A 'Dream' Labor Day Getaway from the Quad-Cities to Dubuque

What could be better than wrapping up the summer by going to one of the nation's most famous ballparks?

And what if the players on the field at that famous ballpark also were incredibly famous – as in Reggie Jackson, Ted Simmons, Ozzie Smith, Johnny Bench, and Willie McGee famous, just to name a few?
It isn't a dream, it's Iowa – the Field of Dreams film site in Dyersville, Iowa, to be exact. And to think it's less than 100 miles away, a 90-minute road trip.

In fact, you can spend the entire Labor Day weekend in the Dubuque, Iowa area and squeeze every last drop out of summer. I've even set up an itinerary for you.

Stay at a waterpark, a spa, a cabin, or a hotel
You can head out to Dubuque Friday evening or just wait until Saturday morning to hit the road. Either way, when you get there you will find everything from fun family restaurants to fine dining.
If it's a couples trip without any kids, enjoy Dubuque's nightlife along the river. There is lodging for every budget and every taste – bed and breakfasts, cabins and cottages, or specialty hotels like Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark (a favorite with the kids) or Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa (which includes four professional golf courses) in picturesque Galena, Ill., which is 15 miles from Dubuque and a tourist destination in and of itself.

If you just want to stay at a "hotel motel Holiday Inn," so to speak, there's that too, as well as a Hilton Garden Inn downtown. All the other major chains are in and around Dubuque as well, but make reservations now since the town is sure to be packed for the big game.

Meet Reggie Jackson, Johnny Bench, Robin Yount
The main event in Dubuque Labor Day weekend is "Team of Dreams" at the "Field of Dreams" filming site just 15 minutes from Dubuque in Dyersville, Iowa. Make your reservations now to see legendary players from Major League Baseball take to the famous field at 7 p.m. Sunday. Your $32.64 ticket price also includes a screening of the box office hit starring Kevin Costner, a concert by LANco, and more. Children under 12 are free. Gates open at 3 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets – this ain't a major league ballpark, remember!

Learn more about the mighty Mississippi River
If you live in the Quad-Cities you already know what life on the Mississippi River is like. But you probably don't know as much as you think about our community's globally famous landmark.
That's why the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is a must while you're in Dubuque (and nobody who visits it ever leaves saying otherwise). The museum is at 350 E. 3rd St. downtown.

Enjoy a 4D theater, a "live" animatronic dinosaur exhibit, as well as permanent collections featuring the history of the nation's most famous river. Then see all those creatures that live beneath all that muddy water at the aquarium (because let's face it, you can't see them from up above!)

Tickets are $19 (includes one 4D film) for adults, $14 for children ages 4 to 17.

Round out the weekend spelunking through caves
Round out the weekend by visiting Crystal Lake Caves, located on Highway 52 five miles south of Dubuque. "Crystal Lake Cave is home to a world of wondrous mineral formations that are still growing today," the website boasts. "Every step through the cave reveals a range of pristine stalagmites, heilicites, rare anthodites and more."

Admission is $14 for adults, $7 for children ages 4 to 11.

David Heitz has been a journalist for three decades and has scoured every inch of the Quad-Cities. He says he knows too much so he mostly writes about health these days, but still enjoys pointing out what's right about the Quad-Cities.