5 Fun Facts About Decorah, Iowa

by Kathryn Johnson on September 29, 2014

Decorah

Photo of Decorah, Iowa courtesy of ThinkDecorah.com

Decorah, Iowa is a small town of about 8,500 people located in Northeast Iowa.

Upon hearing this, many people may think that Decorah is just another boring, little town.  The local residents, however, will tell you that this small, Iowa town is far from boring with its colorful history and boatload of modern day activities.

Here are 5 Fun Facts that will make you want to visit Decorah, Iowa: 

1.  Decorah is a center of Norwegian-American culture.

Dancers in Norwegian clothing perform during the parade at Nordic Fest. Courtesy of ThinkDecorah.com

Dancers in Norwegian clothing perform during the parade at Nordic Fest.
Courtesy of thinkdecorah.com

Every summer, Decorah hosts Nordic Fest in celebration of its Norwegian history.  The event includes a wide variety of activities ranging from a rock-throwing contest to sampling different delicious Norwegian foods such as Lefse and Kranskake.

2.  Decorah has its very own mini waterfall.

Dunning Springs is a great place to visit during Spring, Summer, or Fall. Photo courtesy of ThinkDecorah.com

Dunning Springs is a great place to visit during Spring, Summer, or Fall. Photo courtesy of ThinkDecorah.com

This beautiful “waterfall” is  one of the town’s hidden treasures, known only by the locals and the few lucky visitors to Decorah during spring, summer or fall.  It’s.  There are trails and stairs located near Dunning Springs to allow hikers to get a variety of views of one of Decorah’s marvels.

3.  Decorah is home to one of the best ice cream shops in all of Iowa.

 

Decorah locals enjoy a tasty treat at the Whippy Dip.

Decorah locals enjoy a tasty treat at the Whippy Dip. Photo by by Audrey Kletscher Helbling of Minnesota Prairie Roots.

If you ask any of the Decorah locals, “Where can I go for quick, tasty bite to eat,” they will say, “the Whippy Dip.”  This small restaurant features a variety of food and ice cream that will satisfy anyone’s taste buds.  The best part is that the Whippy Dip is within walking distance of Luther College as well as downtown Decorah.  To learn more about The Whippy Dip, check out this post on the Minnesota Prairie Roots blog.

4.  Decorah has its very own Ice Cave.

A visitor explores the Decorah Ice Cave. Courtesy of geocaching.com

A visitor explores the Decorah Ice Cave.
Photo courtesy of Geocaching.com

The Ice Cave is another gem of Decorah, Iowa.  It was declared a state geological state preserve, and is open to the public.  Visitors and even the locals of the small town enjoy a trip to the Ice Cave when looking for an adventure.

5.  Decorah is home to the famous Decorah Bald Eagles.

Here is a screen grab of the Decorah Eagle Nest showing a two newborn eaglets. Courtesy of Usteam.tv taken from wikipedia.org.

Here is a screen grab of the Decorah Eagle Nest showing two newborn eaglets.
Courtesy of Usteam.tv taken from wikipedia.org.

The Decorah eagles are definitely a sight to see, but  you don’t even need to go to Decorah to view this spectacle.  Visit Decorah Eagle Cam Alerts to see videos and pictures live from the camera set high up in a tree where the eagles reside. You can also learn more about bald eagles at the site.

Have you visited Decorah, Iowa? Or perhaps you live there? Please share your favorite Decorah ‘fun fact’ or destination in comments below.

Kathryn JohnsonThis post was written by Kathryn Johnson, a junior majoring in Spanish at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Kathryn’s passion for travel blossomed from her love for foreign language  In August, 2015, she plans to volunteer in France or Morocco before traveling to Spain for a semester-long study abroad experience.

Kathryn is currently learning about travel marketing and social media during an internship with VentureTime Travel.

View her LinkedIn profile at  to learn more about her accomplishments and future goals.

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6 “Can’t Miss” Beaches in Florida

by Lauren Youngerman on September 27, 2014

In Florida, a state that’s nearly completely surrounded by beaches, it is sometimes hard to choose which beach to visit. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or partying, there’s a beach in Florida for everyone.

