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Vineyards, Boutique Shopping, Tasty Food & History = The People Of Elk Horn, Iowa

Elk Horn, Iowa is one of those towns that you will never forget, when you meet the people of Elk Horn, Iowa. Fun Fact: This town is the largest rural Danish settlement in the United States. On a recent visit to Elk Horn, I learned so much about the town in simple conversations. Upon arriving into town I headed out to the winery, Danish Countryside Vines & Wines. I was fortunate to visit on a bright, sunny Fall day.

*Thank you to the Danish Windmill for hosting myself and several bloggers on a Fall day in September. I truly loved meeting the people, enjoying the experiences and good food.

Danish Countryside Vineyard

Here is where I met Loren Christensen. He and his wife Jennifer, own the winery, which has been in the family for several years. A tour of the vineyard blew me away, as it was Iowa beauty all wrapped up in a vineyard. They are open Monday-Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 11-4. You can also visit by appointment, give them a call at 712-764-2991 or message them here. Take a tour with me in the video featured below.

This was also the first time that I had been in a vineyard, surrounded by so many ripe grapes. Loren was welcoming and it was clear that he and his family are passionate about wine and Elk Horn, Iowa.

Elk Horn and Iowa beauty featured here in these photos.


Copenhagen Friday is a new shop in town. Shon Andersen wanted to do something for herself and others, and she opened this shop on Main Street.

Copenhagen Friday

You will find gifts, handbags, clothing, and all sorts of boutique items that you will not find elsewhere within the area. From serious to fun items, this shop has it all.


A climb up into the Danish Windmill was led by Lisa Riggs. Lisa knew that windmill like the back of her hand, and everything that makes it work like clockwork.

Windmill with Lisa Riggs People of Elk Horn

Tip: If the wind is not blowing, the windmill may not be turning. On our visit, the wind was blowing and the windmill was moving.


A visit to the Genealogy Center led to a wonderful visit with Wanda Sornson. People come from all around the globe to learn about their Danish heritage.

Geneaology Center Danish Windmill Museum People of Elkhorn

Wanda is a genealogy assistant, but she puts in full-time work with each project she works on. She said that it is not uncommon to spend more than 125 hours researching the history of some families. She loves her job and retirement! Wanda is a retired teacher and she is lucky to have found something so much fun to do in her “spare” time. Even if you do not plan on using the services they offer, do stop in and say, “Hi!”

In the building behind the Danish Windmill, be sure to stop into the Old Danish Workshop. Here is where you will meet Gene Thomsen!

People of Elk Horn Danish Workshop

Gene is an icon in town and is loving retirement. His passion for Elk Horn and all that it has to offer, are showcased here.


Iowa is known for their tenderloins. In fact, Larsen’s Catering & Pub has been the recipient of Iowa’s BEST tenderloin! Brenda Larsen serves them up with a smile.

Larsen's tenderloins in Elk Horn, Iowa

That in itself, is a reason to visit, don’t you agree? If there is one thing I can guarantee, it is the fact that the people of Elk Horn, Iowa will make your day brighter and better.


Directions to Elk Horn, Iowa: Take Exit 54 off of I-80 in South Western Iowa. A short five-minute drive North will take you to the world-famous Danish Windmill. Elk Horn makes a great day trip from the Omaha and Des Moines metro areas. The grounds of the Danish Windmill is where you will want to start your visit. Make the time to explore and shop.

In case, you missed my experience of going down the rabbit hole on the other side of the state of Iowa, here it is, Horsfall’s in Lansing, Iowa.






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Sara is a travel enthusiast that resides in North Iowa. You can find her traveling where the plane, train, ship, or car will go. Are you looking to take a road trip? Sara has solutions for you!

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