Except for getting sprayed with soda while dining at an Italian eatery (and no amends made save a perfunctory “sorry”), my husband and I loved this northeastern Iowa river town.
Our daughter Miranda, who visited a college friend here last summer, was right. We delighted in Decorah’s historic architecture, natural beauty and small town ambiance.
Home to Luther College and the world’s largest collection of Norwegian artifacts at the Vesterheim—The National Norwegian-American Museum and Heritage Center, Decorah definitely presents a college town feel and an ethnic bend toward Norwegians. Interestingly enough, we didn’t tour either Luther or the Vesterheim. Next trip, because we will return.
So what exactly did we see? Mostly, we simply strolled through downtown admiring the historic buildings and occasionally popping into charming shops in this city of some 8,000.
Decorah, with numerous one-way streets, plenty of stoplights, an abundance of benches, information kiosks, bike racks, and planters overflowing with vibrant flowers and vining plants, rates as an especially pedestrian friendly community. First impressions count and this Iowa town does a splendid job of making visitors feel welcome via the relaxed setting created in the downtown business district.
Join me as we begin our journey through Decorah, today with a peek at that historic architecture and other photo-worthy snippets in the downtown.
FYI: Check back for more posts from downtown and elsewhere in Decorah, Iowa, including images of the historic hotel where we stayed, a beautiful waterfall, Storypeople, an historic home and a fish hatchery. I promise that by the end of this photographic tour, you will add this community to your list of “must visit” towns.
© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling