The Mississippi River offers a beautiful backdrop to Dubuque’s River Walk.
Built atop a levee and part of the larger Heritage Trail system of more than 40 miles, the River Walk gives people a chance to enjoy nature and urban environments together. On one side of the walk is the world’s fourth largest river. On the other, a city that is more than 180 years old.
The River Walk connects attractions at the Port of Dubuque – from the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium to the Star Brewery Complex.
The Diamond Jo Casino stands a few feet off the River Walk. It offers gambling, dining and even bowling.
The Grand Harbor Hotel and Water Park resort is next door to the casino.
Both these businesses are off the River Walk.
The River Walk is known for its art.
“Art on the River” is an annual event that places new art pieces along the River Walk. It really adds to the aesthetic view. The pieces truly enhance the experience, without overpowering the walk.
There were 10 pieces of artwork on display during our walk. We grabbed a brochure, so we could find and identify the pieces. Even then, it was easy to miss some of them because they blend in well with the River Walk area.
One of our favorites was a baby deer sculpture, near the Grand River Center (an events center). The fawn appears to be looking back toward the Mississippi River. Below it is a shadow in the shape of a wolf that may be stalking it. The sculpture stands in front of a flower garden.
The Grand River Center is the only building that butts up to and over the walkway. The river side of the building has a modern glass design. A small river viewing area is located next to it.
Nearby, a floral display highlights flower sculptures in the shape of cones. There were four pieces; each had LED lights, so they could illuminate at night.
One of the pieces I really liked was the Moving Compass. The glass looks like stained glass. Each piece has artwork on it. The Compass piece offered a nice foreground picture with the Star Brewery or the river and train bridge as background.
The Star Brewery – once home to the Dubuque Star beer – is home to a winery and a small brewery museum. It is used as a backdrop for civic functions and weddings (which one was going on during our visit). Lisa thinks I shouldn’t have tried to warn the bride and groom NOT to get married.
The Shot Tower Landmark is a few steps off the River Walk. Once a prominent role in the lead smelting business, it outlived its industrial usefulness to become a fire station for a lumber company. Now, it stands as a memorial to Dubuque’s history.
The Port of Dubuque marina stands at the north end of the River Walk. Unfortunately, the river water level was high during our visit, so no boats were at the marina.
The Dubuque River walk offered a great walking area with scenic views. I was impressed with the area and had a great time there. I strongly recommend making this a must-do attraction in Dubuque.