Visiting Decorah

I hope you are having a fantastic day!  Luther has been getting lots of April showers this week, but luckily, that also means plenty of flowers are springing up around campus, including a lovely bunch of hyacinths in front of the Union.

In addition, the warmer weather means that – on days when it’s not raining – walking around downtown Decorah has become a viable option again! I had the opportunity to visit the downtown this past Easter weekend when my immediate and extended family came to celebrate Easter and my grandpa’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Grandpa!) Our family rented a cabin in a neighboring town for the weekend and drove into Decorah to explore the variety of shops and sites that make it such a fun vacation destination.

Since visiting downtown is one of the most integral parts of the Luther College experience, I thought I would take today’s post to write about five great places to visit in Decorah. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are places I went this weekend and which I frequent often.

So, without further ado, here are five of my favorite places in Decorah:

1) Oneota Community Food Cooperative

Filled with all-natural foods and specialty soaps and hippie things, the Co-Op is one of my regular stops when I go downtown. In addition to selling cool healthy stuff, the Co-Op is adorably decorated and smells like awesome. Over Easter weekend, when the Luther Caf was closed, Luther provided students with twenty-five dollars’ worth of food vouchers that were redeemable at the Co-Op, so I used mine to stock up on Stretch Island Fruit Leathers and Annie’s Bunny Grahams and brown Norwegian goat cheese, which I’m pretty sure are three essential food groups.

A grocery bag full of Co-Op goodies
A grocery bag full of Co-Op goodies

 

2) Blue Heron Knittery

I love to knit and crochet, so the Knittery is pretty much a dream come true for me.  The place is incredibly charming, with hardwood floors and shelves upon shelves of beautiful yarn. Plus, the employees are really nice and helpful. Every Monday is “Drop in and Knit Night,” and I definitely want to give that a try sometime. If you enjoy anything yarn-related or are interested in learning how to knit, this is the place to visit!

A scarf my mother made for me with yarn from the Blue Heron Knittery
A scarf my mother made for me with yarn from the Blue Heron Knittery

 

3) Mabe’s Pizza

Mabe’s is a classic. A trip to Decorah is really not complete without a stop there. And the pizza is legendary. Enough said.

My whole family ate lunch at Mabe's together!
My whole family ate lunch at Mabe's together!

 

4) Dunnings Springs

Dunnings Springs is a beautiful waterfall not far from Luther’s campus. There are hiking trails around the falls and a board walk that climbs to where the water comes out of the bluff. It’s an absolutely beautiful place to explore, and it’s also nearby Palisades Park and the Ice Cave, home to one of the largest glaciers in the Midwest!

Beautiful Dunnings Springs
Beautiful Dunnings Springs

 

5) Vanberia

Vanberia is a Scandinavian gift shop in downtown Decorah. It’s full of gorgeous Norwegian jewelry and ornaments and dishes and sweaters and handicraft supplies.  Sadly, after three generations of ownership by the Thompson family, Vanberia is closing. But the beautiful items still in stock are on sale now, so if you are in town, be sure to drop by this wonderful store before it is gone!

A free postcard I picked up at Vanberia
A free postcard I picked up at Vanberia

 

And those are five of my favorite places in Decorah! I would also like to give honorable mention to the Whippy Dip, Ede’s and the Angry Pickle Deli, Agora Arts, the Bargain Outlet, and the Sugar Bowl. Perhaps I will feature them in a later post….

Until then, have a fantastic week! I am off to study!

Hyacinths!

{ Return to Jillian's Blog for more posts. }

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