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25 Best & Fun Things To Do In Dubuque (Iowa)

While not quite as popular as Des Moines or Sioux City, Dubuque is the county seat in Iowa and it has tons of fun things for travelers who are willing to enjoy a bit of southern hospitality.

Thrillseekers would be able to explore amusement parks, historic houses, and riverboat casinos.

Honeymooners will enjoy visiting lovely gardens and amazing appetizers from various dining establishments in Dubuque.

Families aren’t left out as they’d enjoy time seeing interesting animals at petting zoos and coffee shops.

Solo travelers will equally appreciate the series of picnic spots, cafes, and breweries this city of Iowa has to offer.

Obviously, Dubuque has a variety of tourist attractions that will appeal to all categories of visitors!

If you’ve never been to an arboretum center or explored an aquarium attraction, this is your chance to change your traveling experience!

So, as you’re planning a trip to Dubuque, is the itinerary begging you to fill the vacuum?

Relax, here are just a few of the best places you can check out during your travel to Dubuque in Iowa!

Things To Do In Dubuque

1. National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque

Dirk Hansen / Wikimedia Commons

One of the best and most thrilling places that’d sure make your trip to Dubuque worthwhile is National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium!

This spot is an entertainment destination that inspires every visitor through its series of historical documentation.

Besides, this historic landmark that was established in 2003 has lots of exhibits that reflect the culture, life, and ecosystems of this city.

Little wonder it boasts of receiving over 250,000 visitors annually. Definitely, you’d not feel less happy checking out this attraction.

Aside from its historical relevance, this site equally has a 4D theater and kids’ playing ground.

While you’d be sure of getting out the best here, your kids aren’t left out! There’s a bit of something fun for all ages!

Incredibly, this lovely destination also affords visitors the opportunity to touch a live stingray, and the admittance price is so affordable.

Definitely, well worth a stop if you’d be in Dubuque anytime soon!

Address: 350 E 3rd St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

2. Fenelon Place Elevator Co.

Fenelon Place Elevator Co. In Dubuque

Teemu008 / Wikimedia Commons

If you’d not be in a hurry to conclude your exploration in Dubuque, Fenelon Place Elevator Co. is another point of interest that should be in your itinerary.

Essentially, this awesome area offers an elevator service in this city of Iowa.

This region is remarkably attributed to being the steepest and shortest railroad in the world.

Although several other funiculars equally make this claim, nonetheless, the fact apparently speaks for itself!

This funicular is a wonderful way to go from top to bottom of the hill, and it’s certain you’d love it.

Besides, the ice cream shop at the bottom of the hill is also worth the stop for good treats.

During your travels to Dubuque, the scenic view from the top and the old-time feel of the elevator is enough to make your journey worthwhile!

Little wonder it was given international recognition as one of the most historic and entertaining places in the United States in 1978.

Interestingly, it’s super affordable! At only $4, you’re on for the treat you’d sure to remember in years to come!

Address: 512 Fenelon Pl, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

3. Eagle Point Park

Eagle Point Park, Dubuque

Jack11 Poland / Wikimedia Commons

Established in 1909, Eagle Point Park is one of the most outstanding parks in the Midwest.

This park is 164 acres that overlook the Mississippi River and have tons of interesting things to offer tourists.

Ever since its establishment over a century ago, the period of May through October, which is the period they open, is always known as that period when visitors troop into this city of Iowa.

The reason is simply that Eagle Point Park is suitable for bicycling, trailing, walking, picnicking, and lots of other recreational activities.

In fact, the entire area of this amazing attraction is with lovely trees, and flower beds and it also has a decorative fish pond.

There’s also a little area that sprays water for small children to get cooled off.

Not only that, this awesome spot had a number of playgrounds and tennis courts. Evidently, you’d not be short of fun things anytime you’re on sight here!

Any season you’re in Dubuque, it’d definitely be worth the $1 that you have to spend to get into the park!

Address: 2601 Shiras Ave, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

4. Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Dubuque

Dirk Hansen / Wikimedia Commons

A part of Dubuque since 1980, Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a 56-acre attraction in Iowa.

This open space is accessible to all travelers daily without a charge.

Part of the beautiful collections in this garden include the largest public hosta garden in the whole of the United States.

Aside from that, there are also over 13,000 different plants that represent over 700 species. In addition, this place is also a popular center in the community for outdoor weddings and it is also a venue for musical entertainment during the summer months.

Little wonder it hasn’t lost its relevance since its commissioning in 1980.

