As September draws to a close, summer thoughts begin to disappear with the last of the warm weather, and you come to terms with just how much effort you might have to put into your classes. Though it may be cooler outside, there are still plenty of ways to keep procrastinating, so don’t worry.
The bluffs of Dubuque and the surrounding areas will seem to glow as the tree’s leaves turn bright reds, oranges and yellows. You can probably see some from your residence hall or the ACC, but try taking a trip off campus.
Dubuque is full of great parks, lookout points and spots for hiking. The Mines of Spain and Eagle Point Park have plenty to explore and both overlook the Mississippi River. Eagle Point has great places to have the last of your outdoor barbecues and you can go paddling in kayaks along Catfish Creek in the Mines of Spain. Eagle Point Park costs one dollar for entrance, but the ticket handed to you at the gate can be used the entire day, meaning you can leave and come back before closing time at 10 p.m.
Though it does not give grand river views like the Mines of Spain and Eagle Point Park, Swiss Valley Park provides miles of hiking trails that criss-cross fields, bluffs and trout-fishing streams. This is a perfect spot for a hike or even a weekend camp-out and it is only a fifteen minute drive from campus.
If hiking around Dubuque’s historic parks isn’t up your alley, there’s still plenty to do. The Fenelon Place Elevator, also known as the Fourth Street Elevator, will take you up and down the bluff for a small fee of three dollars for a round-trip. You’ll get stunning views and a little adrenaline rush as the old cars shake down the tracks to bring you down to the many awaiting small shops at the bottom. Try stopping into the café at Monk’s, where you can enjoy hot drinks in the lounge with a piano, couches and some games. The Dubuque Farmers’ Market, Iowa’s oldest farmers’ market, runs every Saturday morning through the end of October. There’s live music, fresh local produce, delicious baked goods, jewelry, artwork, and plenty of dogs to pet if you’re missing your pup at home (ask the owner politely first though!) If you choose not to pick up a pumpkin from the farmers’ market there are a few pumpkin patches and orchards a short drive from Loras; you can put your procrastination skills to the test by getting lost in a corn maze for a while.
Last but not least, don’t forget to look around for events happening in Dubuque in the coming weeks. For example, Baconfest is Thursday, Oct. 5. The tickets are twenty-five dollars but they provide seemingly endless samples of bacon-themed dishes and appetizers and all of the proceeds go to charity. There’s plenty of fun Fall ways to spend your time if you simply look; there’s so much to do in Dubuque that you won’t want to leaf!