Dubuque is the oldest city in Iowa and is located on the Mississippi River, and is in junction with Iowa and Illinois. Dubuque has a beautiful landscape and has a rich history. It is a part of the geographic area called the driftless, a portion of North American that escaped the glaciers. It also is a beautiful place to spend a weekend and explore. Founded in 1833, there is so much to do here on the weekend. Dubuque is home to the National Mississippi River Museum, the Dubuque Arboretum, Sundown Mountain Ski Resort, and the Fenton 4th Street Elevator. However, I am going to take this post in a different direction.
If you’re looking to explore Dubuque further than just going to the places you find in travel magazines, you are in the right place. I have lived in Dubuque two different times. I will share some hidden gems in Dubuque that you may not know about unless you have spent time living here.
8 Hidden Gems located in Dubuque, Iowa
The View on Asbury Road Near Sundown Mountain
Sundown Mountain is one of the few ski resorts in the Midwest and is a top attraction in Dubuque. However, if you don’t ski, I still recommend driving to Sundown Mountain via Asbury Road. Once you get about 1/2 a mile from Sundown, driving east to west, you will see the most beautiful view. In My opinion, this is the most beautiful view in the State of Iowa. The whole area around Sundown is worth driving through. I promise you that this picture does not do this area justice.
391 Bluff Street, Dubuque, IA, 52001
If you’re familiar with Dubuque’s history, then you might know that Dubuque was initially the home to many Irish immigrants. The family who owns Shamrock Imports takes several trips to Ireland each year and brings many Irish goodies. This store is packed with all kinds of Irish goodies from jewelry, games, wool sweaters, sweets, and more! Shamrock Imports is a fun and unique store that is worth visiting!
Convivium Urban Farmstead
2811 Jackson St, Dubuque, IA 52001
Convivium Urban Farmstead is such a magnificent gem and such an asset to the Dubuque, Iowa community. Convivium Urban Farmstead is a non-profit restaurant and coffee shop. I have been to Convivium to eat on several occasions, and I am blown away by the quality of the food and the venue’s ambiance almost every time we go. I love spending my money at Convivium. Convivium makes and gives away 100-150 healthy casseroles per week using food from their urban garden and donations. Whether you’re able to go to Convivium for brunch or a cup of coffee, able to attend one of their cooking classes, take a tour of their garden, or attend one of their community events, I recommend them all!
Beechers Ice Cream
1691 Asbury Road, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001
When friends visited Dubuque a few years ago, they were surprised that I took them to a gas station for the best ice cream in town. There’s a particular sort of ambiance to sitting on a bench in an old alleyway and making small talk with locals while enjoying the best homemade ice cream in the midwest! Beechers Ice cream is locally owned and offers some fantastic homemade unique Ice Cream flavors. Their flavors are constantly changing, and it’s a surprise to see what they have every time you visit. I have had flavors like blueberry cobbler, Blue dino crunch, key lime soft serve, and raspberry oreo from Beechers.
St. Raphaels Cathedral
231 Bluff Street, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001
St. Raphaels Cathedral is the oldest Christian church in Iowa, dating back to 1833. It is stunning inside. Some of the highlights are the pipe organ, beautiful artwork, statues, murals, and stained glass windows. A virtual tour is available on their website. I highly recommend going to St. Raphaels Cathedral for mass, but you can also tour the building at other times.
Louis Murphy Park
1700 South Grandview Drive Dubuque, Iowa, 52001
There are several beautiful parks in Dubuque, but in my opinion, Louis Murphy Park is the most stunning. The old trees are gorgeous and shade most of the park. This is especially helpful on hot summer days. Louis Murphy Park is, in my opinion, the best place in town for a picnic. There are three playground sets, loads of picnic tables, and a beautiful view overlooking downtown Dubuque.
Bird Watching at Eagle Point Park
2601 Shiras Avenue, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001
Eagle Point Park is a 164-acre park located on the north end of town. It overlooks the Mississippi. It cost $1.00 per car to enter. It has playgrounds, fish ponds, pavilions, and a splash pad. However, I recommend that you visit Eagle Point park earlier in the morning while watching the birds fly over the rivers is still cool. You might spot Eagles, Turkey Vultures, and even Pelicans. You can also see the lock and dam on the river and see Illinois and Wisconsin.
Derby Grange Mini Golf and Driving Range
13079 Derby Grange Road, Dubuque, Iowa, 52002
If you’re looking to take your kids mini-golfing or to the driving range, Derby Grange is s a great place to visit for both adults and kids. Kids will love the mini-golf course, and adults will love the gorgeous view! It is a breathtaking area, and getting out golfing is a great way to take it all in!