Checking through this wonderful garden that is meticulous wouldn’t do less to make your trip to Dubuque less impressive.

If you’d consider visiting this gorgeous location, note that they open between 9 am to 6 pm every day, excluding Sundays.

Address: 3800 Arboretum Dr, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

5. Mines of Spain Recreation Area

Mines of Spain Recreation Area, Dubuque

Mines of Spain Recreation Area

The Mines of Spain is an ideal place for hiking or a leisure stroll through the woods.

It’s an area that outdoor enthusiasts will always appreciate checking out.

There are a few small fishing spots, picnic areas, ski trails, a butterfly garden,s, and archeological sites. Obliviously, there’s something for everyone in this 1,380 acres attraction of Iowa!

Importantly, there’s no such provision for visitors to park vehicles, so it’s advisable you come through alternative means other than coming with your car.

Regardless of whatever sacrifice you’d make to be here, you’d leave more satisfied and would wish to plan a visit here again!

Address: 8991 Bellevue Heights Rd, Dubuque, IA 52003, United States

6. Crystal Lake Cave

Crystal Lake Cave

Andrew Currie / Wikimedia Commons

Opening every day between 9:00 am-6:00 pm, Crystal Lake Cave is a tourist attraction that’s suitable for the whole family.

With guided tours through their cave complex, indoor pool, a gem of fossil-mining area for kids, and a gift shop, it’s sure no visitor will experience boredom here!

Beyond all that, their hiking trail is an open paradise for hikers, and golfers would surely appreciate their disc golf.

No appropriate description would suffice in picturing how amazing this attraction of Dubuque is. Only a visit could justify it all!

Even if you’ve been to multiple different caves in different states, this particular cave is set to create a worthwhile experience you’d remember in years to come.

Of note, there are outdoor bathrooms and a few picnic tables and the entrance fee is just $20 per adult for the entire tour.

Address: 6684 Crystal Lake Cave Rd, Dubuque, IA 52003, United States

7. Stone Cliff Winery

Stone Cliff Winery, Dubuque

Stone Cliff Winery

Do you care to taste a well-prepared wine while you’re in this downtown Dubuque?

Expectedly, you would! Therefore, Stone Cliff Winery has amazing wines that’d surpass your expectations!

Stone Cliff Winery is essentially a winery that’s beautifully located in the restored historic Star Brewing Building overlooking the Mississippi River.

At this Winery store, they’re not only passionate about producing award-winning wine, but they’re also concerned about offering a selection of draft and bottle beers as well as some of the best food around.

It’s an appropriate place worth exploring during the evening period if you are in this city.

Great beer, flavored wine, appetizers, and friendly staff. What more would you have wanted in a winery? Obviously, it wouldn’t be more!

Upon your arrival in Dubuque, come to this great location with a welcoming ambiance. It’s more upscale than typical brew pubs and you’d love it!

Address: 600 Star Brewery Drive, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

8. Diamond Jo Casino

Diamond Jo Casino

The Diamond Jo Casino

Diamond Jo Casino is a dream come through for casino lovers planning a voyage to Dubuque!

This initiative was commissioned in 2006 by Boyd Gaming.

With a total gaming space of about 38,700 and a big wheel bar, this attraction could be one of the reasons you’d love to visit Iowa again.

You’d enjoy the high-energy casino with its over 750 slots, 20 table games, live entertainment, and lots more!

Why wouldn’t you then come on board to try your luck at Diamond Jo Casino or possibly enjoy all the sights, sounds, and tastes? Definitely, it will be worth it.

Amazingly, the pay is high and there’s no form of manipulation whatsoever!

Address: 301 Bell St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

9. Julien Dubuque Monument

Julien Dubuque Monument

The Julien Dubuque Monument

Julien Dubuque Monument is another point of interest worth including on your bucket list if you’d be in Dubuque in the coming summer.

Built-in the year 1897, this area has tons of interesting documentation to showcase the Indian-French fur trading culture.

You can park and stroll the sidewalk and enjoy this historical plaque as displayed all over.

Perhaps you might be interested in biking up the hill in this recreational area, that’s also permissible and it’s a plus to the fun things you’d enjoy here!

Lots of trails to follow with mileage, and beautiful views of the Mississippi River, it’s certain you’d come with positive reviews after your subsequent trip to this resting place of Julien Dubuque.

Just as you’d love, there are food trucks on sight and their food isn’t expensive!

