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Fall in Love with Dubuque

We recently took our first trip to Dubuque and were blown away by what an amazing city it is!


Let me help you plan your own family weekend and enjoy all the classic fall activities, including a local pumpkin patch, apple orchard, shopping at the farmers’ market, and catching colorful views of #WhereIowaStarted.


Make a stop at Iowa’s longest running farmers’ market.

Spread out along Iowa Street between 11th and 13th is the Dubuque Farmers’ Market, a perfect place to grab fresh flowers, local produce, fall pumpkins and handmade goodies. The girls got a few keychains, I enjoyed a warm coffee on the crisp morning, we had breakfast at the Crepe Iron food truck, which was a very yummy treat! The sun was shining, there was a great acoustic singer, and it was a perfect fall morning.


Ride the world’s shortest, steepest railway.

After enjoying the market, head over to Fenelon Place Elevator for a unique Dubuque experience. Ride the shortest, steepest railway in the world for a spectacular view of the city, including neighboring Wisconsin and Illinois. Seeing the view during fall added to the magic. This was a highlight of our day as we were all excited to go up the limestone bluff. You pay at the top and it’s a great value; only $4 round trip for adults and $2 for kids 5 and up. Pro tip: Bring cash as they don’t accept card.


Find your pumpkin at a local patch.

Let the fall fun continue at the family-owned Schuster’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze. Entrance is free with minimal charges for all of the various activities and of course don’t forget to take home some pumpkins! We enjoyed the hay ride to the pumpkin patch to pick our own perfect pumpkins and opted for the smaller kid-sized corn maze this year. Nothing says fall more then a pumpkin patch and this one was delightful.


Take a break at a family-owned apple orchard.

You don’t have to drive far for your next stop because right up the road is another fall classic, Czipar’s Apple Orchard. They were having Czipar’s Apple Festival (including bounce houses) when we went, which captured my girl’s attention right away! When they had jumped away all their energy, we bought some treats, including caramel apples and their famous homemade apple cider donuts.


See changing leaves above a lock & dam.

Next drive to the beautiful Eagle Point Park for more time outside on this lovely fall day. This large park is filled with lots of areas to explore but we spent our time at the overlook of the Mississippi River and Lock and Dam #11. Parks like this is what makes river cities so special and Dubuque is no exception!



Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

I still can’t believe this place is free and graciously maintained by volunteers. There are so many beautiful spaces to walk around here, with fall being a lovely time to catch the last of the rose blooms while also seeing the fall colors.


Welcome Center

Find visitor information and pick up a copy of the Street Art Trail map. We had so much fun crossing locations off while out and about, and there are many within walking distance of your adventures to get cute photo at.


National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

Dubuque is filled with so many gems, and this is another one! We loved it here and another place you could spend a lot of time. The unique combination of an aquarium and museum meant there was something for everyone. We loved all the animals, especially the otters and stingrays. The museum is very kid oriented with great exhibits all tied into the Mississippi River.



Hi! My name is Kelli and we are a local Minnesota family adventuring around with littles. Traveling near or far is our family’s love language!