Need A Scenic And Charming Weekend Getaway? Visit This Beautiful Town in Iowa
Hey Minnesotans, if you are looking for the perfect spring or summer weekend getaway, I got it right here for you!
If there is one thing I have gathered about different amazing places, Decorah, Iowa is defiantly the first one that comes to mind because it is honestly such a beautiful and quaint place to spend time.
Yes, did I happen to go to college in Decorah? Yes, but it was because of this that I got to really experience Decorah, and I am here to give a little more than what you can expect from a travel article.
So here are things you can do to have an amazing weekend getaway in Decorah:
Things to do at Luther College:
I recommend if you were to watch any sports, watch soccer or baseball games! Not only is it fun sports-wise, but many people socialize and there is a lot of land for kids and pets to play (or for you to enjoy the valley) and a little ropes course.
There are many places to enjoy nature, peace, and the weather (and may I say time to sunbathe or read) on Luther’s campus. This includes areas in Bentdahl Commons, the little cliff near the Center for Faith and Life, and the land near the trails by Baker Village. Additionally, you can also walk the trails through Anderson Prairie.
And of course, you got to take a picture in front of the Luther Bell! Also, a little recommendation: I recommend getting a crepe from Nordic Brew in the Union and visiting the Center for Arts building.
Shopping in Decorah:
While there isn’t too much for shopping, Decorah is full of hidden gems when it comes to stores. I would recommend checking out Agora Arts for locally sourced and made art, the Decorah Hatchery of you are outdoorsy, Magic Morpho if you’re into crystals, Rendered Unique for the home décor lover, Sparrows which is mainly candles, and lastly Lulu & BB’s Pet Market!
Food and in Decorah:
First and foremost, you need to start or even end your day with coffee! The question, however, is where do you go? There are many places (Scooter’s, Starbucks, Mill Street Mocha, Java Johns, Magpies, The Buzz, and Impact) I recommend going to Magpies, the Buzz, or even more, Impact! The atmosphere for each building is amazing, but Impact has so much space and different areas of seating (with different vibes) and displays local art (as well as hosts trivia and bingo nights).
There are so many places to grab and eat food! From sit down, to your classic bar & grill to markets! I would say you need to check out The Landing! It is a market building with a place to get lunch, a coffee shop, an ice cream shop, and a juicer, plus a little market shop (with items from beer, juice, dog treats, shirts, books, etc).
If you need a place with food food, you need to go to the iconic pizzeria, Mabe’s Pizza! No questions asked! For a bar and grill, If you want just some classic cheap great food go to Old Armory BBQ. For non-American food, I highly recommend Don Jose’s Restaurant (the best Mexican restaurant I’ve experienced). If you want a fancy dinner, go to La Rana Bistro.
Decorah has many places to grab a drink! While I really do recommend them all, I highly recommend checking out Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. which has a vibrant but balanced tap list. I would also say check out Convergence Ciderworks. And lastly, maybe check out the iconic Toppling Goliath. This brewery and restaurant was named the 2021 US Beer Open Grand National Champions. Just saying.
Lastly, for dessert, you have to go to the Whippy Dip! It is a small mom & pop ice cream stop that is only open from late April through early October. Btw they do not accept cards. And if Whippy Dip isn’t open you can always go to Sugar Bowl, which has 2 locations.
If you are looking for something really special, I highly recommend going to Luna Valley Farm! This place is essentially a pizzeria but it is on farmland where you order pizza and drinks near their wood-fired oven and then find a spot on the land to eat and experience a beautiful picnic.
Activities and Outdoor: HIGHLY RECOMMEND
Last but certainly most important is for you to explore all the outdoor recreation. I think I just want to recommend all the places to hike, bike, walk, and admire. But I will just share my favorite ones that make me feel so connected to nature.
One of my favorites is defiantly the fish hatchery (Siewers Springs), it is honestly so beautiful and goes on for a while. I would honestly recommend exploring Dunning Springs Park, Pulpit Rock Scenic Overlook, Twin Springs, Malanaphy Springs, and of course the beautiful Phelps Park. All these places are so beautiful!
If I could recommend anything else it would visiting the neighboring farms and orchards like Pinter's. And defiantly tubing or kayaking on the Upper Iowa River or walking on the Trout Run Trail which takes you around all of Decorah.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope this helps you start to plan a beautiful and fun weekend getaway!