Summer Vacation 2023: Mississippi Palisades, Illinois High Point, Wisconsin, and Dubuque, Iowa

Sooo, I'm a little behind on posting, obviously, but better late than never, right? The day after the kids and I visited the beautiful and impressive Maquoketa caves, we set out to take on the Illinois highpoint before backtracking to Dubuque, Iowa, to do some touristy things there. There are a lot of photos in the post, so be forewarned. Having said that, though, it was a big, fun day so the photos are worth scrolling through.

We crossed over the Mississippi River on Highway 52 to Savanna, Illinois. On our way over, we stopped at Driscoll's Island, which is just a small bit of land. 

We were able to spot these guys leisurely moving down the river.

As well as this guy.

We got back on the road and connected with Route 84. To the left of us rose tall bluffs covered in dense, green foliage. It wasn't long before we spotted a sign that said, "Mississippi Palisades State Park" so we stopped. We drove up to the top where a viewing platform was conveniently located.

It was a great spot as we got a long-range, unobstructed view of the Mighty Mississippi.

After we left the Park, we passed through the tiny town of Hanover, IL. I couldn't help but take a picture of this old bar because of the ancient Old Style beer sign hanging over the door.

The high point in Illinois is called Charles Mound and sits on private property. The owners only allow visitors to the highpoint the first weekends of June, July, August, and September. This fact is what led me to take my vacation when I did. The top of the hill where it all leads up to is the high point. This makes my high point count sit at 9. 

Here I have highlighted it so you can see it better. To go up to it, you have to take a different route on a back road to the right of this vantage point. I left my phone in the car charging as it was dead so I didn't get any photos of the actual spot, but I had enough charge in the phone to snap these photos afterward.

Charles Mound is just a couple of miles south of the Wisconsin border. Since my kids have never been to Wisconsin, I thought it would be fun to take Highway W back to Iowa. My plan was to stop in the first interesting town so the kids could say they'd been to Wisconsin. That town happened to be Hazel Green. Clean and bucolic, it has this cute little Opera House.

It also had True Vine Antiques and Finds, an antique/vintage shop. We did not go in.

After our brief foray into Wisconsin, we continued West until we again crossed the Mississippi into Dubuque.

Dubuque is so named for its first permanent settler, Julien Dubuque. He made an agreement with the local native tribe - the Meskwaki - to mine their land for lead. He was also allowed to mine for lead on Spanish-owned land which is how the Mines of Spain SRA got its name.

The defining feature of this SRA is the tower overlooking the River, which is actually a monument to Julien Dubuque.

The SRA is in a gorgeous area on the River. This is a smaller river inside the park.

After visiting the monument, we headed into the downtown area. Many murals grace the area, so I snapped photos of a few.

My main objective was to ride the Fenelon Place Elevator Co.'s funicular. It has an interesting history that you can read about here. It's $4 for a round-trip or $2 if you want to go one way.

View from inside as we rode up.

A view from the top overlooking Dubuque. 

After the funicular, we drove over to the Shot Tower Historic Landmark. It was used once upon a time to make lead shot.

The sign at the base shows the process.

Our main reason for coming to this area was to check out the Dubuque Star Brewery Complex

It's a neat museum of the brewing history of the area.

As well as a place to get a meal, a Dubuque Star beer, or some wine. My son and I tried both.

After our refresher, we walked down the block to the riverfront park.

And got a nice view of the Julien Dubuque Bridge. Like usual, after the day ended, we headed back to camp where we cooked food over the fire, enjoyed a bonfire, and played games by lantern.

I have a few more posts about summer 2023 vacation, and I'll be getting those out within the next two weeks. Until then, have a great week.



Popular Posts