Address: 1810 Monument Dr, Dubuque, IA 52003, United States

10. Mathias Ham Historic Site

Mathias Ham Historic Site

Mathias Ham Historic Site

Ignorance of the past comes from the absence of knowledge of the past!

Having an understanding of how the earliest inhabitants lived their lives and do their things is so important.

While planning a trip to Dubuque, why don’t you visit a place where you’d be able to learn the history of Iowa?

If you would, endeavor to check out Mathias Ham Historic Site!

It’s an impressive historic site that’s rich with lots of artifacts and exhibits.

Beyond that, there’s a tour guide that’s always on the ground to show visitors around and tell each visitor the rich history of Dubuque.

This 1856 spot also houses Mathias Ham House, which is considered Iowa’s oldest log cabin.

If you have time to visit, do note that the entrance fee is free and their operation hour is between 9 am through 5 am on all days of the week.

Address: 2241 Lincoln Ave, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

11. Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark

Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, Dubuque

Jesster79 / Wikimedia Commons

Play all year-round, get fulfilled and wild at Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark 25,000 square foot indoor waterpark!

This waterpark is considered a few of those parks that have modern swimming facilities in Iowa, and you’d surely appreciate it.

Beyond that, every visitor will enjoy the variety of rides and attractions and kids wouldn’t less enjoy their stay because there’s a play area for them as well.

It’s also important to state that visitors are expected to show a means of identifying themselves.

So, if you’re coming from other states, ensure you’re in with a proper means you could identify yourself.

Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark are set to spice up your experience while in Dubuque. Definitely, a check on them will be worthwhile.

Meanwhile, if you’d be on sight, it’s advisable you come early to beat up the crowd.

Address: 350 Bell St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

12. Sundown Mountain

Sundown Mountain

Sundown Mountain

Unlike Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, Sundown Mountain is a ski resort in Iowa.

Conveniently situated in the Midwest region, Sundown Mountain Resort attracts snowboarders and skiers of all abilities.

Sundown is remarkably the true Midwest ski resort destination that offers great snow and an unforgettable winter experience.

If you’re here during the winter period, this 55 acres of terrain attraction is a must to visit.

Not always extremely crowded and the lifts aren’t slow and the scooping is perfect.

Although, if you’re skiing for the first time, it might appear so hard, nevertheless, you’d love it at the end of it all.

The instructors at Sundown are equally patient and will act like old friends.

In any case, we recommend you include Sundown Mountain on your bucket list if you’re planning a vacation to Dubuque.

Address: 16991 Asbury Rd, Dubuque, IA 52002, United States

13. Heritage Trail, Dubuque

Heritage Trail

The Heritage Trail

Heritage Trail is a multi-use rail trail in Dubuque, Iowa.

It is an initiative that’s maintained by Dubuque County with the entire location made up of crushed limestone.

If you care to try out something new, try visiting and exploring this Upper Midwest’s most scenic all-season trail!

Thousands of visitors traverse the trail each year and you shouldn’t constitute an exception to this proportion.

Although it’s not a typical free attraction, the admittance fee is affordable compared to the level of satisfaction you’d get.

It’s therefore preferable for you to visit them during the weekend as they close so quickly on weekdays.

Address: Heritage Trail, Dubuque, Iowa, United States

Planning to check out something more thrilling during your travels to Dubuque? Why not check out our list of attractions you can explore in Ankeny, Cedar Rapids, and Ames

14. Dubuque Museum Of Art

Dubuque Museum Of Art

Dubuque Museum Of Art

Do you love to check out an area that houses some of the American most creative works while you’re on a trip to Iowa?

If you would, look no further! Dubuque Museum of Art has incredible 20th-century American art you’d love to see.

Unlike other museums of arts in America, this particular museum’s emphasis is on the Midwest region.

This great spot is Iowa’s oldest cultural institution established in 1874. You definitely would plan to stay longer than you planned if visited here as there’s a bit of something fun you’d love!

In addition, this Dubuque Museum of Art is so fortunate to have a significant collection of early paintings by Iowa’s great artists.

If you would be willing to spare 30 minutes of your travel plans while in Dubuque, a stop in this creative arena will be so insightful.

Address: 701 Locust St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

15. Dubuque Miller Riverview Park And Campground

Miller Riverview Park And Campground

Miller Riverview Park And Campground

With Miller Riverview Park and Campground, campers wouldn’t find this city of Iowa less interesting!

