Though Decorah is a rather small city in Winneshiek County, it punches far above its weight when it comes to things to do here. It’s one of the best small-town getaways in the Midwest with its restaurants, specialty shops, and unique attractions. However, given its size, you won’t find many hotels in Decorah, Iowa.
In the 1850s, Decorah saw a large number of Norwegian settlements being set up and has since become a center for Norwegian- American culture. The city is proud of its Norwegian heritage and hosts the Nordic Fest in July each year. Though this festival does not feature on our list of Annual World Festivals Worth The Trip, it attracts a large crowd. At least 50,000 to 75,000 people descend on the city over the last weekend of July. Hotels in Decorah, Iowa are packed to the rafters at this time of year, so you’ll probably have to look for hotels nearby.
Where to Stay in Decorah, Iowa
Decorah is a small city so where you stay won’t make too much of a difference as most places and attractions are a short walk or drive away. Most hotels in Decorah, Iowa are affordable so you won’t have to worry if you’re on a budget. You’ll also find good alternative accommodations such as B&Bs and vacation rentals.
A good alternative to a hotel in Decorah is the Koreana apartment. This spacious and pleasantly decorated apartment is less than a five-minute drive from Luther College. It’s also a 10-minute walk to the city center and a short walk to The Porter House Museum. If you love Japanese cuisine, you’re in luck as the apartment is just above the popular Koreana Restaurant that specializes in Japanese food.
Guests have access to free Wi-Fi throughout the apartment as well as air conditioning, and a flat-screen TV with a DVD player. You also have the option of ironing facilities and a hairdryer. Rooms have hardwood floors and comfortable beds. You’ll also find a full kitchen with a range of modern appliances and a stove.
Quality Inn & Suites
Quality Inn and Suites is an excellent choice for families visiting Decorah. Just off Highway 9, the hotel is both close to the airport and the Upper Iowa Speedway, which makes it one of most conveniently located hotels in Decorah, Iowa. Many of Decorah’s popular attractions such as the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum are close to the hotel. Popular restaurants such as Rubaiyat Restaurant, Don Jose Family Mexican Restaurant, and McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita are also just a short distance.
Equipped with flat-screen HD TVs, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers, hairdryers, desks, irons, ironing boards, and curved shower rods the rooms are perfect for you to relax and unwind. Guests also have access to free Wi-Fi. The oversized suites also have additional features that include sofa sleepers and whirlpool bathtubs. The hotel also features a heated indoor pool.
You are also treated to quite a few additional perks such as free continental breakfast, a daily newspaper, free coffee in the lobby, and free parking. Guests also have access to a computer in the lobby as well as access to copy and fax services. The front desk is operational for 24 hours. On top of all this, the hotel is pet friendly.
Super 8 by Wyndham
Super 8 by Wyndham offers guests a budget-friendly environment and is ideally placed near Luther College off Highway 9 and US- 52. It’s one of the best hotels in Decorah, Iowa for someone looking for an affordable stay. It’s also well placed for exploring the most popular attractions of the area like the Vesterheim Museum and Trout Trail. You can also visit the Goliath Brewing Company and Pulpit Rock Brewing company nearby.
Here rooms come with cable TV and Showtime, while the suites also provide in-room microwaves, coffee machines, and refrigerators. Another feature of the rooms is the private bath or shower, which also comes with a hairdryer.
The hotel is 100% non-smoking and boasts the fresh country air. It also has a hot tub and free continental breakfast to make your stay even more pleasant. Guests are also given free parking.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott
An ideal family-friendly hotel, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is located on the Trout Run Bike Trail at the intersection of U.S 52 and U.S 9, not too far from Luther College and downtown Decorah. There are plenty of things you can do in the area such as visit popular parks or the Evergreen Hills Christmas Tree Farm from here. McCaffrey’s Dolce Vita and Great Dragon Chinese Buffet & Restaurant are just a short walk from the hotel.
When it comes to comfortable hotels in Decorah, Iowa, this one ranks high on the list. Rooms are equipped with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi, offering guests a great deal of comfort and convenience. There is also a sitting area, as well as a desk, and a flat-screen TV with cable channels in each room.
The hotel’s lobby is a vibrant place for guests to meet, relax, and work. In addition to which you have access to a pool and complimentary breakfast. The breakfast includes a wide assortment of food such as scrambled eggs, sausage, and oatmeal, plus favorites including fresh fruit, omelets, mini waffles, and sweetbreads.
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
A comfortable spot for both business and leisure travelers Country Inn & Suites is situated just off US Highway 52 and Iowa Highway 9. This gives guests easy access to all the best attractions in the area. You can visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum, Luther college, or even see the beautiful cavern at Deborah Ice Cave State Preserve.
The rooms have a flat-screen TV, refrigerator, microwave, and air conditioning, as well as access to free Wi-Fi. Work desks are the highlight of the rooms here, with a few select rooms also featuring a sofa. The hotel offers complimentary breakfast as well as candy, cookies, and coffee in the lobby.
Catering to your professional needs, the hotel features a business center where you can prepare for your next meeting. You can also relax here in the largest heated indoor pool of the area and hot tub after a busy day, or use the complimentary passes to Anytime Fitness. Along with this, guests have access to a lending library and free parking.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Decorah, Iowa:
- Family Table Restaurant – Opened as a root beer stand over 65 years ago, it gradually grew into Decorah’s A&W. It was eventually taken over by the current owners in 1993. Here you can look forward to good food served from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. There’s nothing fancy about the food but its definitely delicious.
- Mabe’s Pizza – This is another iconic restaurant that was established in 1953 as Mabel’s Lunchroom. Today you can dig into some of the best pizzas this side of the globe.
- Ruby’s Restaurant & Catering – One of the best restaurants to enjoy breakfast is at this restaurant, known as the home of traditional Norwegian food. Begin your day with delectable homemade rolls, bread, and jams. Although breakfast is served all day, they also have a full lunch/dinner menu.
Recommended Activities In Decorah, Iowa:
- Dunning’s Spring Park – Just minutes from downtown Decorah you’ll find this beautiful park that features a 200-foot tall waterfall. However, don’t expect to see a thunderous waterfall. Instead, the waterfall flows gently downhill. The park also features the largest ice cave in eastern North America.
- Vesterheim Museum – To get a better understanding of the city’s Scandinavian connection, head to this museum. There are plenty of attractions at the museum including a living history village and a 25-foot-long sailboat.
- World’s Smallest Church – Visit the world’s smallest church in Festina that was built in 1885. The belfry is 40 feet high and can seat 8 people.