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    • June 21, 2023
    • Dubuque, Iowa
    • 18

    Historic Dubuque and National Mississippi

    River Museum Field Trip

    Wednesday, June 21, 2023

    The registration deadline is June 6. 

    We encourage you to register early so we can determine if we have enough people to make the trip financially viable.

    Celebrate the summer solstice by  joining us on a scenic  bus ride through  southwest Wisconsin  to Dubuque,  Iowa’s oldest city,  chartered in 1837.    Settlers to this vibrant river city were known for mining and fur-trading, but later flourished in the industries of button making, boat building, logging, mill working, meat packing, and other heavy industries.

    When we arrive in Dubuque, you will have two options about how you want to spend your morning: exploring downtown Dubuque or spending time in a park on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi river.   In the afternoon we will go to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium where you will have two hours to explore the museum on your own.  Lunch will be on your own in downtown Dubuque.


    Morning Option A - Explore downtown Dubuque on your own

    There is no shortage of things to do in downtown Dubuque whether it is riding the historic Fenelon funicular, viewing the dozens of Tiffany stained glass windows at St. Luke's United Methodist church, walking the Riverwalk, or shopping the unique stores.  You will have 2 1/2 hours to explore the area and have lunch.


    The bus will drop you off at the Travel Dubuque visitor's center in the heart of the Old Main Historic District considered to be the "largest concentration of significant nineteenth-century commercial architecture" in Dubuque.  There are dozens of unique stores and restaurants to explore - see  Downtown Dubuque stores .


    Fenelon Place Elevator Company - Also known as the Fourth Street Elevator, this funicular railway, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been called “the world’s steepest, shortest scenic railway.”  At the top there are magnificent views of the downtown Dubuque business district, the Mississippi River and three states. Rates are $4/round trip -  cash only. 5 minute walk from the Visitor's Center.


    St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 1199 Main Street - Over 100 Tiffany windows turn this historic church into a stained glass paradise.  It is the fifth largest collection of Tiffany's stained glassworks in the world.  You will be viewing the collection on your own.  The church is open for walk-ins from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.  You can view the video tour at video tour  or you can watch it on site with the television in the back of the sanctuary.  10 minute walk from the Visitor's Center.


    Riverwalk - The Riverwalk is a 1/2 mile walkway atop Dubuque's flood wall, offering spectacular views of the Mississippi River, rail and road bridges, and Dubuque's downtown.  10 minute walk from the Visitor's Center.



    Morning Option B - Stay on the bus for a ten minute ride to Eagle Point Park

    Eagle Point Park is a 164 acre scenic park on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi river and lock and dam no. 11.   You will have fifty minutes to walk around the park  before the bus returns to downtown Dubuque for lunch.

    The park is ADA accessible with a level, paved sidewalk and has accessible restrooms. 

    Prairie style  architecture is very recognizable in the buildings and gardens and the use of native construction materials, craftsmanship, and unique designs make the park one of the most beautiful in the Midwest.  The park was listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.


    National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

    We will spend our afternoon at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.  Part aquarium, part museum, part science center, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium creates educational experiences where history and rivers come alive!   The 14-acre campus on the banks of the Mississippi River features two separate two-story buildings and an expansive outdoor plaza. It is is home to over 100 species of animals and thousands of historic artifacts.

    You will have two hours to explore the museum on your own.  There will be docents at all of the aquariums and main exhibits so people can ask all the questions they want.  There are also several videos available for $5 each for people to watch.  If you finish viewing the museum early, feel free to take a walk on the adjacent riverwalk.


    Lunch in Dubuque

    Lunch will be on your own in downtown Dubuque from 12:20 PM to 1:40 PM.  The cost of lunch is separate and is not included in your registration fee.

    The bus will drop us off at the visitor's center, 280 Main street,  and all of the restaurants below are within a three block radius of the drop off point.  The underlined blue links on the restaurants listed below work if you want to find out more about the restaurants.  A printed map of downtown Dubuque will be handed out on the bus the day of the tour.

    Caroline's Restaurant at Hotel Julien – 200 Main Street - American cuisine served all day in a stylish, simply appointed dining room inside Hotel Julien.

    1st & Main – 101 Main Street - Brick-lined joint with specialty drinks & a pub menu, including weekend breakfast & daily specials.

    A&W - 250 W 1st St - Iconic chain serving up namesake root beer, plus burgers, chicken & fries.

    Baraboo's on Main  – 345 Main Street – Voted #1 burger in Dubuque

    Barrell House – 299 Main Street – Features burgers, pizzas, salads, apps, and more

    Jimmy John's - 356 Main Street - Counter-serve chain specializing in sub & club sandwiches, plus signature potato chips.

    Adobos Mexican Grill – 756 Main Street - Cheery Mexican counter serve offering build-your-own burritos, tacos & nachos, plus big margaritas.

    Lot One – 100 Main Street - Laid-back watering hole offering a pub-grub menu & a sizable array of beers in a casual atmosphere.

    Vault Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge – 342 Main Street - From sandwiches to fine dining options.

    And a 10 minute walk to the river will take you to the Filament restaurant inside the Diamond Jo Casino or Tony Roma's inside the Grand Harbor Hotel.



    Registration Fee:  The registration fee for members is $58 which includes the bus,  driver's tip, admission to Eagle Point park,  and the entrance fee of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.   Lunch is not included in the registration fee.   Non-member guests pay an additional $10 registration fee.

