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Vesterheim

523 W. Water Street, P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA 52101
563-382-9681
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Ranked #1 of 19 Attractions in Decorah
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty Museums, History Museums
Owner description: Through 24,000 artifacts and 12 historic buildings, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum shares the most comprehensive collection of... more » Owner description: Through 24,000 artifacts and 12 historic buildings, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum shares the most comprehensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world and is a national center for folk-art classes. « less
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56 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Decorah, Iowa
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2014 NEW

This is a nice place to get a real feel for the Norwegian culture. There are several floors packed with more than you can imagine. Be sure to see the neat furniture in the basement along with the church set up! If you visit on the first Thursday of the month, it is free!

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Camarillo, California
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
14 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2014 NEW

I plan to go back when I have more time. I rushed through due to being with a family group that with time constraints. There were several floors of artifacts - arts, tools, storage, household items, church items and a number of interesting exhibits. Extra thrilling for me was one civil war exhibit down stairs that focused on my husband's... More

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Ionia, Iowa, United States
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

Interesting that items from this museum where inspiration for the movie Frozen. Great place highly recommend.

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Coralville, Iowa
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

This museum has a lot of interesting Norwegian artifacts and information. I liked that it felt like an older museum I remember from my youth, with musty (in a nice way) aromas, dim lighting and creaky wooden floors, yet it also had modern gallery areas that were bright and fresh. Loved the actual boat on display that a couple of... More

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014

In this outstanding museum where we usually say--my grand parents had one of those--this show of mid-century to contemporary enamel kitchen-ware and jewelry was something I could say "I had one of those." Beautifully presented with fascinating background info.

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Chandler, Arizona
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
43 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2014

This is a Norwegian Museum in a predominantly Norwegian immigrant area. The museum told the stories of the people and the town with text, pictures, and artifacts. So many items were family heirlooms and keepsakes. There were examples of local crafts through the years as well. The day we were there it was a scortcher so we skipped the open... More

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Jacksonville, Florida
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014

This is an amazing trip back in time to the early days of the Norwegian people. A lot of history to be learned. Many outstanding displays and artifacts. The people who work there are very nice and helpful. If you have any interest in Norwegian culture, don't miss this one.

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Eugene, Oregon
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
13 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014 via mobile

This is a wonder field museum which interprets the immigrant experience very well. The artifacts and buildings (which reflect the Scandinavian open-air museum model) are used to interprets acculturation which would be of interest to any ethnic group not just Norwegians. Also an excellent gift shop. I only wished I could be part of the many different study/learning groups.

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Waukee, Iowa
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

The Vesterheim, translates to "Western Home", is a remarkable museum housing boats to clothing to an actual home shipped over from Norway. I do encourage you to plan on several hours for this. There is SO much to see, read, hear, and touch, time tends to slip by quite quickly. When the King and Queen of Norway came to the... More

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Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
9 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

Far exceeded expectations. Much larger than we expected and everything is very well presented. First floor is about life in Norway and the emigration to America. The second floor is dedicated to early immigrant life in America. The top floor has rotating exhibits. Unfortunately this was in transition during our visit. Out back there is a collection of old cabins,... More

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