Dubuque, home of Field of Dreams and the AIM Pro Walleye Series
Jun 21st, 2011 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 21st, 2011 at 11:13 AM
The award winning movie, Field of Dreams, isn’t the only thing Dubuque, Iowa is known for. After this week it will be recognized as one of the premier stops on the AIM Pro Walleye Series Tournament Trail. The Dubuque AIM tournament starts on June 22nd and runs through Friday, June 24th.
After the tournament boats have been launched each morning, the fans can take advantage of some really unique and interesting sightseeing in and around Dubuque before the afternoon’s weigh-in festivities begin.
Movie goers will recall Dubuque, Iowa as the setting for the popular movie, Field of Dreams, filmed nearby in 1998. The quaint farm location is open daily from 9a.m. until 6p.m. You can fulfill your own “field of dreams” by running the bases, playing catch, batting balls or sitting in the bleachers. Admission is free. Call 563-875-8404 for information.
For another hands-on experience, the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium is part of the nearly $400 million riverfront renovation that highlights Dubuque’s main attraction, the Mississippi River.
Visitors can take a ride on Iowa’s only authentic paddle wheeler or attend a party on a chartered yacht. Stroll along the Mississippi Riverwalk, attend a concert, or simply enjoy the sight of boats passing by while feeling the brisk breeze off the water. For information call 563-557-9545.
History buffs will be interested in exploring Dubuque, which is Iowa’s oldest city, founded by Julien Dubuque in 1788. Julien Dubuque is believed to be the first European to settle on what is now Iowa soil in 1788. In 1796, Dubuque received a land grant from the Governor of Spain to work the land. The grant specified that the 189-square mile area to be named as the “Mines of Spain.”
A park system is now designated as the Julien Dubuque Mines National Historic Landmark, the Silos and Smokestacks Heritage Area Partner Site, State Preserve, National Recreational Trails, Important Birding Area, and Watchable Iowa Wildlife Area.
You can also tour landmarks of a bygone era and appreciate the Victorian architecture of Dubuque’s oldest mansions. For the more adventurous, take a ride up the world’s shortest and steepest railway. The Fenelon Place Elevator, also known as the 4th Street Elevator, is only 296 feet in length – but is nearly straight up the river bluff. The ride provides a magnificent view of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The railway is open April through November. For more information call 563-582-6496.
Finally, visitors can walk the planks of a dredge boat used during WWII, tour a 150-year-old jail, or explore the land that the Mesquakies once inhabited. The Mesquakie were the earliest known native inhabitants of the Mines of Spain Area. Their village was located at the mouth of the Catfish Creek. The Mesquakie carried on a fur trade with French voyagers. They also worked the lead mines for many decades before the Revolutionary War. Mounds, village sites, rock shelters, trading post sites and campsites dot the landscape.
Five miles of trails full of wildlife and beautiful scenery run through the park. You can take to the water by canoeing or kayaking Catfish Creek. Launch at the Catfish Creek canoe access and paddle toward the main channel of the Mississippi River or paddle through the park and enjoy the back waters of the Mississippi. Call 563-556-0620 for information.
But most importantly, plan to watch the daily weigh-ins for the AIM Pro Walleye Series beginning at 5:00 p.m. For tournament information and to watch the live weigh-ins, visit www.aimfishing.com.