Miller Riverview is essentially a 20-acre riverside campsite that offers visitors biking & hiking trails, picnic tables, fire pits, and the opportunity to go on fishing.

Besides, everyone in sight would experience a beautiful sunrise and a boat parade, and they have modern restrooms and showers.

Perhaps kayaking or boating might be your favorite thing to do. This place is equally appropriate for that!

Overall, Miller Riverview Park and Campground have varieties of fun things you’d love to choose from!

Address: 1851 Admiral Sheehy Dr, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

16. Travel Dubuque Welcome Center

Travel Dubuque Welcome Center

Travel Dubuque Welcome Center

If you’re a foreigner and not too sure of the perfect place to begin your exploration while in Dubuque, your worry is over!

It’s unarguable that this city of Iowa boasts lots of ingesting destinations, nevertheless, if you didn’t navigate it well as expected, it might eventually appear boring.

Therefore, to avoid this shortfall, begin your exploration at Travel Dubuque Welcome Center!

They’re essentially a tourist information center in Iowa that boasts lots of print or digital versions of the annual travel guide featuring maps, events, and all the best places to explore in the Dubuque area.

Located on historic Main Street, this Travel Dubuque Welcome Center is equally a resource center for merchandise, brochures, and more.

Adding to that, take note that you could also get your guided tour here and their service charge is so inexpensive!

Address: 280 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

17. Bell Tower Theater

Bell Tower Theater

Tim Koehler / Bell Tower Theater

When it comes to amazing shows and concerts, you’d not wish for a better venue than Bell Tower Theater!

Bell Tower is an award-winning performing arts theater in Dubuque that organizes lots of seasonal shows.

These seasonal shows have a variety of straight comedies and musicals which you’re sure to enjoy.

In fact, the theater itself is a beautiful intimate space and the entire ambiance is so pleasing.

They do not do less in actualizing the purpose of their establishment, which is to present high-quality, live theater productions to audiences of all ages.

The ticket price is pocket friendly and they are so courteous. Everyone is always ready to listen to visitors.

Different from that, it’s necessary to state that the ticket price is excluding snacks.

Therefore, if you’d wish to stay longer hours, come with your snacks or a little extra money to her here!

Address: 2728 Asbury Rd # 242, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

18. Freddie’s Popcorn Company

Freddie's Popcorn Company

Freddie’s Popcorn Company

Is there any better thing than smelling and tasting nice popcorn?

There may be, but then, this could be one of the most memorable attractions you’d visit in this city of Iowa!

If you’re a popcorn fanatic like most meticulous visitors would be, it would do you great good to plan a trip here!

Interestingly, this Freddie’s Popcorn Company in Dubuque offers over 30 flavors of gourmet popcorn, and it’s the first of its kind in the United States.

If you’re with your kids to this downtown city in Iowa, it behooves you to bring them here. They’d love the taste of the delicious caramel which is made for kids.

Just like homemade, at Freddie’s Popcorn Company, every visitor is a kind.

You’ve no excuse to exclude this great destination from your itinerary. Definitely, will be worth it!

Address: 1086 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

19. Dubuque Mystique Ice Center

Mystique Ice Center

The Mystique Ice Center

Mystique Ice Center is an unpopular yet awesome place that’d be worth your time anytime you’re in Dubuque.

The Mystique Community Ice Center in Dubuque, Iowa, is home to the Dubuque Fighting Saints and offers public skating and a variety of fun skating

With its 3,079-seat, this arena is a wish come through for outdoor enthusiasts.

No wonder several tourists have always prioritized this location on their travel list ever since its establishment in 2010.

You can ice skate here as you wish and if you’d love to watch the Dubuque Fighting Saints play hockey, it’s equally a great option.

I’m confident you’d enjoy every bit of what Mystique Ice Center has to offer visitors during your visit.

Address: 1800 Admiral Sheehy Dr, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

20. Carnegie-Stout Public Library

Carnegie-Stout Public Library

Carnegie-Stout Public Library

Little does a tourist know how entertaining a library could be!

A visit to Carnegie-Stout Public Library would in no small measure change your perspective that there are some things that are also available in a library.

Precisely, this destination is an academic resource center in Iowa that was established in 1902.

It’s a location that has lots of insightful information about the American dark age era and several other historic literature.

In fact, its collections comprise 240,000 items, each with its own distinct relevance.

If you’re a historian or academician, this resource center is a must to visit.

For the kids, there is a series of video documentation of several occurrences in the United States. It’s surely going to be a perfect spot for all ages.

