Scott and


10 Best Weekend Getaways from Dubuque for Couples

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

Share on LinkedInShare on PinterestShare on InstagramShare on Youtube

This webpage contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through our link, we receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

A weekend getaway… it's the perfect way to relax and reconnect as a couple! Whether you've been married for years or are just getting started on your romantic journey, nothing beats spending a few days away from home exploring new places together. And if you live in Dubuque, Iowa, then you certainly won't be at a loss for amazing possibilities.

From beautiful beaches to natural wonders and everything in between, there are countless activities waiting for couples like you who crave an escape from their everyday lives! To help make planning your next mini adventure just that much easier, here is our list of 10 fantastic weekend getaways from Dubuque.

1. Galena, Illinois

Galena, Illinois, Historic District

Located just a short drive from Dubuque, this charming town is the perfect destination for couples looking to explore the Midwest and spend some quality time together.

Galena is nestled in the rolling hills of northwest Illinois and became a bustling town in the early 1800s with the discovery of lead. The city has preserved its 19th-century architecture and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as biking, kayaking, fishing, and more. There are also plenty of shops, galleries, wineries, and restaurants to explore.

One of the most popular attractions in Galena is Ulysses S. Grant's home which now operates as a museum managed by the Preservation Foundation. Here you can learn about Grant's life and his connection to Galena while admiring the beautiful architecture of his former home.

For those who love nature, there are several parks located nearby including Apple River Canyon State Park where you can enjoy hiking trails with stunning views or take a scenic drive along the river bluffs. You can also visit Horseshoe Mound Nature Preserve which offers breathtaking views from atop its limestone cliffs or take a stroll through Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve where you can observe wildlife in their natural habitat.


2. La Crosse, WI

Beach along the La Crosse River, Wisconsin

Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, La Crosse is an idyllic destination for couples looking to escape and explore together.

The city is full of dreamy sights and activities that will make your heart skip a beat. Start your day with a romantic stroll through Riverside Park, where you can take in the breathtaking views of the river and surrounding bluffs. Then head over to Grandad Bluff Park to explore its lush trails and stunning overlooks.

Afterward, take a leisurely cruise down the Mississippi River on one of La Crosse's unique trolley bus tours.
For those looking for more adventure, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in La Crosse. Spend an afternoon kayaking or canoeing down the river or go hiking at one of the many nearby parks. You can also take a tour of some of La Crosse's historic districts or visit Dahl Auto Museum for a glimpse into the city's past.

At night, grab dinner at one of La Crosse's many restaurants before heading out for some live music or dancing at one of its lively bars and clubs. Or if you're looking for something more low-key, spend an evening stargazing from Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe or cozy up with your sweetheart for a movie night at home.

3. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Aerial View of Cedar Rapids Iowa Downtown

Cedar Rapids, Iowa is a dreamy destination for couples looking to get away from it all. Located just two hours from Dubuque, Cedar Rapids is the perfect spot for a romantic weekend getaway. From its vibrant downtown area to its lush parks and trails, Cedar Rapids offers something for everyone.

The city of Cedar Rapids is full of life and culture. Visit the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art to explore the works of local artists or take in a show at the Paramount Theatre. Spend an afternoon strolling through NewBo City Market, where you can find unique gifts and souvenirs. Or take a walk along the banks of the Cedar River and enjoy views of the city skyline.

When it comes to outdoor activities, Cedar Rapids has plenty to offer. Take a bike ride along one of the many trails that wind through town or spend an afternoon exploring one of the many parks in town. If you're feeling adventurous, head out on a kayak tour down the Cedar River or try your hand at fishing in one of its many lakes and ponds.

4. Madison, Wisconsin

Madison skyline reflecting on Lake Monona

Just a short drive away, Madison offers couples an array of romantic activities and attractions that will make their trip unforgettable.

The city of Madison is known for its stunning natural beauty. Couples can take in breathtaking views of Lake Mendota or explore the lush green forests of the University Arboretum. The downtown area is full of charming cafes and restaurants, perfect for a romantic date night. For those looking for more adventure, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy such as kayaking on Lake Monona or biking along the Capital City Trail.

Couples can also experience the rich culture and history that Madison has to offer. Take a stroll through the State Capitol building or visit one of the many museums like the Chazen Museum of Art or the Wisconsin Historical Museum. There are also plenty of live music venues and theaters where couples can see some amazing performances from local artists.

Madison is also home to some unique shopping experiences like State Street which features an array of boutiques and specialty stores. Couples can find everything from vintage clothing to handmade jewelry here. Afterward, they can relax with a cup of coffee at one of the many cozy cafes in town before heading back to Dubuque in time for dinner.

5. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Lake Geneva in Wisconsin

Nestled in the heart of Wisconsin, Lake Geneva is a dreamy destination for couples looking to get away. From its crystal clear lake and miles of shoreline to its quaint downtown area and luxurious resorts, Lake Geneva has something for everyone.

The lake itself is a sight to behold. With over 5,000 acres of crystal clear water, it's no wonder why so many people flock here each year. Whether you're looking for a romantic boat ride or an adventurous jet ski excursion, there are plenty of ways to explore the lake. And if you're feeling particularly daring, you can even take a dip in the refreshing waters!

For those who prefer to stay on land, Lake Geneva has plenty of activities as well. Take a stroll along the scenic Geneva Lake Shore Path or explore one of the many parks and nature trails that dot the area. You can also visit some of the city's top attractions like Tristan Crist Magic Theatre or Black Point Estate. And don't forget about all the shopping and dining options available in downtown Lake Geneva!

After a day spent exploring all that Lake Geneva has to offer, relax at one of its luxurious resorts like Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark or Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. Here you'll find everything from spa treatments and fine dining experiences to golf courses and swimming pools - perfect for couples looking for some rest and relaxation after their adventures around town.

6. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Aerial View of Minneapolis and the Mississippi river in summer

Located just two hours away, Dubuque is the perfect starting point for a romantic getaway to Minneapolis.

Upon arriving in Minneapolis, couples will be amazed by the city's vibrant energy and stunning skyline. From its iconic landmarks like the Stone Arch Bridge and Mill City Museum to its bustling nightlife and world-class restaurants, there is something for everyone in this lively city.

Couples can spend their days exploring the many attractions that Minneapolis has to offer. Take a stroll through Minnehaha Park and enjoy its lush greenery and picturesque waterfall or take a boat ride on the Mississippi River for an unforgettable experience. For those who are looking for more adventure, Minneapolis also offers plenty of outdoor activities such as biking along the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway or canoeing down one of its many lakes.

At night, couples can enjoy some of Minneapolis' best entertainment options from live music venues to comedy clubs and theater performances. Afterward, they can head over to one of the city's many craft breweries or sample some delicious local cuisine at one of its renowned restaurants.

7. Chicago, Illinois

Aerial view of Lincoln Park neighborhood with Chicago skyline

Dubuque, located near Chicago, Illinois, is ideal for a romantic trip with its range of activities and attractions. Experience the breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and enjoy the lively nightlife in downtown Chicago, making it the perfect destination for all.

The skyline of Chicago is breathtaking and can be seen from miles away. Couples can take a romantic stroll along the lakefront path or enjoy a picnic in one of the many parks located throughout the city. The Magnificent Mile is also a must-see destination with its world-class shopping and dining options. For those looking for more adventure, couples can explore the Navy Pier or take an architectural boat tour down the Chicago River.

Chicago also offers plenty of cultural attractions such as museums, theaters, and art galleries. Couples can explore some of the most famous works of art at The Art Institute or visit one of the many music venues located throughout the city. There are also plenty of festivals and events happening year-round that make it easy to find something fun to do together. We have a post entirely dedicated to fun things to do in Chicago you can read here if you'd like.

8. Door County, Wisconsin

Aerial Drone Photo of Ephraim, Door County, Wisconsin

Across the Mississippi River lies a picturesque peninsula of 300 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 10 waterfront towns. Couples can explore Door County's stunning natural beauty and enjoy its many activities together.

The lakefront towns of Door County are full of quaint shops, art galleries, and restaurants that offer delicious local cuisine. Take a stroll along the beach or take a boat ride on the lake to take in the breathtaking views. For those looking for an adventure, there are plenty of opportunities for kayaking, fishing, biking, and more.

Couples can also explore some of Door County's unique attractions such as its wineries and fish boils. Sample some of the area's finest wines while enjoying breathtaking views from one of the many vineyards or join in on a traditional fish boil dinner with live music entertainment.

For couples looking for something more relaxing, Door County offers plenty of spa treatments and wellness activities like yoga classes or meditation retreats. Enjoy some quality time together at one of the many spas or take a leisurely stroll through one of the county's beautiful parks or nature preserves.

9. Saugatuck, Michigan

Fall Leaf Colors - Saugatuck, Michigan

Located on the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan, this charming beach town is the perfect destination for couples looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With its stunning views of Lake Michigan and its quaint downtown area, Saugatuck is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

From award-winning beaches to scenic waterways and grassy dunes, Saugatuck offers something for everyone. Whether you're looking to take a leisurely stroll along the beach or explore the local shops and restaurants in downtown Saugatuck, there's something here for every couple.

Oval Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Michigan and is a must-see when visiting Saugatuck. Here you can relax on the sand while taking in breathtaking views of Lake Michigan or take a dip in its crystal clear waters. You can also explore nearby trails that wind through lush forests or take a boat ride out onto the lake to catch some incredible sunsets.

The city of Saugatuck also has plenty of art galleries and museums that are worth exploring during your stay. From traditional art galleries to modern art installations, there's something here for everyone to enjoy. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even take part in some outdoor activities such as kayaking or paddle boarding on the lake!

10. Mackinaw City, Michigan

Mackinaw bridge in Michigan

Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Dubuque is just a short drive away from Mackinaw City, Michigan. With its breathtaking views and stunning natural beauty, Mackinaw City is a dreamy destination for couples looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The city's picturesque harbor is lined with charming shops and restaurants that offer a variety of delicious cuisines. Couples can take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, admiring the majestic lake views and taking in the fresh air. For those looking for more adventure, there are plenty of activities to choose from including kayaking, fishing, sailing, and horseback riding.

Mackinaw City also offers a variety of cultural attractions such as museums, art galleries, and historic sites. The city's rich history can be explored through its many monuments and landmarks like Fort Mackinac or Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse.

For those who want to relax and unwind, there are plenty of spas and resorts where couples can enjoy massages or take part in yoga classes together. After exploring all that Mackinaw City has to offer during the day, couples can spend their evenings stargazing on one of the city's many beaches or watching the sunset over Lake Huron from one of its many lookout points.

With so many incredible weekend getaways, couples in Dubuque have plenty of options when it comes to exploring and discovering new places. From nearby camping sites to far-off destinations filled with romance, there is something here for everyone. Whether your ideal trip includes a long drive through the countryside, wine tasting, or exciting trips to tourist attractions, these weekend getaways are sure to please and provide lasting memories. Regardless of which option you go with, we would like to wish you all the best on your adventure, have fun, and take care!

Scott and Yanling Contact Us Photo


Need some assistance for your trip?
Send us a message and we will do our best to help you out.

Try to be as detailed as you can with exactly what you need help with so we can best serve you.

Please complete the reCAPTCHA challenge