Dickeyville Grotto Gift Shop Receives Best of Dickeyville Award

Dickeyville Grotto Gift Shop has been selected for the 2017 Best of Dickeyville Award in the Retailers category by the Dickeyville Award Program.

Each year, the Dickeyville Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Dickeyville area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2017 Dickeyville Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Dickeyville Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Dickeyville Award Program

The Dickeyville Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Dickeyville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Dickeyville Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

Photo credit: @sizzle_bean

Getting Active in the Tri-States

It’s 7 a.m. on a crisp Autumn morning. While scarfing down a pre-race banana, you lace up those neon runners that have been with you for the last 100 training miles. You’re handed a shiny new bib and proudly pin racer number 1025 to your chest. Eagerly waiting at the start line you shuffle from side to side as your pacers file in next to you. One deep breath in, a gunshot, and you’re off on the latest running exploration. September is prime running season in the Tri-States region and we know you’ve been training all summer long for these unique races happening in our backyard.

Do you have a Labor Day tradition? Join in on the Benefit Classic Half Marathon and 5K, a 38-year tradition, in Dubuque, Iowa on Monday, September 5, 2016. Race through scenic Eagle Point Park, overlooking the mighty Mississippi River and Lock & Dam #11. Work your way up killer hills to the summit where you will have earned a beautiful view of the sunrise over the Tri-State region. Within a day’s drive from Chicago, Minneapolis, and St. Louis, the Benefit Classic makes for the perfect destination ‘runcation’ for your holiday weekend.

Let’s cover some elevation. Come to Galena, Illinois on September 10, 2016 for the most extreme outdoor stair event in America. Honor the fallen heroes and first responders on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 at the Heroes for History Stair Challenge 5k Race. This heart-pounding competition comprised of 10 laps and 3070 stairs, traverses the stairs between Bench and Prospect Streets in Galena. For those who are a bit more faint-hearted, join in on the Fun Run/Walk and dress up as your favorite hero.

The Dubuque Color Vibe 5K Run on September 17, 2016 is sure to be the most colorful day of your life. Gather friends and family for race through four color zone where you will be blasted with vibrant pigments. Cruise all the way to the finish line for a dance party and color throw, a sight full of Instagram worthy pictures. Continue the party post-race at the Dubuque Oktoberfest, as you receive Free General Admission with your Color Vibe entry fee.

No matter if you are a seasoned athlete or a recreational walker, there are plenty of opportunities to get active in the Tri-State region this fall.


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Historical Places of the Tri-States: Get Personal with the Past

The Tri-States is a perfect getaway for anyone who has an affinity for the Victorian era and steamboats, revels in the early days of agriculture or the lead mining rush, or simply appreciates American history. The region is full of established communities with historical homes and buildings that allow you to get up close and personal with the past through artifacts, possessions, and stories of the individuals and families who lived there.

ILLINOIS offers excellent examples of Italianate architecture and Civil War-era homes, and is also where you can literally follow in the footsteps of history.

Galena, IL

> The Belvedere Mansion & Gardens is called Galena’s “Downtown Abbey;” it is a well-preserved, historically accurate example of upper-class, mid-19th century life. Just across town you will find the oldest house in Galena – the Dowling House. It was once the only trading post in Galena and provided primitive living quarters for fur traders.

Dixon, IL

> Built in 1908, the Northwest Territory Historic Center is where President Ronald Reagan once attended school as a child. See President Reagan’s 6th Grade Classroom restored to his time there. A separate room features memorabilia from his time as president. Learn about the struggles of the Native American’s as well how they fought to keep their land and how early farmer’s climbed an uphill battle to prosper in a new area.

Savanna, IL

> The City of Savanna is known as an “outdoor paradise” due to its proximity along the shores of the Mississippi River. The dense forest and steep cliffs of nearby Mississippi Palisades State Park had once been home to area Native Americans; present-day visitors to the park can hike the same trails forged by those pathfinders nearly 1500 years ago.

