Discover Dubuque – Iowa’s First City

To gain a true history of Dubuque, you have to go all the way back to the 1700s. The first European settler arrived in the region in 1785. Julien Dubuque had received permission from Spain to mine the lead-rich deposits in and around the bluffs of the Mississippi River. The ownership of the territory would change hands after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. In 1837, more than two decades after Dubuque's death, the city would be officially chartered and named after the original pioneer. Having a chance to discover Dubuque attractions, eateries, and sights was an opportunity we were not going to pass [...]

By |2019-12-17T05:02:09-06:00November 6th, 2019|Destinations, Dubuque, Guides, Iowa, Midwest|14 Comments

Industrial Chic – Inspire Cafe

Staying in the downtown districts of cities we visit offers us plenty of chances to explore. Each destination has its own flavor and character. Often, we find nearby neighborhoods that are within walking distance but offer a completely different taste of the city. This was certainly the case in Dubuque, Iowa. Just a few blocks from our stomping ground, we located the Millwork District. Made up of just over a dozen square blocks, this historic section is teeming with local life.  Breakfast at Inspire Cafe would give us an opportunity to mingle with some of the locals while enjoying the industrial-chic design.   We [...]

By |2022-11-29T12:48:49-06:00October 30th, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|0 Comments

Nature’s Highways – National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

There were certain attractions that were "must-sees" during our visit to Dubuque, Iowa. Being Iowa's first city, it is no surprise that there is a river nearby. Of course, this isn't just any river. Visiting the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium promised to be an adventure on a grand scale. After all, it's the largest river in North America, and this museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute. We booked three hours to explore the exhibits designed around nature's highways and knew that we would be pushed to the limit to see it all in detail.  We want to thank Travel [...]

By |2020-01-24T07:45:00-06:00October 23rd, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|4 Comments

Family Tradition At Vinny Vanucchi’s Little Italy

When we are developing an itinerary for a new destination, picking our dining locations is especially important. I got my blogging start by hosting a local restaurant site for five years. When we expanded to our travel blog, it was important that we maintained our roots. Fortunately, locating interesting restaurants is usually easy. When I started researching downtown Dubuque, I found that there were way too many eateries for us to visit. This meant that we had to select a handful that would offer a broad example of what can be found in Iowa's oldest city. When we learned about Vinny Vanucchi's Little [...]

By |2019-12-17T05:20:42-06:00October 16th, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|6 Comments

In The Shadow Of Giants At Hotel Julien

History has a way of sneaking up on you. When we visited Dubuque, we knew we were experiencing Iowa's first city. The moment that Julien Dubuque first arrived on the western shore of the Mississippi River, was the start of something special. It would be almost 50 years before the city would be officially chartered, and another 13 years before the territory would become a state. By that point, there was already a hotel occupying the corner of 2nd and Main. Fast forward 180 years and the Hotel Julien stands proudly on this spot overlooking the Mighty Mississippi. Over the decades this site [...]

By |2022-03-23T04:02:03-06:00October 9th, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|0 Comments

Spelunking In Dubuque, Iowa

Iowa is known for many things, but underground caves are one that didn't make it on our list. You can imagine our surprise when we learned that Dubuque is home to Crystal Lake Cave. Located near the Mines of Spain Recreation Area, this underground attraction offered us a chance to satisfy some spelunking urges. Visiting caves is a fun way to learn the history of a city from the ground up. As a matter of fact, this stop would give us a peek below the ground, as well.   We want to thank Travel Dubuque and Crystal Lake Cave for their hospitality. Rest assured [...]

By |2019-12-24T22:25:27-06:00October 2nd, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|2 Comments

Social Hot Spot At L. May Eatery

Downtown Dubuque, Iowa is filled with an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. This walk-able destination is perfect for pedestrian visits. On a day filled with exploring, we found ourselves doing a once-around the downtown space. It started as an adventure to check out some local murals, that are found on the sides of many downtown buildings. After working up an appetite, we were ready to sample a social hot spot, just a few blocks up from our hotel. When we arrived at L. May Eatery, we could tell it was popular with the locals. We want to thank Travel Dubuque and L. [...]

By |2019-12-26T04:47:04-06:00September 25th, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|0 Comments

Slow Your Pace At Dubuque Arboretum

When traveling to a new destination, it is easy to get wrapped up into rushing through sites. Too often, we are trying to pack as much as possible into our time. The idea of missing out on even one attraction leads to a hurried pace. To help prevent us from falling into this mode, I will arrange our schedule to include a couple of stops designed to change our speed. The Dubuque Arboretum is one of those places that is designed to slow your pace.  We want to thank Travel Dubuque and the Dubuque Arboretum for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are [...]

By |2019-12-26T04:51:16-06:00September 18th, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|4 Comments

Sweet Success At Betty Jane Candies

Let's see a show of hands for all of our candy lovers out there. You can bet that Crystal and I each have our hands raised. Not every destination we visit gives us a chance to sample some new confectionery. Of course, I am always scoping out the landscape to see if one is available and within striking distance. Dubuque, Iowa offered a perfect opportunity to sample the sweet success at Betty Jane Candies. While we were unfamiliar with this particular chocolatier, we would soon discover that they have an immense following worldwide. We want to thank Travel Dubuque and Betty Jane Candies [...]

By |2022-11-29T12:49:19-06:00September 11th, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|4 Comments

Riding The World’s Shortest Railway in Dubuque

Dubuque, Iowa sits along a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. Let me clarify that by saying, part of the city sits on a bluff. The oldest portions of the city lie along the flood plain that rests beside the river. Carved out by the changing river patterns, this is home for many of the original businesses that fueled the growing city. It is also the place that we ended up riding the world's shortest railway.  We want to thank Travel Dubuque and Fenelon Place Elevator for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own. Cheap Trip There may be some dispute over [...]

By |2019-12-26T05:00:14-06:00September 4th, 2019|Dubuque, Iowa, Midwest|12 Comments
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