Iowa January 06, 2018
The Historic Small Town That Every Iowan Should Visit At Least Once
Iowa is full of historic towns that were established even before the state itself! The history of settlement along the mighty Mississippi created plenty of quaint towns along the water, but Dubuque, Iowa might be the most charming of them all.
Incorporated in 1833, Dubuque is Iowa's oldest city. The first settler, Julien Dubuque, arrived in 1785.
The oldest section of town, Port of Dubuque, was one of the first settlements along the Mississippi River!
Now, it's a charming downtown area filled with shops and cafes. You can still see the evidence of history here, with landmarks and memorials being well designated.
The National Museum of the Mississippi River is right in the heart of Dubuque, and it's worth a visit.
The museum offers tours of "William The Black," a 1930s-era steamboat that was one of the last of its kind. It was used by the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the river for navigation.
The Mathais Ham House is one of the most gorgeous buildings in the town.
Located at 2241 Lincoln Ave., it's known for being a fine example of a mid-Victorian mansion. Ham was one of the first settlers in Dubuque, and
during Mathais Ham's life, he was a farmer, lumberman, brick maker, shipper, and even a local politician.
The Shot Tower is another historic landmark right in Dubuque.
The tower was built in 1856 to provide lead shot for the military. Molten lead would be poured from the top of the tower, and the droplets that fell were spherical when they landed in water that cooled them into a solid shape. Though it fell of out use during the Civil War, the tower was fully abandoned 1911 after fire damaged the tower's interior.
Present day Dubuque is a vibrant town! You can dine at delicious restaurants or relax in quaint cafes, where you'll often find live music.
The town's downtown Millwork district is one of the more charming neighborhoods. Stop in to Inspire Cafe for a great cup of coffee and to enjoy the sounds of acoustic coffeehouse music.
Try a meal at Vinny Vanucchi's, where you'll feel like you've been whisked away to old world Italy.
Not only can you enjoy some of the best chicken parmesan in Iowa, but you can actually dine in an old jail cell, from when this building used to be a local jail.
Whether you stay for a day or for a week, you'll love everything about your visit to Dubuque.
If you decide to stay a few nights, you might want to stay at the haunted and elegant Hotel Julien, which is close to everything you'll want to explore. Check out the town's full
right here to help you decide when to visit.
Have you ever had the chance to explore Dubuque? Would you be brave enough to stay at the Hotel Julien? You can read about why it’s
Iowa’s most haunted hotel right here.