Riding the Rails to a View of Three States in Dubuque, Iowa
A round-trip ticket for $2.00? If you guessed it won't get you far ... you're right. Still, it's a relatively small price to pay to ride the world's shortest, steepest scenic railway: the Fenelon Place Elevator in Dubuque, Iowa. Originally built in 1882 so a businessman could avoid the half-hour horse and buggy trip around a steep bluff and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 296-foot funicular serves both locals and tourists looking for the best view of the oldest city in Iowa. Just climb on board and pull the chain to ring a bell, alerting the operator at the top that you're ready. The car will lurch upward, doors closing automatically, and another car will simultaneously work its way down on the opposite track. Upon reaching the top, you'll be asked to pay and then allowed to step out onto a small platform where you can see downtown Dubuque and the surrounding Iowa countryside, the Mississippi River, and even the bluffs of Illinois and Wisconsin in the distance. Night owls looking for a view of the city lights can ride until 10:00 PM.