The small city of DUBUQUE (“debuke”) occupies a handsome location amid rocky bluffs on the Mississippi River, 84 miles northeast of Iowa City. The city’s origins lie in a small settlement established by French-Canadian pioneer Julien Dubuque, after the local Meskwaki people granted him rights to mine lead here in 1788 – in the nineteenth century, Dubuque became a booming river port and logging centre. Today it’s developed into something of a mini-break destination, with a couple of huge casinos, resort hotels, a smattering of grand nineteenth-century buildings and plenty of attractions.