On the IOWA side of the Mississippi, you’ll discover Victorian-era opulence and other cultural traits associated with the booming lead industry and bustling river economy during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Dubuque, IA

> The Mathias Ham House is significant to the Midwest lead mining phenomenon. The mid-Victorian home is on the National Register of Historic Places; it was built by local entrepreneur Mathias Ham and designed by architect John F. Rague. You can visit this living history site from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Davenport, IA

> In 1900, Davenport was described as the most German city in the Midwest. The German American Heritage Center works to teach present and future generations about German immigrant experiences. The Center was a former immigrant hotel and is the last one remaining in the region.

Guttenberg, IA

> The Lockmaster’s House Heritage Museum is where the lockmaster and assistant lockmaster of Lock and Dam #10 were required to live between 1938 and 1973. The house has since become a museum preserving the history of both the lock and dam and Guttenberg. This is the last remaining lockmaster house on the Upper Mississippi River and it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The scenic rolling hills of Southwest WISCONSIN offer breath-taking views, Swiss hospitality, and a rich agricultural heritage that developed the growth of Wisconsin.

New Glarus, WI

> The New Glarus Hotel Restaurant has a rich history dating back to 1853. Nowadays, it is a called a hotel despite the fact that most guests are there to dine in for the Swiss specialties. The building began as a hotel and the current main dining room was once an old opera house. Silent movies with pianists were often the featured show.

Cassville, WI

> Stonefield Historical Site celebrates Wisconsin’s agricultural history. Learn about the rise of turn-of-the-century dairy farming and see why Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland.” Stonefield has a 1901 farmstead, an agricultural museum, a living history rural farming village, and more!

Mineral Point, WI

> Pendarvis Historical Site interprets the history of Cornish settlement during the early 19th century and Wisconsin’s lead-mining heyday. Touring the historic homes at Pendarvis will transport you into the typical day of a lead-mining immigrant family and how they lived and worked.

Last Chance Summer

It’s the countdown till fall. The kids have packed their backpacks and are begging for the latest pair of Nikes to impress their classmates. Parents victoriously cross out days on the calendar, dreaming of the day they pass the carpool responsibilities to the bus driver. But before we get carried away with the back to school butterflies, we still have time to enjoy the last few weeks of summer around the Tri-State region.

Food, family, and garlic breath. Is there a better way to bond? The Midwest Garlic Fest in Elizabeth, IL features over 25 of finest food vendors from the region, specializing in garlic loaded delicacies August 13-14, 2016. Live entertainment by local favorites including The Black Sheep, Lonely Goats, and Chris Cavanaugh will keep your family dancing all day long. Wake up the next morning for Family Garlic Day, August 14. Ease the kids back into education with new knowledge of planting and growing garlic during the children’s events in addition to raffles, games, contests and prizes all day long.

Maybe the kids need a weekend with the grandparents to soak up those last few summer nights. What a serendipitous opportunity to take a trip to Wisconsin for the Potosi Brewfest on August 27, 2016. Enjoy a fun-filled day of tasting craft beer, wines, and artisan grub from nearly 60 vendors. Home of the National Brewery Museum, Potosi has deep roots in the beer industry dating back to its brewery founding in 1852.

Labor Day weekend is the telltale sign that summer has come to a close. A day full of baseball is the perfect way to say goodbye to the season. Come to Dyersville, Iowa on September 4, 2016 for the Team of Dreams. Experience the magic of the Field of Dreams Movie Site as baseball legends come together for a day celebrating the Great American Pastime. Share your love of the game with family while enjoying a celebrity autograph signing and game before an evening watching Field of Dreams on the very outfield where the Oscar nominated movie was filmed 27 years ago.

Don’t let summer slip away before you experience these exciting happenings in the Tri-State Region.

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See Tri-States Like Never Before

Way above the treetops of the Mississippi River Valley, you’ll find a multitude of possibilities for high flying fun. Soar to new heights on the regions most thrilling ziplines. Hit the summer slopes on an an alpine slide. Then trek through the forest on an adrenaline pumping sky bridge. Take your summer vacation to the next level with these Tri-State adventures.

