Stowed away on the east side of the Mississippi River 30 minutes southeast from Dubuque, Bellevue is the perfect small-town haven for any tourist seeking peace of mind.
My crew and I fixed to celebrate for 3 days in this riverside getaway. A handful of us left from Chicago in Adam’s black Jeep and swooned to tunes for 3 1/2 hours, stopping only for a mandatory trip to Culver’s.
We rolled into town at 3pm and Bellevue lived up to its name by offering a breathtaking view from the jump. A wide orange sun lit up the sky, covering everything it touched in a dreamlike haze, breathing life into the grass and trees that lined the river. The Mississippi shimmered blue-green a stone’s throw from the 52 South and slowly, we pulled into Moon River Cabins at the south end of town.
Hopping out, the late May humidity clamped to the back of our necks, making us quick to take refuge in the air-conditioned cabins. Stacey and Ronnie had snacks and drinks going with the rest of the group in Mill Creek Cabin. Should you need to stock up on groceries, Bender’s Foods is less than half a mile away and offers fresh produce and a bevy of beverages.
Moon River Cabins consists of four separate cabins, of which our crew reserved 3: Mill Creek, Riverstone, and Paddle Wheel. An S-curved stone path slithered between them and a wide patio accommodated our 13-person party. Ronnie and Kyle cooked up the meats while the rest of us leaned back in chairs flashing wide grins while sweet dogs Luna and Sebastian explored every nook and cranny of this pet-friendly riverside escape.
Late nights, mosquitos nicked our legs while we swung on hammocks and crowded around the campfire. Mornings, we’d rise one by one, take a morning stroll down the scenic riverwalk or lounge on the benches on the east end of Paddle Wheel and Riverstone. Nothing like taking your morning coffee under the eaves of the cabins watching a barge float by, a cloud of smoke rising out of its top.
The 2nd day, we drove to nearby Bellevue State Park with the dogs. Entrance was free and we parked by the South Bluff, admiring the view overlooking the town and the river. All was quiet and lush. We drove up to the Garden Sanctuary for Butterflies. Though I didn’t see any butterflies, the flowers and meadow were a sight. We hiked a well-kept trail and the dogs splashed in the creek.
Bellevue granted me a moment of much-needed self reflection. My next go-around, I’d head to Potter’s Mill to see a show and eat a half-rack of ribs at their restaurant, Flattened Fifth Blues + BBQ. I’d also be sure to search for a unique souvenir at Second & State or Eagle’s Rest Antiques.
What’s your ideal peaceful getaway? Leave a comment below!