Dubuque, Iowa lays on the banks of the mightly Mississippi River and proudly claims to be the place ‘where Iowa started’! Just minutes from the borders of both Illinois and Wisconsin this river side town has something for everyone! Whether you are travelling as a couple or a family with kids or if you are a foodie or enjoy being in the great outdoors! Here’s a giant list of some of my favourite things to do in Dubuque as told by a local (including free things to do)!
Mason City is a ridiculously creative town in Iowa. From music, to architecture, to puppetry to ‘street’ art, it has it all! It has some pretty big famous connections too! In this guide I share some of the cool things to do in Mason City!
My childhood was spent going on holidays in a caravan. I’m used to ‘roughing it’ in the great outdoors so to speak and making trips to the nearest toilet block! When I discovered you could go glamping in Iowa AND it was in a town I was planning on visiting, I knew there was no other choice! Yes, I stayed in a yurt while attending a travel blogging conference! Here’s what you should know about staying in a yurt at McIntosh Woods State Park in Clear Lake, Iowa!
Because of geographical location of Dubuque Iowa, there are plenty of opportunities to get ‘up high’ and experience some of Dubuque’s vantage points! Sitting along the banks of the Mississippi River, it is possible to see 3 States (Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin) at once from the majority of these viewpoints!
One thing that surprised me the most when I moved to Iowa, was that there was actually a ski resort! I’m sure I’m not the only one that would assume that Iowa equalled flat and all corn fields…how wrong was I! Skiing in Iowa is most definitely a thing! Sundown Mountain Resort Dubuque has 21 ski runs (green, blue and black diamond) and 2 terrain parks. When it doesn’t snow, the resort is maintained by 150 snow guns (believe me, it’s cold enough for the snow not to melt once it is there!) and the runs are groomed daily!
Pinots Palette was founded in Houston, Texas back in 2009. There’s now over 100 studios across the country with 2 being located within Iowa (Dubuque and Des Moines)! The Pinots Palette tag line is “Paint. Drink. Have Fun.” and I can vouch that it is definitely a very fun and relaxed environment! Classes usually operate twice a week, with different seasonal painting each evening, so you could go back multiple times and not have to paint the same pictures over and over! The studios operate a ‘bring your own drink’ policy but provide glasses and ice buckets and all the necessary painting equipment for the evening!
So the Hawkeyes are making headline news at the moment, you may have seen the ‘Kinnick Wave’ on the news. During the football home games in Iowa City, the whole of Kinnick Stadium turn to the Children’s Hospital that overlooks the stadium, and everyone waves at the patients on the 12th floor. They even do it at night and wave phone flashlights (if you’ve ever been to a music gig where people wave a light during a song, you’ll know how awesome it looks)! On December 7th they will be receiving the ‘Disney Sports Spirit Award’! But did you know that in Iowa City there’s a ‘Hall of Fame and Museum’ celebrating Hawkeye sports and all the athletic achievements of the University of Iowa?
Live in Dubuque Iowa or visiting the area? It’s easy to get wrapped up in just eating at the large chain restaurants, they are near all the biggest shopping areas, with the largest car parks. But you’re missing out! There are plenty of independent Dubuque restaurants in the Downtown Area that are well worth visiting! Here are 8 of my favourites!