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Ginny Fens

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What's there to see?

 

From scenic bluffs to historic Cable Car Square shopping district, Dubuque boasts attractions for every age and taste.

Big Muddy Ghost Hunters: 542-7487 or 800-974-7714. Visit www.bigmuddyghosthunters.org. Ghosts of the River Walking Tour. This hour long stoll along the stately RiverWalk introduces you to the city's most famous paranormal phenomena. Tours held Friday and Saturday night, 9 to 10 p.m. Understanding Victorian Grave Symbols. Learn the history and meaning of cemetery art and icons, why the art was chosen, and graveyard architecture changes through the decades. Tours heldFriday and Saturday afternoon from 1 to 3 p.m., beginning at Linwood Cemetery, 2735 Windsor Ave.

Bricktown Brewery, The Deep and Stone Wall Lounge: Bricktown Brewery is locally owned and operated in the historic Cooper Wagon Works building in the heart of picturesque downtown Dubuque, Iowa. A multi-level entertainment complex, Bricktown offers the Blackwater Grill, Live on Main Comedy, The Deep, Stone Wall Lounge and some of the finest banquet and reception facilities the city has to offer, whether you're a party of 10 or 350. The main attraction on Main Street, Blackwater Grill-Dubuque's only brew pub-style restaurant-features a hickory wood fire grill producing sumptuous steaks, fall-off-the-bone ribs and other heartland favorites, all intended to be enjoyed with some of the finest hand-crafted micro brewery beer you'll find anywhere up or down the Mississippi. Open 7 days week at 11 AM and located at 299 Main Street, please call or check out their website for detailed information for your upcoming event, their entertainment offerings, and specials: 563-582-0696/bricktowndubuque.com.

Cable Car Square: Fourth and Bluff streets area. Fifty shops are located at the foot of the Fenelon Place Elevator, the world's shortest, steepest, scenic railway. Novelties available in the stores range from handcrafted items and fine arts to antiques and gifts to gourmet coffees and teas to clothing, sandwiches and sweets.


Cathedral Square/Sculpture: Second and Bluff streets. View "Five Figures for Five Flags," a welded copper sculpture of a lead miner, missionary priest, steamboat pilot, farmer and his wife by Ann Opgenorth and Donna Marihart, of Bellevue, Iowa. Located in front of St. Raphael's Cathedral, the square celebrates the history of the cathedral and rectory.

City Service Facilities: Public Information Coordinator, City Hall, 50 W. 13th St. 589-4151. Tours available of the Carnegie-Stout Public Library, City Hall and annex, Dubuque Regional Airport, fire department, Five Flags Civic Center and Theater, greenhouse, information services, KeyLine Transit System, Law Enforcement Center, planning services, water plant, water pollution control plant and municipal services center.

Continuum/Centennial Sculpture: Municipal Services Center, Kerper Court. Two large clockwise circular forms represent the United States' two centuries. The planes of 20 cubes represent the decades. The sculpture was erected in 1976 in celebration of the nation's bicentennial.

Crystal Lake Cave: Five miles south of Dubuque on U.S. 52, 7699 Crystal Lake Cave Drive, 556-6451. A natural "living cave" with intricate and rare formations, this cave is one of several known caves in the United States with examples of cave flowers, a rare form of aragonite crystals. Picnic areas and a gift shop are available. Hours: May: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends only; June, July and August: weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; September: weekdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and October: weekdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Czipar's Orchard: 8610 U.S. 52 S., 582-7476. The apple house, open for over 45 years, has fresh fruit, juice pies, jelly and jam assortments and more for sale during harvest time between September and November with a festival the fourth weekend of September. Free tours of the orchard are available by appointment. Hours: The apple house opens daily at 8:30 a.m.

Diamond Jo Casino: See "Gambling."

 

Dubuque's American Lady: 1630 East 16th St. (Dubuque Yacht Basin), 557-9700 Web site: www.americanladycruises.com. Take in the beauty of the mighty Mississippi River aboard the Dubuque’s American Lady, a luxurious yacht offering cruises at breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as a cocktail cruise, sightseeing cruise and cruises for events, parties and fundraisers. Operates April through November, call for reservations.

Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens: 3800 Arboretum Drive, 556-2100. Eleven-time recipient of the All-American Rose Selection Association award. The arboretum sponsors an annual Rose Festival, which features rose and photography clinics, artists and activities for children. It has more than 13,000 hosta perennials of more than 700 varieties. During summers, live music is performed Sundays and at other times. A gift shop, a botanical library, viewing decks, walking trails and educational displays are available. The arboretum and all events are free. Donations are requested. The grounds are open 7 a.m.-dusk. May 1-Oct. 31. Nov. 1-May 1, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Visitor's center opens at 9 a.m.

Dubuque County Courthouse: 720 Central Ave., 589-4441. The only gold-domed courthouse in the state, it was the first building in Dubuque County to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Built as Dubuque's first combination courthouse and jail, it is an example of the Victorian/Edwardian decorative theme. The jail achieved "landmark" status in 1987. Courthouse hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Dubuque County Fairground: 14569 Old Highway Road, 588-1406. Site of the Dubuque County Fair, usually in late July. Features NASCAR Nextel Cup Racing every Sunday from April through September and dancing every week. Other events include home, gun and ag shows, auctions, concerts, truck pulls, rodeos, circuses, flea markets and craft shows. RV camping is available.

Dubuque Greyhound Park & Casino: See "Gambling."

Dubuque River Rides, home of the Spirit of Dubuque and the Miss Dubuque: 500 E.Third St., Ice Harbor, 583-8093, www.dubuqueriverrides.com. Mississippi River rides aboard an authentic paddle wheeler. Cruising daily May-October with sightseeing, lunch and dinner cruises. Reservations are required for all meal cruises. Call for cruise schedule; the office is open year-round.

Dubuque Star Brewery: A building that for many years made Dubuque Star Beers. Now it is the location of Star Restaurant and Lounge, 556-4800, and Stonecliff Winery, 552-1200. Sample wine in Stonecliff Winery's Tasting Room or outside in the wine Garden, daily from 1 to 9 p.m. Tours are available.

Farmers Market: The market covers a four-block area beginning at 13th and Iowa streets. A tradition for more than 150 years, the Dubuque Farmers Market features homemade and homegrown products: fresh farm produce, flowers, baked goods, arts and crafts. The market opens at 7 a.m. Saturdays from May-November. Most merchandise is sold by noon. Call 588-4400 for information.

Fenelon Place Elevator (Also known as the Fourth Street Elevator): 512 Fenelon Place, 582-6496; fax: 588-2357; Web site: www.dbq.com/fenplco. The elevator was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 as the world's shortest and steepest railway. The 296-foot-long lift was constructed in 1882 for convenience purposes. Now, passengers are elevated 189 feet from Fourth Street to Fenelon Place. As the cable car climbs, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin are visible through its front window. Open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. April 1-Nov. 30. Round trip rides are $2 for adults and $1 for children ages 5-12. One-way trips are $1 for adults and 50 cents for children. Children younger than 5 ride free.

Five Flags Civic Center: Fourth and Main streets. Business office phone: 589-4254, ticket office: 589-4258. Five Flags Civic Center comprises of the historic Five Flags Theater, home of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra and Heartland Ballet; Five Flags Arena, home of Dubuque ThunderBirds Hockey, circuses, conventions and concerts, the Basement Bijou, home of Fly-by-Night Productions, and Five Flags Ballroom, Majestic Room and Orpheum Room, all available for company meetings. Business office hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; Ticket office hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Web site: www.fiveflagscenter.com.

Grand Opera House: 135 W. Eighth St., Business office: 588-4356, ticket office: 588-1305. See "Arts" for more information.

Grandview Avenue Parkway: Two miles of peonies and annual flowers pop up on the grassy dividers during the summer. Around Memorial Day, they usually are in full bloom.

