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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 17 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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44 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Decorah, Iowa
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

Came for a family vacation, each of us taking a 3-4 day class at Vesterheim. Loved the historic building, quality exhibits, outstanding instructors and charming college town.

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Springfield, Oregon
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

Wow how wonderful that some cared enough to preserve these things. Being of Norwegian decent it meant a lot to see how probably my ancestors who immigrated here lived. We also enjoyed the tour with Don, though he spoke rather quietly he was very knowledgeable. Would definitely suggest taking the tour.

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Marion, Iowa, United States
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
14 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

My wife and I decided to spend a couple of days in the Decorah area to celebrate our anniversary. For years we had wanted to visit the Vesterheim, but had not taken the time. It was a wonderful learning experience. Neither of us are Norwegian, but we felt we learned about the people that chose to leave Norway in the... More

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Hull, Ia, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

My husband and I decided to visit NE Iowa and Decorah. The Vesterheim is a lovely museum, celebrating the Norwegian heritage of so many people who emigrated to the area, I went mostly because I admire the traditional tole & decorative painting that is predominant in this culture. They currently have a competition of the Norwegian art forms, including woodworking,... More

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Las Vegas
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
22 attraction reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

We enjoyed our visit to this wonderful regional and cultural museum outlining the history of Norwegian culture, emigration and assimilation in the US. It has some unusual and interesting artifacts that are quite unique. For a small regional museum it is well laid out and easy to get around. The small museum store in the block next to the museum... More

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Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
14 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

We spent time looking at all the displays. I was impressed by the variety of the collection. It was fun for me to learn more about the Norwegian heritage I have. A gem for a small town. We also looked at the buildings outside but did not stay for the guided tour.

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SF Bay Area
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
14 attraction reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2014

This small museum is loaded with lots of Norwegian history and artifacts and provides a good overview of their lives in Norway, emigrating to America and their lives in America. It contains the smallest sailboat known to have sailed the Atlantic unassisted (Norway to Chicago), homes they lived in, home furnishings, old church furnishings, old guns, a section on Norwegian... More

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2014

Since our ancestors came from Norway, we celebrated Settende Mai at this museum. It was an excellent collection which we would definitely recommend and will visit again and again when we are in the area. There was a Settende Mail celebration with Nordic Dancers of all ages. Ruth was an excellent tour guide (20 yrs experience) who showed us the... More

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Decorah, Iowa
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
5 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

If you are interested in Norwegian American history, this is the most complete collection of artifacts and information in the world. It's notable because thousands of visitors have traveled from all over the world to see the fantastic collections and information

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Decorah, Iowa
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
34 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

This museum holds many artifacts from Norwegian-American settlers in the area. They hold classes throughout the year on Norwegian handicrafts including baking ,carving, weaving, rosemaling, Hardanger embroidery and more. They have an outdoor Part of the museum also. There is also a wonderful museum store where many scandinavian imports may be purchased including the beautiful sweaters. During Nordic Fest ,... More

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