Rainy Day Bucket List

Dan FisherExplore, Fall, Family Fun, Spring, Summer, Welcome Center


Why would Mother Nature let it rain during your visit to Dubuque? Let’s put up the umbrella and take a ‘non-traditional’ viewpoint on how your visit should go.

Here’s the deal on what to do, where to go and what to see when the clouds open up while visiting Dubuque:

8) Feather in your Cap. Find the Shot Tower, Fenelon Place Elevator and Julien Dubuque Monument. Don’t get out of your car, just remember for the next time it’s sunny. Tons of history in these three attractions.

7) Dubuque County Courthouse. Constructed in 1891, it was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. This architectural treasure is worth a walk through. Calling ahead may provide you with an onsite contact for your visit. Hint: Check with the Treasurer’s Office.

6) B&B tour. Set your sights on finding some of the dozen or so Bed and Breakfast Inns located in Dubuque. Many are situated on the bluff above Downtown Dubuque, providing superior views of this historic city and the great Mississippi River. Hint: With proper planning and a courteous phone call ahead, you may find an innkeeper willing to invite you onto their porch for a short talk on the history of their establishment.

5) Rainy Day Road Trip. Travel north up to Balltown to enjoy lunch at Breitbach’s Family Dining, Iowa’s oldest Bar & Restaurant.

An all-around amazing story of how this restaurant survived two fires, was rebuilt twice with the help of many of the local residents. Hint: Ask them who starts the coffee in the morning? A story in and of itself.

4) Batter Up! If the corn is up, then jump in the car and head 20 miles west to Dyersville and The Field of Dreams. Step out and take advantage of the photo op. Don’t worry, you can air out those soggy feet on the way back to Dubuque.

3) Historic Hotel Julien Dubuque. A great stepping off point for your rainy day escapades. Hotel Julien is steeped in the history of Dubuque’s bustling Main Street. Bring the camera and try to get some tips from the front desk staff.

2) Get on the water. It’s already wet out, so go enjoy the River. For the young at heart, take a chance with the S.W.A.T. River Tours on an Adventure Boat Tour.

Looking to stay dry and just breathe in the river scenery, then choose a trip aboard an authentic paddle-wheeler.

1) Topping our ‘Rainy Day’ bucket list has to be a visit to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. Built with a river theme, this attraction comes complete with rotating feature exhibits, an aquarium, a 4D theatre and many examples of how life on the river was decades ago.

Even if it rains for two-three days, Dubuque’s history, architecture and attractions will fill up any rainy day.


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