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Review of Dubuque

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Dubuque, IA
Top Contributor
295 reviews 295 reviews
Reviews in 117 cities Reviews in 117 cities
178 helpful votes 178 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2011

From the US' steepest elevator, thru Crystal Lake Cave, The Mississippi River Museum and Casino, Dubuque has something for everyone.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best Small City to Live in With Lots to Do”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

Dubuque very well may have a small town atmosphere, but it sure does have a lot to offer. Every weekend through the summer there is always an event happening. Spring and Fall we have the National Farm Toy show in the next town but will little hotel accommadation Dubuque always get's full. The Mississippi River Museum is an awesome place to vist as is other Museums in this small town such as the Old Jail, Ham House, 4th Street Elevator. Beautiful River Walks and Botanical Gardens. Are just some of the things one can do not counting the Mines of Spain and other hiking and bike trails. So come along for a visit and make sure you make a hotel reservation ahead of time even if it is on the way there.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“riverwalk is beautiful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2010

Living in Wisconsin, Iowa was a border state that our family had not been to. We loved the June trip that we took there this summer.

The riverwalk along the Mississippi river is new, clean, amazing and beautiful. Everyday we strolled along the path, watching wildlife and barges. One morning we mdae it out to watch the sunrise.....then back to bed of course.

The Mississippi river museum and the IMAX show were OK attractions....its not Disney: but our family enjoyed it.

The town provides a couple of free trolleys for transportation around the downtown area.

Our hotel had a waterpark which the kids loved. They also enjoyed a day at the dog racing track.

By far our favorite activity was about 35 minutes away in Galena, IL. If you ever wondered what ski resorts do in the summer to make money, here is the answer. At Chestnut mountain the have concrete "luge" runs down the hill. Our 10 yr old loved it and the 6 yr old could ride on my lap.

The brake is on the "sled" and you need to push hard on it to get it off as you barrel down the hill. The ski lift ride back up the hill was also quite enjoyable.

We went on a weekday and found local coupons to make it more affordable.

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2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great 2 to 3 day trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2008

Dubuque was an excellent choice for our family reunion. There is plenty to do over a 3 day weekend, but it is not so large that you lose everyone. Activities and sights are close together, trolley service from riverfront to downtown is fast and cheap, enough boutiques to take up an afternoon, good bars for groups that want to make a night of it, downtown and the riverfront development is beautiful. Things to do include casino, waterpark, cable car, shopping, wine tasting, river museum, boat rides on Mississippi, dog track, Galena is only a 20 minute drive for more shopping and skiing in winter. Friendly people everywhere we went, very enjoyable weekend. The city has done an excellent job developing the riverfront, would recommend without hesitation.

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Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
235 helpful votes 235 helpful votes
“Dubuque: An Excellent Stopover”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2004

We found Dubuque, Iowa to be a surprisingly worthwhile stopover on a short trip up to Wisconsin from Illinois. Living in Asheville, North Carolina which was once a fairly obscure tourist town itself, I get the distinct feeling that downtown Dubuque is poised for a great revival and a tourist boom. Unlike towns who have already made that transition, Dubuque is very affordable. Many of the gorgeous turn-of the-century buildings downtown seemed to be in various stages of renovation. Within a few easy blocks a quick walking tour rewards you with very memorable photo-ops such as the huge City Clock Tower on Main Street, two historic theatres, several historic churches (The Episcopal church has a beautiful collection of Tiffany stained glass.) and last but not least the historic Fenelon Place Elevator which takes people from downtown on a incline railway to a gorgeous hilltop neighborhood on a bluff above the city and the river.

The new National Aquarium of the Mississippi Museum complex lived up to it’s reputation as the media’s choice for the one must-see attraction in Dubuque. Though the large tanks of catfish and other Mississippi species offered a visual spectacle, the complex as a whole probably does a better job of interpreting life on the Mississippi than any other museum. Don’t skip the introductory film. With rumbling seats, very believable lightening and a fog machine this film is neither passive or boring. Kids will love trying there hand as a river boat pilot, navigating the toy boats in the outside pool, or climbing through the lead mine in the original part of the museum. Pose for a picture with Mark Twain as you enter the wetlands exhibit and the William H. Black Paddle Wheeler. The best part about the museum for me was the staff. They seemed genuine, sincere, and knowledgeable. You won’t leave here without learning something if you show any interest at all.

I would also consider Eagle Point Park a must see attraction, though we had a little difficulty finding the park. Follow the road through the industrial district along the river to find decent signage. If you are a fan of architecture the Prairie School public buildings within the park are a visual delight, but most people don’t come here for that. The big attraction here is the three-state view from a steep bluff along the Mississippi River. Looking north, it is easy to imagine that you are on some secret ocean inlet. You also get to view the giant barges as they navigate the locks below. It a huge park and worth the $2 per car admission. Pack a picnic or pick up an affordable gourmet lunch from Annie’s Little Bits near Fenalon Place Elevator.

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