The Scenic Northeast
From Dubuque, groups that continue up the Great River Road will encounter a number of communities that blend small-town charm with impressive riverfront scenery.
“One of the most scenic sections of Iowa is the northeast quadrant,” Koelker said. “Harper’s Ferry has beautiful views, and Lansing is a small town that sees a lot of boat traffic.”
Groups that go to Lansing can visit an antique store that spans three city blocks or an ice cream parlor where employees make waffle cones by hand. Guttenberg has a swimming area where visitors can dip their toes in the Mississippi, as well as another lock and dam.
The best place to end a tour of Iowa’s River Road may be Balltown, where Breithbach’s Country Dining restaurant has become famous for its pies and its ambiance.
“It’s Iowa’s oldest bar and restaurant,” Koelker said. “It’s a must for groups to go there and taste the fresh homemade pies. And they have views like no other; people drive from all over to look out over the rolling hills and see the Mississippi River in the background."