Top Things to Do on a Budget in Dubuque, Iowa
Fenelon Place Elevator
For just $4, you'll get a round-trip ride on wooden cable cars to a panoramic view of three states, the Mississippi River and Dubuque's historical business district. Billed as the world's shortest, steepest scenic railway, the elevator rises and descends 189 feet along its 300-foot journey. The railway dates to the 1880s. Open April through November.
Related: Top Things to Do in Dubuque
Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
One of the largest all-volunteer arboretums in the country deserves a visit, not just because it's free, but because its displays include roses, herbs, veggies and one of the largest public hosta gardens in the United States. The English Garden wows with formal plantings, and the Japanese Garden is a Zen-like spot to commune with nature. More than 300 volunteers keep this flora lush and healthy with lots of TLC.
Dubuque Museum of Art
Founded in 1874, this museum is Iowa's oldest cultural institution. The 2,200-plus-item permanent collection focuses on American regional artists, with pieces by Grant Wood and a complete grouping of The North American Indian photogravures by Edward Curtis. Adult admission: $7.
Enjoy river views—as well as looking at public art exhibits that change each year—as you meader along the Mississippi. Overall, the city maintains a 53-mile hike/bike system that leads to some of the area's most popular attractions, including Eagle Point Park and historic downtown districts.
Stone Cliff Winery
One of Iowa's first wineries, Stone Cliff repurposes part of the Star Brewery Complex as a tasting room-wine bar with fabulous river views. Sample five Iowa wines for $10; Riesling and Moscato are the sips of choice. Domestic and craft beers on tap cater to customers who prefer suds to grapes.
Eagle Point Park
Above Lock and Dam #11, 164 acres provide picnic spots and Mississippi views. Free.
Mines of Spain Recreation Area
A 1,387-acre National Historic Landmark encompases limestone bluffs, stands of old timber and Catfish Creek along 21 miles of hiking trails. Free.
More information: traveldubuque.com