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Carved into towering limestone bluffs of the Mississippi River Valley, lies the outdoor recreation haven of Dubuque. Grab your best adventure friend for an exploration of where Iowa started.

Natural Beauty

Unlike Anywhere Else

The landscape of Dubuque doesn’t resemble the rest of Iowa. With towering limestone bluffs, the magnificent Mississippi River, caves, canyons, and more, you won’t believe that you are in the heartland.

Mines of Spain Recreation Area boasts 1432 acres to explore just minutes from downtown Dubuque. Hike, kayak, and ski your way through historic sites, lush wetlands, and breathtaking bluffs.

Whoever said you can’t have a beach day in the Midwest was mistaken. Finley’s Landing is the go-to destination for a summertime water day. Bring the crew for beach volleyball and beers or simply soak up the sun along the banks of the Mississippi.

Anglers dream of the little known gem of Swiss Valley Nature Preserve. Just 15 minutes from Dubuque, this county park provides hours of adventure with 10 miles of hiking trails, seasonally stocked streams, and free snowshoe rental!

Days of Adventure

Nature Every Day

No need to wait until the weekend to get outside where Iowa started. Dubuque’s natural beauty and adventure is accessible and all within a half hour drive of downtown. Now there is no excuse not to go exploring.

Looking to get outside with you four legged friends, Dubuque is crawling with choices for you and your pooch. Download our pet friendly destinations guide for all of the spots to see. 

Pet Friendly Guide

Local Perspective

Swiss Valley_Dubuque_Exploring


Hear From A Dubuquer: Indigo Channing

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in nature in Dubuque?

A: Most of my interaction with nature is at the riverwalk, but I love going to Mines of Spain and Swiss Valley, both. Swiss Valley has some good trout fishing spots. They both have phenomenal interpretive centers and greats trails to go hiking on. The historical info at Mines of Spain are awesome to check out while exploring the trails.

Learn More About I’m A Dubuquer

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Memorable Places

The natural beauty of where Iowa started is just begging to be shared with the world. Inspire others to explore the crazy adventurous world of Dubuque, Iowa by using #traveldubuque and #whereiowastarted on Instagram! 

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