Top things to do in Dubuque—Iowa's oldest city—include the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Cable Car Square, Fenelon Place Elevator, Eagle Point Park and the Mines of Spain Recreation Area.
Dubuque, Iowa, Fenelon Place Elevator
Fenelon Place Elevator
| Credit: Ackerman + Gruber


Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

The all-volunteer arboretum features a peony collection, rose garden, Japanese garden, hosta shade garden and more. Weekday tours are available by reservation.

Eagle Point Park

Above Lock and Dam No. 11, 164 acres provide picnic spots and Mississippi views.

Fenelon Place Elevator

In Cable Car Square, ride 189 feet up the world's shortest, steepest scenic railway for a tristate view.

Field of Dreams Movie Site, Dyersville, Iowa
Credit: Jay Wilde

Field of Dreams movie site

A century-old farm in Dyersville (27 miles west) made movie history. People still come to sit in the bleachers and run the bases. More history was made August 12, 2021, when the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees played at a temporary ballpark constructed next to the movie location. Another MLB game is scheduled for 2022 with expansion plans for both youth and pro games in coming years.

Mines of Spain State Recreation Area

A 1,432-acre National Historic Landmark encompasses limestone cliffs and bluffs, stands of old timber, and Catfish Creek along miles of hiking trails. Get great river views from the Julien Dubuque Monument.

National Farm Toy Museum

This Dyersville fun house displays thousands of scale-model farm toys.

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. Courtesy of the Dubuque Convention and Visitors Bureau
Credit: Courtesy of the Dubuque Convention and Visitors Bureau

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

Three dozen exhibits show the worlds of a bayou, backwater marsh, flooded forest and more. Turtles and alligator gar fill freshwater habitats. You can get up close to the octopus and touch live stingrays in the Gulf of Mexico Aquarium.

Dubuque mural
Credit: Ackerman + Gruber

Voices Mural Project

More than 45 murals from artists across the U.S. cover downtown, thanks to a nonprofit project started in 2017. Spot them from the Mississippi riverfront to the burgeoning Millwork District.

Eat and Drink

7 Hills Brewing Company

Sample brews, like the Muddy Tugger nut brown ale, and nosh on soups, sandwiches and brisket in a former warehouse in the Historic Millwork District.

Brazen Open Kitchen
Brazen Open Kitchen
| Credit: Ackerman + Gruber

Brazen Open Kitchen

Taste the work of Kevin Scharpf, who appeared on Bravo's Top Chef. Try salmon with vegan risotto or duck confit tacos, with tomato ceviche, cilantro and corn tortillas. Wash it all down with an elderflower gin cocktail frothed with eggs.

Copper Kettle

Craft beer and comfort-food fare, such as house-smoked pork ribs or chicken linguine, have made this a local favorite. Copper Kettle's Facebook page

Dimensional Brewing Company

This spot—part of a growing brewery scene in a city that did not have even one operating brewery a few years ago—pours knockout IPAs in a 1916 brick building downtown.

L.May Eatery

Named for the owner's grandmother, this charming spot elevates comfort food (pizza, tacos, pork shanks, stuffed chicken) to gourmet status with farm-fresh ingredients.

Pepper Sprout

Reserve your spot for the gourmet, seasonal Midwestern cuisine prepared with upscale flair. Atmosphere and service are top-shelf.

Stone Cliff Winery Room

Live music some nights makes a perfect pairing for Iowa wine.


Hotel Julien Dubuque.

Hotel Julien Dubuque

An elegant lobby preserves 180 years of history in wood-paneled columns and golden elevators, while cozy, updated rooms overlook the Mississippi River. A spa, indoor pool and restaurant round out your stay.

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