There is nothing we love more than taking our kids on an all-American road trip to state parks, national parks, wilderness areas and charming small towns!
We were invited by the historic Hotel Winneshiek to spend the weekend in Decorah, Iowa. It was about a three hour drive from the Twin Cities. It was so different from the Twin Cities! A perfect spot to get-away for the weekend.
The hotel was absolutely gorgeous. Everywhere you looked there were tributes to the past. The boys loved sneaking in to the opera house on the floor above ours!
The second night of our stay, we dined at Restauration - the restaurant within the hotel. The restaurant had a great menu, beer & wine selection. The locally sourced steaks and made-in-house desserts were some of the best we've ever had. And so convenient. We just crawled back up to our room afterwards with full bellies!
In fact, the entire town seemed to pay homage to its vibrant past: murals, museums, history walks and many restored buildings! It gave the town so much charm!
On Saturday we drove out to Malanaphy Springs State Preserve and went on a long family hike to see a waterfall and natural springs! It was one of the highlights of our trip. The weather was warm and the scenery was breathtaking. The boys rarely stayed on the trail and enjoyed climbing logs and steep pitches, finding mud and all sorts of treasures.
Later that day, after a nice lunch at Mabe's Pizza and some time spent wandering the town, we headed back out to the outskirts to see the Decorah Fish Hatchery and Eagles! The fish hatchery was a fun stop! For a quarter, you can buy food to feed the trout and see them all really come alive when you drop some bits in.
Thank you so much Hotel Winneshiek for a quick weekend get-away that really took us "away."
We loved your charming town's winning combination of arts, history and nature!
We highly recommend visiting Decorah, Iowa for a fun weekend get-away from the Twin Cities!
If You Go:
Leave time for the drive!
On the "Rochester Route" there's Zumbrota's covered bridge, Minnesota Mystery Cave and numerous towns with Amish furniture.
On the "Red Wing Route" there's the Red Wing shoe store, Lake Pepin and Lark Toys is a must! Lark Toys is a roadside gem with an indoor carousel, vintage toy museum, a full cafe and a candy shop.
Vesterheim Museum - homage to the town's fascinating Norwegian history
Have fun! Read a few other Twin City Weekend Get Away ideas here!