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11 Ways to Experience Winter in Dubuque

Fresh snow along limestone bluffs. Winter in Dubuque is a sight to see.

PHOTO: @mezaluna4

Discover 11 ways to explore #WhereIowaStarted this winter.

Reflections in the Park PHOTO: @fallonmillerski

Holidays in Dubuque

The holiday season is a magical time in Dubuque. The twinkling lights of Reflections in the Park, the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping at local storefronts, and a general cheer is in the air. Check out these and more reasons to visit Dubuque this holiday season.

sundownmountain-Instagram-1086-ig-17850282442238425.jpg PHOTO: @sundownmountain

Hit the Slopes

Dubuque’s terrain naturally lends itself to skiing and snowboarding as the winter months roll around. With 21 ski runs and two terrain parks, Sundown Mountain Resort is a great way to get outside and explore the natural beauty of #WhereIowaStarted. Looking to expand your time on the slopes? Check out Chestnut Mountain Resort just across the river in Galena, IL.

merry-millwork-27736-medium_copy.jpg PHOTO: Gigantic Design Co

A Merry Millwork Market

Happening Dec. 1st & 2nd, ‘A Merry Millwork Market’ is a completely unique outdoor Holiday shopping experience in Dubuque's Historic Millwork District! Entering its 7th year and continuing to grow, with over 30 handmade art & craft vendors, food, and hot beverages to keep you warm as you shop locally for holiday gift-giving. Located in the courtyard and under the tents on 10th Street — all in the spirit of celebration and building community.

Lock and Dam

Eagle Watching

Between migration from northern areas and unfrozen waters near Lock & Dam #11, winter is one of the best seasons to spot a bald eagle in Dubuque. Visit the observation deck and see if you can spot this national bird.

L.May Old Fashion Supper Club PHOTO: Travel Dubuque

Foodie Scene

Whether you are looking to dine in or carry out, #WhereIowaStarted has no shortage of options for great food. Dine at a restaurant with a ‘Top Chef’, visit a Supper Club, or grab a bite to eat at a local hangout. The options truly are endless.

Bob and Lous Coffee PHOTO: @bobandlous

Local Coffee Spots

Nothing warms you up quite like a cup of coffee or a mug of hot cocoa. Dubuque is filled with many locally owned favorites including Bob & Lou’s, Charlotte’s Coffee House, Monk’s, and much more. Check out our ‘10 Best’ list of Local Coffee Shops, voted on by Travel Dubuque social media followers.


Hockey Season

Dubuque has long had a strong history with hockey. Today, you can find the USHL Dubuque Fighting Saints taking to the ice at the ImOn Arena. You may even spot mascot Bernie as he works the crowd up and shows his Saints pride.

Mines of Spain Winter PHOTO: @thebernernamedgeorge

Hit the Trails

Whether by foot, cross country skiing, or snowshoeing, Mines of Spain and Swiss Valley are areas you don’t want to miss during the winter months. Don’t have snowshoes? Make sure to reach out to the Swiss Valley Nature Center for a pair, free of charge.

River Museum

Family Fun

Get out and explore the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium this winter. Say hey to the curious critters that call this Smithsonian affiliated museum home and learn all about the waterway, its eco-system, and it’s contribution to our past, present, and future.

Street Art PHOTO: reneefisherandco

Go for a Walk

There are so many interesting things to find in and around Dubuque. Bundle up and take a stroll along the Riverwalk where you can see the mighty Mississippi River, go on a hunt for street art in historic downtown, or visit the 26 mile long Heritage Trail for some fresh air.


Local Brews

With 8 different breweries to choose from, the Dubuque area is full of inventive brews. From small microbrews to a beercade, there is something for every type of beer lover.