A view of Water Street in Decorah, Iowa.

#49. Decorah

Living in Decorah, Iowa, opens doors to a variety of outdoor activities from hockey games and cross-country skiing to mountain biking, camping and canoeing. Decorah’s history dates back to the 1850, when Norwegian natives built early settlements. The city’s Norse heritage is celebrated each July with a large Nordic Fest. Contributing to the city’s quality of life is a major trout hatchery along with many scenic parks, including some built on bluffs. The Decorah Community School District as well as four-year Luther College, which is renown for its Nordic Choir, have earned several education accolades.

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