Heitkamp Memorial Planetarium: 1450 Alta Vista St., Loras College, 588-7154. Located between Christ the King Chapel and the library. Provides weekly one-hour astronomy presentations throughout the school year. Shows change monthly; depending on interest and sky conditions, shows might be followed by a trip to the observatory to use the telescope. Presentations available on a reservation basis for area schools.

Iowa's Great River Road: Start on U.S. 52 north or south of Dubuque. The Great River Road is a 3,000-mile network of highways that parallels the Mississippi River and meanders along Iowa's eastern border. Start from Dubuque and travel either north or south to view the Mississippi River's beautiful scenery.

Julien Dubuque Monument: Off South Grandview Avenue and Julien Dubuque Drive, 556-0620. The stone tower of Galena magnesia limestone stands over the grave of Dubuque's founder near the edge of the bluff from which its stones were quarried. The 29-foot monument overlooks the Mississippi River and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Mathias Ham House Historic Site: 2241 Lincoln Ave., next to the entrance of Eagle Point Park, 583-2812. Built in 1856, this Italianate Villa was the home of Mathias Ham, one of Dubuque's earliest settlers. The 23-room limestone home reflects the splendor of Dubuque in steamboating's golden era. A 10-minute video provides visitors with a glimpse of the characters who lived in Ham House during that time. It is a Victorian historic home site, named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Also located on the site are a one-room schoolhouse and an 1833 double log cabin, Iowa's oldest building. Guided tours daily May 1-Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open year-round for groups of 20 or more.

Mindframe Theaters: 582-4971 Located 555 JFK Road, behind Kennedy Mall. Dubuque's Independant Theater, Mindframe is a home for cultural events of many kinds. Live theatrical performances, movies, private parties, concerts and everything else your heart and mind can conjure.

Mines of Spain Recreational Area: 8999 Bellevue Heights, 556-0620. Accessible from U.S. 52. and Julien Dubuque Drive. The Mines of Spain is a 1,380-acre area offering picnic facilities and five miles of hiking trails. Includes the E.B. Lyons Nature Center, a 37-acre interpretive nature center complete with trails of historical and natural sites such as the Julien Dubuque Monument. Center includes wildflower garden, butterfly and bird garden, rest rooms, history of the Mines of Spain, fossils, American Indian relics and an area for children with live reptile exhibits.

National Mississippi River & Aquarium: 350 E. 3rd St.557-9545 or 800-226-3369. Visit www.mississippirivermuseum.com. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Enjoy dynamic aquariums, historical exhibits and a stroll through the wetlands and boatyard. Get up close with live critters and become barge pilots. Tour the steamboat William M. Black and watch as a boat is launched into the Mississippi River.

Old Main Street Area: Below Fifth Street, a designated National Register Historic District highlighted by the Five Flags Theater, the Old Main area features unique merchandise, including clothing, flowers, jewelry and gifts, as well as many services - all available in restored buildings. Call the Iowa Welcome Center for information, 556-4372.

Potosi Brewing Company: Come explore our history, memorabilia, and gift shop and see the Potosi Brewing Company Transportation Museum, Great River Road Interpretive Center, National Brewery Museum, and Potosi Brewing Company Restaurant. Located in Potosi, Wis.The museum and gift shop are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant opens daily at 11 a.m. Lunch and dinner reservations are recommended by calling 608-763-4002. Also visit www.potosibrewery.com.

Port of Dubuque: The former site of Dubuque's boat building industry is the focal point of Dubuque's riverboat heritage. In addition to a fleet of riverboats, the Ice Harbor area features the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. Dubuque River Rides sight-seeing cruises depart from and return to the harbor. For more information, see related listings.

