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5 Reasons to Explore Where Iowa Started this Spring

Spring in Dubuque is a welcome sight. Outdoor markets are kicking off, river traffic is bustling, and the whole city is in bloom.

Here are 5 ways to get out and immerse yourself in one of our favorite times of year.

Night Market

Outdoor markets.

Dubuque has a long track record with outdoor markets, starting with the longest running market in the state of Iowa, the Dubuque Farmers' Market. Since then, outdoor (and indoor) markets have popped up including the Millwork Night Market. This event takes place May through October on the second Thursday of the month. With live music, brews on tap, and locally grown produce, this market kicks off spring in the historic Millwork District.


We talked to Jay Foust about the Market.

Here is what he had to say, “The Millwork Night Market is a great event. It creates a centralized space for members of the community to connect with local farmers, artists, and business owners. You’ll also find live music, great beer and food vendors.”

Dubuque Marina & Yardarm

Outdoor dining.

Warmer temps mean outdoor dining opens up. For a truly unique, riverside experience stop by Dubuque Marina & Yardarm. Situated right along the Mississippi River, this local favorite is home to live music most weekends.

A couple rides the 4th street elevator in Dubuque Iowa

Seasonal attractions open their doors.

Some of our favorite stops in Dubuque are more than happy to open up after the long winter. The iconic Fenelon Place Elevator begins their bluff top ascent April 1. Take a ride to the top and experience breathtaking views of Iowa, Wisconsin, & Illinois.

Family Monument Dubuque

Dubuque is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise.

With over 15 miles of walking and hiking trails, the Mines of Spain is the perfect outdoor escape. Take in Mississippi River views while visiting the Julien Dubuque Monument – the burial site of Dubuque’s founder. Want more to explore? Check out Swiss Valley, Eagle Point Park, and more.

girl walking through corn field of dreams

Road trips.

Traveling to Dubuque is worth the drive, especially when it includes a stopover at one our neighbors. Grab a slice of pie and play a game of catch in Dyersville. Experience the riverside brews in Bellevue. Or cross state lines into Wisconsin & Illinois. No matter where you find yourself, you’ll be welcomed with open arms and friendly smiles.