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Dubuque, Iowa - Great River Road

dubuque riverwalk plaza
Things to See & Do
Dubuque's Mississippi River Walk & Grand River Center

Dubuque, IA Pages

- About Dubuque, Iowa
- More Dubuque IA Things to
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- Christmas Lights, Dubuque
Holiday Events

- Dubuque Eagle Point Park
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- Balltown, Iowa
- Potosi, Wisconsin

Dubuque was founded in 1788 by French explorer and trader Julian Dubuque. This early history is recaptured in the Mines of Spain Historical & Recreation Area just south of modern day Dubuque. Within Dubuque itself, Victorian architecture abounds with many historic 19th century homes and buildings remain.

Great River Road Scenic Byway - Links to Sections:

- Fulton to Prairie Du Chien
- Prairie to LaCrosse to Winona
- Winona to Red Wing

Scenic Byways Directory


Other visitor attractions and things to see and do in Dubuque include the antique and artisan shops, the Mississippi River walk, the Grand River Center, Riverboat Cruises, Casino & Racetracks, and the outstanding Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.

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Mississippi Riverwalk

Julien Dubuque Bridge

Looking south along the Riverwalk. The Julien Dubuque Bridge in the background crosses from the Iowa side over the river to East Dubuque, Illinois.dubuque riverwalk


Benches and shaded rest areas are strategically located along the Riverwalk.

dubuque Grand River Center

The Grand River Center. The day we were there, a wedding was taking place so Jo didn't feel comfortable touring the inside.

Star Brewery

The old Star Brewery building, built in 1898, is near the northern end of the Riverwalk. It has been renovated and now houses a small brewery museum, the Stone Creek Winery, the Star Restaurant, and some office space on the upper levels.

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Downtown Historic, Shopping & Arts District - Dubuque, Iowa

Artisan Shops

A number of artisan, gift and antique shops are located along Bluff Street.

quilt shop dubuque

. . . including a quilt shop. This one, Cotton Cabin, was closed at the time of our visit so we don't know what's inside.

Town clock dubuque

The Town Clock centers the downtown mall. It dates back to 1873 when it was erected on the top of a building a few blocks from its present location.

Other downtown things to see and do include: the Cable Car Square, Fenelon Place Elevator (incline railway), the Bricktown Brewery, and the Iowa Welcome Center (for info on Dubuque and Iowa's Great River Road attractions)

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National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

A spinning Mississippi Riverboat paddle wheel marks the entrance to the museum.

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

< < < This channel cat and gar are but two of hundreds of Mississippi River fish and reptiles on exhibit.

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National Mississippi River Museum and AquariumIn the main museum area, the Woodward Discovery Center, in addition to the several aquarium tanks, there are: river history panoramas, multi-media displays where you can tour the entire course of the river, three movie theatres with short educational films running throughout the day, a steamboat theatre, a special catfish aquarium & educational exhibit, and a modern riverboat pilot house simulator.

Adjacent to the main Discovery Center is the Woodward Riverboat Museum with many exhibits on the history of travel and commerce on the river.

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A third major area of the Museum is outside . . . adjacent to the Ice Harbor. Here the Towboat Logsdon is in dry dock for touring. A boardwalk meanders through a Woodland Wetland re-creation. There is also a boat building yard, an otter exhibit, and a children's play area.

National Mississippi River Museum and AquariumAnd for me, the capstone of the outdoor exhibits, was touring the massive paddlewheel steamboat dredger, the William M. Black, in dry dock. Built in 1934, she served until 1973 when the "labor-intensive nature of steam power and the rising cost of fuel forced her retirement . . . ." Here's a shot of her maintenance shop > > >

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

In 2011 the Museum opened another 50,000 square feet of space expanding its educational and entertaining exhibits, including this 40,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico tank.

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium


Another new and very popular additon is the childrens RiverWorks water play area.

See more on the new additions in our 2011 blog on our Visit to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

red triaFor more info on visiting the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
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red triaMore Dubuque Iowa Travel & Visitor Attractions & Links

More Great River Road Scenic Byway Pages

- Scenic Drive from Fulton to Galena to Prairie Du Chien
- Scenic Drive from Prairie Du Chien to LaCrosse to Winona
- Scenic Drive from Winona to Red Wing

Go Here for our Master Scenic Byways Directory


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