Progressive Dinner and Victorian House Tour: Held at four of Dubuque's loveliest old mansions, one course of an elegantly served dinner is served at each home, an introduction to each history is given and a tour guide tells stories about 19th century Dubuque. The meal begins with an appetizer at the Mathias Ham House. Next, the tour moves to the Redstone Inn for soup and French bread. The main course is served at the Ryan House, a restaurant that once was the home of "Hog" Ryan, a Civil War general. The last stop is for dessert and coffee at the Mandolin Inn, which gets its name from the unusual leaded and painted glass window on the first landing of the grand oak stair. The dinner is available to group tours throughout the year and to individual diners on the second and fourth Saturdays from January-November. Tours are offered on the second and fourth Friday and Saturday beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving through December. Reservations are required. For information, call 556-5000.

Rustic Hills Carriage Tours/Dubuque by Carriage: Call 580-0558 or 556-6341. Horse-drawn carriages provide transportation around historical Dubuque: Fenelon Place Elevator, Shot Tower, Cooper Wagon Works and numerous mansions. Narrated historic tours range from 15 minutes to an hour, departing from the Fourth Street Cable Car Square and Third Street Ice Harbor daily April l-Oct. 31. Tours run between 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday evening tours depart from the Diamond Jo Casino and the Holiday Inn Dubuque/Galena at 7 p.m. from April to October and weekends during November and December. Carriage rides, historic tours, group tours, wedding tours, romantic evening tours, country hay rides, covered-wagon rides and sleigh rides are available year-round on a reservation basis.

Ryan House: 1375 Locust St., 556-5000. Built in 1873, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With 30 rooms and three stories, the Ryan House is considered to be the finest example of the Second Empire style of architecture in Dubuque. Originally, this Victorian home belonged to Civil War meatpacker William "Hog" Ryan, who entertained notables such as President Grant. Groups of 20 or more can book special events year-round.

St. Luke's United Methodist Church: 1199 Main St., 582-4543. Constructed in 1896 of Bedford limestone, St. Luke's is an example of Romanesque Architecture. It features nine Tiffany windows and a brass altar railing that is a replica of one found in the Cathedral of Ravenna, Italy.

St. Raphael's Cathedral: 231 Bluff St. 582-7646. Under the supervision of Dubuque's first bishop, Mathias Loras, the unfinished cathedral was opened Christmas Day 1857. The stained-glass windows depict figures from the Old Testament and saints of the Catholic Church. As one of the oldest churches in Iowa, the cathedral is an example of Gothic architecture.

Shot Tower: East Fourth Street Extension. Dubuque's Shot Tower stands on the riverfront as a unique memorial to the early munitions industry. Built in 1856, the Shot Tower is believed to be one of five that exists in the United States. When the tower first began producing shot, it produced one to two tons daily. At its peak, it produced six to eight tons daily.

Town Clock: Seventh Street and Town Clock Plaza. The clock originally was erected in November 1864. At the time of its construction, it was said to be the most accurate town clock in the United States. In 1872, the clock fell, killing a woman and a child. The present clock was built in 1873 and became electrically driven in 1947. The 13-ton clock tower was relocated to the plaza area in 1971.

Tri-State Market: Illinois 35, East Dubuque, Ill., 815/747-6832. Providing a country view of garden fresh vegetables, in season fruit, fresh and dried flowers and crafts, the "Pumpkin Barn" also offers the area's largest pumpkin display. Open July-October.

Trolleys of Dubuque Inc.: 504 Bluff St., 582-1894. The old-fashioned transportation offers year-round chartered shuttle services for weddings, dinner parties, shopping and city tours. Twilight city tours and Christmas-light tours also are available. Cost of rides varies with destination and number of people.

Zebulon Pike Lock and Dam No. 11: Lock Dam Road, 582-0881. The 16-gate dam, visible from Eagle Point Park, was completed in 1937. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates the facility and offers complementary tours on Sundays at 2 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

 

Tourism Information

Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau: 300 Main St., 557-9200 or 800/798-4748. Provides information on businesses, industry, hotels, recreation, festivals and other tourism-related topics.

Iowa Welcome Center: 300 Main St., 556-4372 or 800-798-8844. Located in a converted warehouse overlooking the Ice Harbor, this four-story building features museums, historical exhibits, shops and an observation deck. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily in the summer with 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays) in the winter

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