In case you’d be considering a visit, they are only open to visitors on Monday through Saturday between 9 am to 5 pm.

Address: 360 W 11th St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

21. The Lift



The Lift is a hip bar serving specialty martinis & craft beer in a dimly lit space decorated with local artwork.

If you care for a relaxing yet fun place while in Dubuque, think no more. The Lift has all you’d admire!

This arena is essentially a bar house with tasty and delicious food plus drinks.

What makes them so unique and outstanding is that there’s a TV all around the area and it’s always lively for social interaction.

This 200-capacity attraction that has been serving the state of Iowa since 1999 is equally a great place to take your lunch or dinner.

Regardless of the local American or Canadian dishes you might wish to request, all you have to do is to make an order, and they’d create the magic!

Despite its wonderful offerings, you’d not have to empty your wallet to enjoy the best, prices of their services are relatively affordable!

Address: 180 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

22. Storybook Hill Children’s Zoo Of Dubuque

Storybook Hill Children's Zoo

Storybook Hill Children’s Zoo

Do you love seeing animals?

If you love seeing animals, Storybook Hill Children’s Zoo is typically for you!

Storybook Hill Children’s Zoo is a nice little mini zoo that has lots of animals.

The beauty of being here is that the animals appear so friendly and they’re not hostile.

Perhaps you might be on sight with your kids, there’s also a large play area here, which is a plus for every kid on sight!

Aside from its remarkable playgrounds for the kids, there are also a lot of shady spots for a picnic.

In fact, you may decide to sit and observe your kids burning off their energy.

Address: 12201 N Cascade Rd, Dubuque, IA 52003, United States

23. The Second-Hand Rose, Dubuque

Second-Hand Rose

The Second-Hand Rose

Second Hand Rose is an antique store in Dubuque.

From collectibles to antiques, this lovely place has it all!

If you like old antiquities, you’ve no excuse to exclude this place from your itinerary.

It’s sure you’d be lost as to which of its lovely antiquities you should pick because they all appear so wonderful.

Even at that, the staff appears so professional and the prices of their antiquities are quite bearable, unlike what’s obtainable elsewhere.

Alternatively, you might wish to explore a little garden, that’s typically possible too! What an amazing spot! Definitely, it is!

It’s necessary to note that they’re open on all days between 9 am through 8 pm.

If you would be here, we advise you to come with some money in your wallet as you might love to get ice cream from the adjacent shop.

Address: 55 E 9th St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States

24. Verena Street Coffee Co

Verena Street Coffee Co

Verena Street Coffee Co

Are you tired of bitter and boring coffee?

At Verena Street Coffee Co, the unique, charismatic blends of coffee are always freshly roasted to precise levels, and you’d love it!

Serving the state of Iowa for several years, Verena Street Coffee has a hassle-free, never-ending supply of new, exciting roast coffee for all categories of visitors.

The flavor is just so delicious and it is surely worth the price.

Moreover, when it comes to decaffeinated coffee, they’re exceptional and top-notch!

Verena Street Coffee Co is conclusively a place not worth excluding in an itinerary for all coffee lovers planning a trip to Iowa!

Address: 720 Verena Ct, Dubuque, IA 52002, United States

25. Kennedy Mall, Dubuque

Kennedy Mall

Midwest Retail / Flickr

Ever since its establishment in 1970, Kennedy Mall has been a favorite shopping destination for several visitors.

Kennedy Mall is an award-winning shopping destination that’s owned by the Cafaro Company.

Part of the mall’s anchor stores is Shoe Carnival, Vertical Jump Park, Planet Fitness, and lots more.

With over 62 different stores, this all-in-one shopping destination apparently has all you’d need for a beautiful stay in this city of Iowa!

Take note that the mall’s opening hours are from 10 am to 9 pm on Monday while they open on Sunday between 11 am-6 pm.

Your fresh bread, cakes, ice cream, cheese, and wines wouldn’t be better elsewhere other than Kennedy Mall, highly advise you to check them out if you’d be in Dubuque!

Address: 555 John F Kennedy Rd, Dubuque, IA 52002, United States

Final Remarks

These are just a few of the best attractions you’d enjoy while in Dubuque.

Whether you’d love to check out leisurely fishing destinations or high-stakes gambling, you’d not be short of the great and most entertaining things during your travels to Dubuque!

Therefore, it’s advisable you make use of these recommendations to narrow down your itinerary.

Safe travels!