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Explore Dubuque, Iowa: Guest Blogger Katy Flint, of Flint & Co.

Dubuque parks

Katy Flint of Flint & Co. resides in Iowa and enjoys exploring her home state.

Katy FlintKaty is sharing one of her favorite Iowa river towns, Dubuque, Iowa. We enjoy what Dubuque has to offer and we hope you will find inspiration to plan a visit.

The Midwest is full of so many great destinations! We love finding those treasures that are close to home and Dubuque is at the top of our list for weekend getaways! While Dubuque has a rich history as “The place where Iowa started”, it is a modern and thriving community that offers a little something for everyone! Whether you are taking off on the weekend with the family or for a quiet couples weekend, you will find more than one thing to do while visiting this river town!

Eagle Point Park

Eagle Point Park definitely has something to offer for everyone! Spend hours watching the barges enter and exit, Lock & Dam #11 or explore the many pavilions. The kids can enjoy the playgrounds, green space, tennis courts, horseshoe courts, or the rock garden and fish pond! Adults will enjoy the beautiful and historic pavilions as well as the walking path that runs along the Mississippi River!

Fenelon Place Elevator

Whether you’re looking for a fun adventure with the kids or a romantic event with that someone special, the Fenelon Place Elevator won’t disappoint. Take a ride on the historic (as well as the world’s shortest, steepest scenic railway) as it raises 189 feet above the town of Dubuque.

 

Fenelon Place Dubuque

 

Then, enjoy the view from there! Kids will enjoy the historic elevator and the views are bound to be the perfect setting for a picture with your loved one!

National River Museum & Aquarium

This museum located right along with Mississippi River is a great place for kids to learn and have fun! Pet a stingray, watch the river otters swim, along with a large variety of fish! The kids can get up close and personal with the history of the river and its purposes including touring an old dredge barge, the Steamboat William Black! Don’t forget to visit the remote-control bumper boats and the gift shops!

Hotel Julien Dubuque

If you’re looking for a place to stay, look no further than the Hotel Julien Dubuque.  It has had a place in Dubuque for over 130 years and thanks to a $33 million renovation recently, it is simply gorgeous and a part of history you don’t want to miss!  If you take the kiddos, there is a great pool for them to enjoy and if you’re making it a romantic weekend, make sure to catch a treatment at the Potosa Spa or a drink from the Riverboat Lounge!

Whether you’re looking to spend a family weekend or a romantic getaway, Dubuque will not disappoint!  From nature to history, there is something to fit everyone and every agenda!

Thanks Katy, as we always enjoy what you bring to us, in regards to midwest travel. It looks like Katy enjoyed Dubuque as much as you loved your experience in Branson, Missouri.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Top 10 Iowa Oddities: Unique Attractions Across the Hawkeye State

When I first relocated to central Iowa from Chicago, I was worried there wouldn’t be a lot of things to do among the cornfields of America’s heartland. But over the years, Iowa has proven not only to be a great place to live but also a state full of offbeat attractions.

So to honor the weirdest and wackiest the Hawkeye state has to offer, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 Iowa oddities. Next time you’re planning a trip, be sure to add one of these popular places to your itinerary!

Albert the Bull

Albert the Bull

Located in Audubon, Iowa, Albert the Bull is a 45-ton Hereford with heart. Built in the 1960s as a way to honor the area’s cattle raising history, Albert the Bull has become an area icon over the years. Towering 30 feet above the cornfields, this Iowa attraction has had his fair share of publicity—not only does he appear in the movie Beethoven’s 3rd but he also was an answer on “Jeopardy” and even got a mention in “The West Wing.”

American Gothic House

American Gothic House

Even if you aren’t an art enthusiast, chances you’ve heard of the artist Grant Wood. Next time you visit Iowa, you can do one better and visit the site where he painted one of his most iconic works: American Gothic. While it’s previously served as a home to artists, caretakers, and even a pie baker, today the American Gothic House is tenantless. However, the home is still occasionally open for visitors to explore along with the interactive learning center located adjacent to the site.

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

“Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.” And there’s nothing more Iowan than the Field of Dreams. Kevin Costner may be long gone, but you can still visit the iconic ballfield plopped down in the midst of the eastern Iowa cornfields. Be sure to bring your own ball, bat and gloves since the site is fairly minimal, and be ready to soak up some of the field’s famed magic.

Future Birthplace of Captain Kirk

Future Birthplace of Captain Kirk

Calling all Trekkies: Did you know that in the year 2228 Captain James T. Kirk will be born in the small town of Riverside, Iowa? While we wait for his arrival, you can visit his future hometown and even attend their annual Trek Fest in late June. Be sure to pop into the Voyage Home Museum for a look at Captain Kirk memorabilia from over the years.

Grotto of the Redemption

Grotto of the Redemption

Built using an estimated $4.3 million of stones and precious gems, the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa is a jewel like no other. Construction on the grotto began in 1912 and lasted for more than 40 years in the small northwest Iowa community. Today more than 100,000 people visit the world’s largest man-made grotto annually and marvel at the intricate work done by the priests of West Bend’s St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Maasdam Wheel Art

Maasdam Wheel Art

Towering 60 feet over Iowa cornfields, Leonard J. Maasdam’s wheel art was constructed using more than 200 steel wagon wheels. Located just south of I-80 near Lynnville, Iowa, this piece of art is not only beautiful but also impressive—the artist completed the piece when he was 90 years old.

Matchstick Marvels

Matchstick Marvels

Home to master craftsman Patrick Acton, Gladbrook, Iowa has a unique claim to fame: it’s the home of Matchstick Marvels, a collection of large-scale models made entirely from matchsticks. Acton has been creating the models since 1977 and has created everything from the U.S. Capitol to the Iowa governor’s mansion Terrace Hill. Still not convinced? This year’s addition is a two-headed dragon that not only lights up and roars but also flaps its wings.

Snake Alley

Snake Alley

You’ve probably heard of San Francisco’s famed Lombard Street, but did you know that an alley with a more precarious pitch exists in Iowa? Once recognized by Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the Crookedest Street in the World, Snake Alley is a must-see stop if you’re traveling through Burlington, Iowa. Cars are still allowed (weather permitting) on the winding road so thrill-seeking tourists can chance a trip down the steep hill.

Volkswagen Beetle Spider

Volkswagon Beetle Spider

Sometimes the best type of roadside attraction is one that simply allows you to get out of the car, stretch your legs, and snap a few photos. And southwest Iowa’s Volkswagen Beetle Spider let’s you do just that. Located just south of I-80 near Avoca, Iowa, this vintage Volkswagen Beetle turned eight-legged attraction is a quirky, quick stop if you’re just passing through.

World’s Largest Popcorn Ball

World's Largest Popcorn Ball

Located in northwest Iowa, Sac City is a town with a passion for popcorn. So much so that the community has built not one, but four World’s Largest Popcorn Balls over the past 20 years. Most recently, Sac City residents completed an almost 10,000-pound behemoth earlier this month that they hope will be sticky enough to hold the record for World’s Largest Popcorn Ball.

Top 10 IA Oddities Pinterest Graphic

What are a few favorite offbeat oddities in your state?

Megan Bannister is a freelance writer and digital media strategist based in Des Moines, Iowa. When she’s not admiring local art or in search of a stellar iced latte, you can find her writing about road trips, adventures, and world’s largest things on Olio in Iowa and Wandering the World’s Largest.