    Registration Policy:  PLATO will refund an event fee if cancelled prior to the registration deadline of June 6.  Refunds after the registration deadline are only processed if a wait-listed registrant can attend or there are extenuating circumstances.  We encourage you to register early so we know if we have enough people to make the trip financially feasible.

    Dress Appropriately:  We will be outside in downtown Dubuque and Eagle Point park.  You should dress appropriately for the weather (i.e., comfortable, closed-toed shoes, umbrellas, raincoats, jackets, hats and gloves).

    Accessibility Policy:   On the bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus.  If you need assistance, we require that you bring a friend to give you a hand.  Eagle Point Park has paved pathways.  There are benches available along the path for anyone that needs to take a rest or simply wants to take in the scenery or have a great conversation with someone.

    Non-Member Policy:   Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. Members may bring more than one guest near the registration deadline date if seats are available. Check with trip organizer.  Non-member guests pay an additional $10 registration fee.

    PLATO Membership:  PLATO membership is $60.00/year and all memberships renew on July 1. 

    Mail-In Registration Form:  Print, Fill-In, and Mail this Form for those who wish to register off-line and by check.


    Bus and Travel Details

    We will have a 56-passenger Van Galder/CoachUSA bus.  Please arrive early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus.  When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave.  Arrive early and we will all arrive at our destination on time to begin our adventure.

    – Don’t be late.  We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

    Our bus is equipped with WiFi and toilet facilities. 

    - Social Distancing will not be available on the bus.


    Leave Madison

    8:15 AM    Bus arrives at East Towne Sears

    8:30 AM    Departs East Towne Sears

    8:50 AM    Departs Capitol Lakes

    9:15 AM    Departs Oakwood Village University Oaks, 6205 Mineral Point Rd

    In Dubuque

    11:00 AM    Arrives Travel Dubuque, downtown Dubuque

    11:15 AM    Arrives Eagle Point Park

    12:05 PM    Departs Eagle Point Park

    12:20 PM    Arrives Travel Dubuque, downtown Dubuque for lunch

    1:40 PM      Departs Travel Dubuque for museum

    1:45 PM      Arrives National Mississippi River Museum

    3:45 PM      Departs museum for Madison

    Arrive Madison (Estimated)

    5:15 PM     Arrives Oakwood Village University Oaks

    5:40 PM     Arrives Capitol Lakes

    6:00 PM     Arrives East Towne Sears

    For further information, contact Dubuque trip organizers, Bob Shaw, , 608-255-3486 or Marsha Janota,, 608-442-7676


    PLATO's COVID Protocol

    By registering for this event you agree to the following:

    1. Masks are not required while on this field trip.  

    2. However, persons wishing to wear a mask are encouraged to do so.

    3. Health  protocols are subject to change as conditions change; PLATO reserves the right to change the protocols for this trip accordingly.

    4. You are asked to stay home if you are not feeling well. Please contact the trip organizer to inform them of your decision.

    • July 07, 2023
    • November 03, 2023
    • 5 sessions
    • Madison

    Below are five guides to popular bicycling routes in Madison.   Each guide is broken up into distinct sections with maps providing detailed instructions.  These are not group rides but are to be taken whenever you want to go.


    Bicycling Around Lake Monona

    The 12.5 mile route around Lake Monona is one of the most popular bicycle trips in Madison.  It goes through a mixture of bicycle paths and lightly traveled streets and takes about 75 minutes for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling Around Lake Monona


    Bicycling the Cannonball Path/Arboretum Loop

    The route (8.2 miles) traverses a mixture of bicycle paths, city streets with bike lanes, and a quiet road through the U.W. Arboretum.  It takes about 50 minutes for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Cannonball Path/Arboretum Loop


    Bicycling the Southwest Commuter Path/Capital City State Trail Loop

    The route (18.1 miles) is entirely on dedicated bicycle paths with the exception of a short 1/2 mile section on a quiet road.  It takes a little less than two hours for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Southwest Commuter Path/Capital City State Trail Loop


    Bicycling the McFarland Loop

    The highlight of this route (18 miles) is a mile-long bridge spanning Lake Waubesa.  It is the longest inland boardwalk bridge constructed solely for non-motorized transportation in North America.  It takes a little less than two hours for the average cyclist.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the McFarland Loop


    Bicycling the Blackhawk Path/Lake Mendota Drive/Lakeshore Nature Preserve Loop

    This 7.8 mile loop begins at Allen Centennial Garden and parallels University Avenue on bike paths before heading over to Lake Mendota Drive, a quiet, tree-lined residential neighborhood.   It then follows the Lakeshore Nature Preserve back to the starting point.   It takes less than one hour for the average cyclist.

    2023 Update - The Blackhawk / Campus bike path that goes by University Station, Lodgic and VA hospital will be closed from Wednesday April 19 for at least three months. Detour signs are in place sending bikes along Harvard Dr and Highland Ave.

    Click on A Guide to Bicycling the Blackhawk Path, Lake Mendota Drive, Lakeshore Nature Preserve Loop


    BCycle Stations along the Route

    Madison BCycle has a number of stations along the routes where you can rent an electric bicycle.


    Other Resources

    Dane County Bicycle Map

    Madison BCycle

    Madison Bikes Community (Facebook)

    Madison Bikes

    Bicycle Benefits

    Top 10 Trails to Try in Madison

    Biking in Fitchburg


    Compiled by Bob Shaw -

    August 2020;  Updated April 2023

PLATO is proudly supported in part by Oakwood Village.

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in association with:

for more information, contact us at:


6209 Mineral Point Road #203
Madison, WI 53705

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