Northern Road Trip, Day 9: Down to Dubuque for the weekend.


The Iowa city of Dubuque may strike you as a curious place to choose when it comes to plotting a 54th birthday celebration. It helps to know that Duluth is a 13-hour drive from Louisville, and Dubuque’s tourist support apparatus is adept at squeezing the most out of the least.

Thus, Dubuque. It’s a Mississippi River port still recovering, with a casino installed to single-handedly reverse fortunes (it never works that way, does it?) and a huge stock of historic architecture downtown, much of which is in need of immediate TLC.

In short, a sense of familiarity.

When consulting Open Table to book seats at the L. May Eatery, I saw ten listings for Dubuque. Eight of them actually are situated in Galena, 20 miles away across the Illinois border. This is to say that if you ever find yourself in Dubuque, just visit the L. May Eatery, as we did on Saturday and Sunday; we highly recommend it.

We walked and explored, then dined. There were adult beverages, and a cigar later in the evening. After all, it was my designated birthday soiree.

After dinner, just down the street from the faded elegance of the Redstone, following another round at Monk’s Kaffee Pub (the best beer list in town) …

 … we boarded the most interesting form of transportation in Dubuque: The Fenelon Place Elevator.

Here is how it looks sober.

Following are two Dubuque parting views from Sunday night, after an excursion to Galena, and in route to our second meal of the weekend at L. May.