Mines of Spain Recreation Area Hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails wind through fields and forests at this 1,437-acre state recreation area. Wildlife abounds, so don’t be surprised to see deer, squirrels and wild turkeys. A monument marking Julien Dubuque’s final resting place sits where Catfish Creek meets the Mississippi. The E.B. Lyons Interpretive Center serves as both a visitors center and park office. Follow the Horseshoe Bluff trail for breathtaking views of the river below. (563) 556-0620; minesofspain.org
Julien Dubuque Monument in Mines of Spain Recreation Area. Photo courtesy of Dubuque Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Sundown Mountain Resort Shush down the mountain on skis or snowboard at this family-owned resort, where Winter Wellness programs encourage guests to get—and stay—active. All ages and ability levels are welcome; the resort has lessons, 21 runs, four lifts and a total vertical drop of 475 feet. Can’t get enough? Stay on-site at either of two mountaintop lodges overlooking the action. (563) 556-6676; sundownmtn.com
Sky Tours Zipline at YMCA Union Park Camp During these two-hour adventure tours, you’ll fly through the air 75 feet above the ground on nine zip lines with names like Rabbit Run, Ground Speed and The Duel. Keep your eyes peeled as you traverse Hawk’s Nest; you might glimpse some birds as you zip by. (563) 484-4248; skytourszipline.com
L. May Eatery Named for the owner’s grandma, this charming spot elevates comfort food to gourmet status with locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients and seafood flown in fresh. The menu changes seasonally, reinterpreting familiar fare such as steak, fish, pasta, pizzas and soups in inventive ways. We love the pan-seared scallops, snappy salads with Parmesan garlic dressing and the homemade seven-grain bread served with flavored butter. (563) 556-0505; lmayeatery.com
Dubuque Water Trail Load up a canoe or kayak; this 11-mile designated waterway along the Mississippi River and Catfish Creek has five access points between A.Y. McDonald Park and Massey Marina Park. It’s your call whether to tackle the trail in segments or all at once. Heads up: You’ll need to arrange transportation between sites, and life jackets are required. (563) 589-4210; cityofdubuque.org
Hotel Julien Dubuque Located in the Old Main District and dating back to 1839, this renovated boutique hotel is within an easy stroll of the Port of Dubuque and the Mississippi Riverwalk. Posh decor in the lobby and rooms recalls a bygone era with details such as tin ceilings, marble floors and historical photos. The Potosa Spa pampers guests with services inspired by the four elements of the Native American Medicine Wheel—earth, wind, water and fire. (563) 556-4200; hoteljuliendubuque.com
Hotel Julien Dubuque lobby. Photo courtesy of Hotel Julien Dubuque.