East Iowa · Family Adventures · Iowa State Parks · The Mud Belt-Traveling the Mississippi

Al Capone and The Mines of Spain

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It’s summertime in Dubuque and the livin’s easy.

Dubuque, IA: Dubuque County

Conquering the Mississippi River is no easy task. That’s why it takes multiple trips of exploring, discovery, and a lot of reconnaissance. It’s a good thing Team Goodvin is more than capable to continue this mission. We’ve made the Dubuque County loop before and we’re back to pick up where we left off. We have our heading…..The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRMA) is open and ready for another Gallivant!

The NMRMA was packed with folks touring one of the country’s best museums of its kind. The long story of America’s greatest river is continuous. The NMRMA does a great job of exhibiting their classic tidbits of the great river while updating the constant changes in the river culture. They also put together great limited time attractions and interactive exhibits during the course of the year. Just the kind of blend that keeps us coming back!

I know exactly what you were thinking. “Isn’t Team Goodvin hungry and how can they do all this museum/aquarium stuff without having a good meal first?!?” I know…But we managed. And built up one heck of an appetite. We asked the locals for a good Mexican restaurant and they directed us to Los Aztecas. Quesadillas, Chile Relleno, enchiladas, tacos, tamales, gorditas….Do I need to go on? Yea we smashed all of that.

Let’s walk this off a little. We stretch our legs at one of the most scenic areas in Iowa and along the Mississippi River. Our course is set for the Mines of Spain. No we’re not heading to Barcelona. Or even Madrid, IA. (Pronounces Madd-Ridd. Don’t get be started. Tripoli pronounced Tripp-Ol-Ah. Seriously I’m going to quit now.) Let’s enjoy some interpretative pictures.

The Mines of Spain is one of the best recreation areas that Iowa has to offer. The story of Dubuque cannot be accurately told without the importance of what the Mines of Spain meant to the Native Americans, early explorers, and settlers of Dubuque. The scenic overlooks and trails supply hours of amazing exploring. We left knowing that we only scratched the surface of this beautiful recreation area. A couple miles at the local Spanish settlement gets a family geared up for some chill’axing. If only there was a historic hotel that Al Capone hung out at and maybe sometimes still visits in the afterlife. Damn, looks like a drive to Chicago…Wait….Dubuque has one of those! Hotel Julien

The 8th floor, Hotel Julien. Home to some of the best suites in all of Iowa, the Midwest, and anywhere along the historic banks of the Mississippi. This is where Team Goodvin resided. It’s home to some alleged super natural activity that the “Boss” may be responsible for. A handful of guests have reported some “bumps in the night” but I can officially report that Team Goodvin slept soundly without interruption.My oldest daughter, Leah, and I are attracted to the supernatural. I was ready for random cigar smoke filling our suite, but it never happen. This is not same experience that others have felt sleeping on the 8th floor.

Al Capone was a bad person. None the less he is a historic figure in Americana especially in the Midwest. His trail is all over. There’s cornfields in Central Illinois where his gang allegedly buried rivals. And there’s hideouts he attended all over the country including Dubuque. If you’re on the Al Capone search, you can’t pass-up this part of Iowa.He was apart of the history of this region and shouldn’t ever be forgotten. Nothing about Capone in Dubuque felt sensationalized. This is where he resided from time to time, allegedly….Let’s move on. We’ll be back to the Julien, someday and perhaps we’ll have a visitor. In fact, we’re going to visit a taste of Chicago without the corruption. Let’s move on to a little place known as having one of the best sandwiches in all of Dubuque. And I do mean a little place…Dubuque Dawgs!

I devoured a Chicago Combo from Dubuque Dawgs. A juicy link of Italinan Sausage covered with Italian Beef and hot peppers. All on a beautiful roll. This was a Dubuque must have if you’re looking for something quick and absolutely awesome! From here we take a visit up the bluff. On the worlds steepest and shortest railroads in the world. How about an amazing view

One of the best views and attractions on the Mississippi! This railroad system sits in ine hell of a neighborhood in Dubuque. Full of a eclectic shops…

We’ve fallen in love with a lot of Iowa communities and this district gave us plenty of reasons to come back. Locals were coming at us from all over the place. Welcoming us with coffee and history lessons. This was exactly what we were looking for. Material for a return trip! We returned to our room at the Hotel Julien and went into slumber. Just what was attended. The next morning we hit a very popular breakfast spot. Sunshine Family Restaurant was very busy and we could see why!

Skillets all around and a huge cheese omelet. Team Goodvin was officially satisfied. This was a great summer trip to Dubuque, but it yielded more reasons to head back. Iowa’s river towns are loaded with history and good times. It’ll take may more expeditions to conquer the banks of this amazing region. Bring it on river towns…We’re ready for whatever you have!

Be sure to read about our other trips to the Dubuque area! Iowa’s oldest restaurant, and a cathedral road trip tour.

 

Now for some very big thank yous…

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To Taylor Cummings and everyone at Travel Dubuque! Thank you for all the work that went in to our visit. You know how to keep a family coming back!
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To the entire staff of the Hotel Julien! Everyone did a great job welcoming Team Goodvin!

Thanks for reading! -Team Goodvin!

8 thoughts on “Al Capone and The Mines of Spain

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