Start your day with eggs Benedict—two poached eggs, Canadian bacon, asparagus and Hollandaise sauce on crusty French bread—at Manna Java World Cafe.
At the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, stroll through the Rivers of America exhibit, watch a boatbuilder at work, and catch a featured film at the 3D/4D theater.
Enjoy Cajun cornmeal catfish along with Mississippi River views at Catfish Charlie's River Club.
Visit the Dubuque Museum of Art’s noted Grant Wood Gallery.
Relax with a tasting of Stone Cliff Winery’s best-selling Riesling and Moscato wines; take home a wine glass as souvenir.
Dine at L. May Eatery, where specialties include the Mediterranean shrimp and scallops tossed with kalamata olives and grape tomatoes in a garlic olive oil sauce and served over linguini with a rosemary aioli.
End the day at the historic Hotel Julien Dubuque, a luxury boutique hotel overlooking the Mississippi (from $149), and enjoy a relaxing massage at the hotel’s luxurious Potosa Spa.
For $1.50 each way, zip up the Fenelon Place Elevator, the world’s shortest, steepest scenic railway. The tristate view from the top of the bluff is magnificent. Then take the free half-hour narrated city trolley tour through the Mississippi River Walk area and downtown.
You’re likely to see some wildlife during the Spirit of Dubuque lunch cruise, a two-hour narrated Mississippi River eco/historic sightseeing cruise aboard Iowa’s only authentic paddle wheeler.
Don’t miss the award-winning rose gardens at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, the only all-volunteer arboretum in the country.
Take an afternoon break at Chocolaterie Stam/Corked, a European-style chocolate shop selling handcrafted chocolates, gelato, coffees and wines.
From atop Eagle Point Park’s bluffs (overlooking the Mississippi River and Lock & Dam No. 11) there are spectacular tristate views of Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.
More information: (800) 798-8844; traveldubuque.com