The history of the Mississippi River is the history of the city of Dubuque, Iowa, and you will find reminders of the paddleboats’ era when you stay with Choice Hotels in Dubuque, Iowa. Visit the city alive with festivals and sparkling attractions that include:
Once you’re here, be sure to check out Birmingham’s most popular attractions, including:
To get an overall sense of Dubuque from up high, ride the Fenelon Place Elevator, a funicular railway that is one of the shortest and steepest such rides around. Park at the top and take the ride down, explore the shops and neighborhood at the base of the bluff, and then ride up again for the stunning view.
If you are ready to stretch your legs, then head over to the Mines of Spain Recreation Area which provides enjoyable hiking and biking trails, as well as entry points for kayaks and canoes. The park is dog-friendly and offers some breathtaking views.
While you are at Mines of Spain, make sure you visit the tower marking the grave of Julien Dubuque, the French-Canadian explorer for whom the city is named. Dubuque befriended the Meskwaki tribe's chief Peosta (whose grave is also nearby) and was given permission from the tribe to mine lead here in 1788. The Meskwaki initially constructed a log crypt for Dubuque's corpse, replaced in the late 19th century by this stone monument tower.
Sitting on 10 acres, the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium includes a connecting plaza, a 3D/4D theater and a boatyard. It is a great opportunity to learn about the area’s wildlife, riverboats, people and places. A dredge ship is tied up here and can be toured as well. Head for the large paddle wheel at the entrance for a look into the world of the Mississippi, and take your time: your pass is good for two days.
For a quieter afternoon, check out the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, where your senses will be lulled by the sun and the heady fragrance of thousands of flowers. There are winding pathways, a gazebo and a smaller garden especially for children and named for Peter Rabbit. Ponds, waterfalls and a playground round out the experience.
Now that you have learned about the Mississippi, it is time to see it in action, and that is exactly what you can do at Eagle Park, where you can sit and watch a barge using the lock mechanism with a tugboat maneuvering it through. You can see three states from the park (Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin) and with any luck do a bit of birdwatching as well.
The first white settlement in Iowa, Dubuque was known for years as a boisterous river port and logging center; these days it’s more involved in meatpacking and other food industries. Learn about its history and enjoy the life the river continues to bring to the city when you stay with Choice Hotels in Dubuque, Iowa.
When? 2/19 – 4/22More Details
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