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Dubuque to Minneapolis lodging and activities suggestions

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Iowa
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Dubuque to Minneapolis lodging and activities suggestions

Hello, my husband and I are traveling from Dubuque to Minneapolis for a long weekend in the middle of May. We would like lodging suggestions, average priced, and attractions and sights along the way. Our two main points of interest will be the Aquarium and of course Mall of America. We really would like to stop and visit little out of the way places along the trip. We generally like hiking, antiqueing, historical interests, small towns with "great personality". Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

minneapolis
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1. Re: Dubuque to Minneapolis lodging and activities suggestions

Considering you're focused on the Bloomington area around MOA, I'd suggest staying there. Lots of affordable options, but you could also check Travelzoo.com - they're usually for downtown hotel deals though. Take light rail into the city one day if you have time, consider stopping at Minnehaha Park to see the falls and do some hiking.

There are also a couple parks near MOA that are worth checking out - Fort Snelling State Park and Hyland Lake Park Reserve. Great hiking & views, I don't think there are fees for either.

If you're taking Hwy 52 north from Dubuque, that appears to be the most direct route. Yyou'll have lots of options for scenic stops. Tow and a half hours into your drive, Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park would be a cool diversion/hike. If you're interested in biking, Lanesboro has some great scenery, very cute town. You'd spend most of a day doing that though.

If you have any interest in the Mayo Clinic, stop in Rochester. I hear the downtown is pretty cute, but haven't spent any time there myself.

Further north, if you want to detour through Northfield, it's adorable. Two major beautiful college campuses with sights to see, cute main street with shopping & dining, very romantic.

If you stay on 52 though, there's a great burger dive in Coates, MN. It's right on the highway and called House of Coates, you can't miss the sign. However do get one of their specialty burgers, much better than the regular ones, and they're HUGE so you may want to share or take home leftovers.

On the other hand, if you want to take more time and go Hwy 61, there is actually more to see and do and could take you a day to drive there and back because of it. Let us know if that's an option you'd consider.

Iowa
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2. Re: Dubuque to Minneapolis lodging and activities suggestions

Thank you so very much for all the wonderful suggestions, I would have never known about all the great places to see! :-D The Forestville/Mystery Cave, House of Coates and Lanesboro will all be added to our agenda!

How long should we allow for the Mystery cave area? Could we reasonably stop and see it and still continue on to Red Wing that night?

Thank you again for your suggestions.

Minneapolis
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3. Re: Dubuque to Minneapolis lodging and activities suggestions

The tour of Mystery Cave takes only an hour. It's a bit of a drive from the highway; you also could go to Niagara Cave, which is right outside Harmony. That's an hour, too. It's a little kitschy but fun; Mystery Cave is more scientific: midwestweekends.com/plan_a_trip/nature/parks…

You could also take an Amish tour out of Harmony, if you planned ahead -- they're really interesting. At Canton, just before Harmony, there's a gift shop where Amish ladies sell homemade goods from their buggies.

You could stop at Burr Oak just before the border with Minnesota and see the old hotel where Laura Ingalls Wilder's family stayed; it's right off 52. Decorah would be a great place for lunch. And Seed Savers, just north of Decorah, has a great gift shop on its farm, which grows heirloom seeds. And then there's Spillville, not far away, where you can see the famous Bily Clocks.

4. Re: Dubuque to Minneapolis lodging and activities suggestions

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