Iowa November 03, 2016
The Oldest Town In Iowa That Everyone Should Visit At Least Once
Iowa was admitted to the United States as the 29th state of the union in 1846. While that definitely doesn’t make us one of the oldest states in the country, there’s still plenty of history in the Hawkeye State to learn about and explore. Our state’s oldest town, Dubuque, is packed full of charm, history and plenty of things to do.
Located on the Mississippi River, Dubuque has a population of 58,253.
Dubuque was incorporated in 1833, and it was one of the first settlements west of the Mississippi. Julien Dubuque, for whom the town is named, arrived at the location in 1785. He was a French-Canadian fur trader.
Aside from the town’s name, there is plenty of evidence of Julien Dubuque’s importance to the town’s history.
There’s the Julien Dubuque Monument, where Dubuque's body is buried. The monument is located at The Mines Of Spain Recreational Area, as he eventually gained control of the lead mines that existed there from the Mesquakie (Fox) Indians. It is now a popular place for locals and visitors to get out into nature, go hiking and enjoy incredible views.
The town’s slogan is “Masterpiece on the Mississippi,” and it’s easy to see why.
With its proximity to the river, dramatic hills and incredible old architecture, Dubuque is a beautiful town.
There are many fascinating historical sites for history buffs to explore.
Saint Raphael’s Cathedral is the oldest church in Iowa. Its construction was completed in 1861, and it is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Other historic landmarks include the Fenelon Street Elevator, the shortest and steepest railroad in existence, The Julien Dubuque Bridge and the Shot Tower, used to produce lead shot. It’s one of the few shot towers left in existence.
If you like to shop, you’ll be thrilled with Dubuque’s many options.
The Historic Old Main District offers interesting shops amidst streets and buildings steeped in history. The Cable Car District also offers historic shops in a charming atmosphere. For more shops, check out the Upper Main District, and the Historic Millwork District, to name a few.
Food lovers will not be disappointed.
For fine dining, check out L. May Eatery, in the Historic Main Street District. Using the freshest ingredients, L. May offers gourmet comfort food like thin crust pizza, seafood, pasta and more. Located at 1072 Main St., Dubuque, IA. Catfish Charlie’s provides riverfront dining in a casual setting with delicious seafood. 1630 E 16th St., Dubuque, IA.
Experience the river like you never have.
If you want to learn more about the mighty Mississippi, check out the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, where you can learn more about the wildlife, boats, history and culture of the riverfront. 350 E 3rd St., Dubuque, IA.
This just scratches the surface of all of the cool and interesting things to see and do in Dubuque. Make sure to go and discover the city for yourself!
Have you visited Dubuque? What was your favorite part? For more of Iowa’s fascinating past, Here Are The 12 Oldest Towns In Iowa… And They’re Loaded With History.