwithstanding. Whether you’re in search of adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, you’re certain to find something that suits your preferences in this lovely beautiful city.

Plan your trip to Decorah today, and experience the beauty and charm of its attractions like never before!

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