Take this from a Florida native, these are the beaches you don’t want to miss out on if you want to go home with a nice tan and great stories to tell.

Here are my 6 “can’t miss” beach destinations in Florida:

1. St. Augustine Beach

St. Augustine Beach, Florida

St Augustine Beach. Photo Credit: City of St Augustine

For any history buffs out there, St. Augustine is the beach to be at.  St. Augustine, known as Florida’s oldest city, has a lot to offer both on and off the beach.  Enjoy a relaxing day by the ocean, climb lighthouses, explore historic sights such as forts and museums, enjoy a glass of wine at the beautiful San Sebastian winery, explore the shops on St. George Street, and so much more!

2.Panama City Beach

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Panama City Beach Sunset

Located in the Panhandle, Panama City Beach is known for it’s wild beach-goers.  While this beach is very calm August-Febuary, it turns into the Spring Break hot spot in March!  Panama City Beach is known for having a crazy spring break, year after year, with parties at all of the bars and hotels, as well as many performers on the beach.  If you’re not looking to party, during the off-season it’s very tranquil and a great place to relax.

3.  Key West

The famous Key West Sunset from Sunset Pier - Key West

The famous Key West Sunset from Sunset Pier – Key West

The Southernmost point in the United States has a little something for everyone.  Key West is well known for it’s stunning sunsets and laid back atmosphere.  During the day you can explore the other keys, kayak through the mangroves, or even snorkel through the coral reefs!  Then once the sun goes down, Duval Street is also known for the Bars and Nightlife.  This is the city that was Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. In Key West you can get a drink any hour of the day — because it’s five o’clock somewhere

 

4.  Daytona Beach

Sunrise over Daytona Beach – Credit: Wikipedia

Daytona Beach is a much more family friendly beach during the Spring Break season, however this beach has so much to offer all year round!  This popular beach destination in Florida has beautiful sunrises and a lot to do just a few steps from the water.  And for all of you Nascar Fans, you can check out the Daytona International Speedway where they hold the Daytona 500!

5.  Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach is where relaxation meets the gulf.  This beautiful beach town just outside of Tampa FL is the perfect place if you want to feel the sun on your skin and the sand between your toes.  Just a fair warning – being on the gulf, this beach has no waves.  However that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other water activities such as Stand Up Paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, kite surfing, and so much more.  The surrounding beaches have a lot of wonderful activities to offer as well! 

6.  Miami Beach

Arial view of Miami Beach --Credit City of Miami Beach

Arial view of Miami Beach –Credit City of Miami Beach 

You’ve heard of Miami Beach, now it’s just time to go there.  The beautiful shores in South Beach are home to those who know how to have a good time.  Relaxing by the beach by day, and enjoying the upscale nightlife after dark. The Miami Beach area is also a lovely place to try out sailing or getting on a stand up paddle board.

What’s your favorite Florida beach? Please share in comments below.

Laura YoungermanThis post was written by Lauren Youngerman, a student at the University of South Florida studying international business with a focus on Spanish and marketing.

She is a member of her school’s sailing team, and also works as a sailing coach at a nearby club.

Lauren is an adventure seeker who has had the opportunity to live abroad in both Brazil and Nicaragua, as well as to being a part of the U.S. Army.

Currently completing a social media internship for VentureTime Travel, Lauren seeks a career in marketing after graduation. Learn more about Lauren’s work experience via her LinkedIn profile. 

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“As a child, my parents didn’t buy me ‘things,’ but spent on experiences, such as travel, that allowed me to grow as a person.” A Travel Chat with an International Business Student

September 25, 2014

Traveler Interview:  Lauren Youngerman   A student at the University of South Florida, Lauren Youngerman is a studying international business with a focus on Spanish and marketing.  She is a member of her school’s sailing team, and also works as a sailing coach at a nearby club. Lauren is an adventure seeker who has had […]

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4 Tastiest Foods On A Stick At The Iowa State Fair

September 24, 2014

Being from Iowa, it’s always hard to pass up the annual vacation to the Iowa State Fair. The summer event can satisfy any appetite with almost 200 delectable foods, but that’s not the best part. Nearly 60 of those delicious foods are sold on a stick! Take a look at what I think are the […]

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