Jo and I continued our tradition in spending Thanksgiving at a historic hotel along the Great River Road with her sister Donna and husband Dan. This year we traveled to Dubuque, Iowa to spend the holiday at the Hotel Julian Dubuque. Previously we’ve enjoyed Thanksgiving at the Desoto Hotel in Galena and the St. James Hotel in Red Wing. The hotel lobby was gaily decorated for Christmas and the second floor atrium was set up with 10 uniquely decorated trees that are part of Dubuque’s annual Festival of Trees celebration. We had a great dinner at the hotel’s signature restaurant Caroline’s and later enjoyed the Christmas Lights exhibition in Louis Murphy Park. (See our Dubuque Holiday Web Page for more pictures and information on these events)
The next day, Friday, we visited the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. Always an interesting tour. It is especially fun for kids with lots of interactive exhibits and a water play area. Educational too. In August we took our niece Kylah to the River Museum & Aquarium and she loved it. The museum’s ticket is good for two days of admission, which is useful because several exhibits have considerable educational information packed in them. We’ve been at the museum several times yet there are several multi-media productions and exhibits that I haven’t had time to explore in any depth.
During this visit we discovered a new restaurant near the hotel: Crust Italian Kitchen. There used to be a brewpub-restaurant at this location but it ceased operations and the space was vacant for a while. The interior was much the same as the brewpub. Nice bar area with a variety of beers on tap and a few TVs for sports fans. We had their soup and salad special. Fresh greens, beets, carrots & goat cheese – an ample serving for a soup and salad special. Soup was equally impressive. And price was decent. Great service. If you are in Dubuque I highly recommend Crust Italian Restaurant.