Sky Tours Zipline

Soar to new heights at Sky Tours Zipline in Dubuque, Iowa. Flying over the deep timbered ravines of historic Union Park, you will zip down nine jaw dropping runs during two-hour guided tour. Add this zipline to your itinerary to please any nature-loving adventure-seeker ages 10 and up.

Chestnut Mountain Alpine Slide

Race down the mountains on the banks of the Mississippi River at Chesnut Mountain in Galena, IL. The seasonal Alpine Slide is a must for taking in the breathtaking panoramic views of the Tri-States. Cruise down 2,050 feet of tailored track via sled at lightening speed for a refreshingly fun family outing. Looking to add a little more to your time on the slopes? Check out the Soaring Eagle, an anything but ordinary zip line.

Long Hollow Canopy Tours

Hike, jump and soar at Long Hollow Canopy Tour in Galena, IL. This tree top tour of the Tri-States is sure to widdle down the bucket list of every outdoor thrill seeker. Soar down a series of ziplines reaching speeds of up to 40 miles-per-hour. Rappel and quick jump from towering platforms between runs. Then hike across the 140-foot sky bridge to finish out this unique tour.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see the Tri-States with a bird’s eye view.

Spring Like Things To Do This Weekend

Waking up to the sun with a flock of birds singing outside can only mean one thing, Spring…in February. While it is ambitious to pack away the hats and mittens in exchange for sunglasses and shorts just yet, there is so much outdoor adventure to be had in the Tri-States with this unseasonably Spring like weather. Fishing, hiking, biking, and soaking up the bright and sunshine filled sky is just the beginning.


Find that tackle box buried in the garage and dust off your favorite rod for some fishing on the river. While hardcore fishermen bundle up for brutal winter days on the water, us seasonal anglers will appreciate the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing day soaking up some much-needed Vitamin D. Whether you are drifting down the Wisconsin River from Potosi, WI, plunking in a pool on the Mississippi River in Dubuque, IA, or camped out at a public stocked lake in Hanover, IL, you’ll be sure to catch the fish off guard in this February weather.


There is no better way to explore the Tri-States then by foot, hiking the glorious bluff country. Plan a weekend full of adventuring with the Grant Wood Loop in Eastern Iowa. Hike the historic bow-string bridge at Wapsipinicon State Park in Anamosa, IA, stop for a picnic along Copper Creek Trail in Preston, IA and take in a breathtaking view of the Mississippi from the bluffs of Bellevue State Park in Bellevue, IA. Plan your customizable loop here.


Break out the bikes and spin your way through the Tri-States with the sun warm sun. Follow the Galena River Trail for six miles through picturesque Galena, IL, wander along the Mississippi riverfront in Clinton, IA along the Discover Trail, or traverse the former railroad, the Dinky Trail in Platteville, WI.

No matter what outdoor adventure sends you soaring, be sure to get out and about in the Tri-States this weekend.

Summertime Along Each State's Great River Road

Summer is a wonderful time to travel……along each state’s stretch of the Great River Road:

THE GREAT RIVER ROAD IN ILLINOIS offers 550 miles of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, historic sites, local attractions and shopping. Marvel at the views of the Mississippi River and see 26 ancient Hopewell Indian Mounds when visiting Gramercy Park in East Dubuque. Go back in time to the 1800’s in Fulton with the Heritage Canyon where you will find a village built in a former rock quarry that overlooks the Mississippi River. Throw a line into the Mississippi in Savanna and you might hook a walleye, largemouth bass, or a catfish!

IOWA’S GREAT RIVER ROAD features 10 Counties and 15 designated Great River Road Interpretative Centers. Take in views from high on the bluff at Breitbach’s Country Dining in Balltown and see one of the most spectacular views of the valley. In Dubuque, take a leisurely outing on the Spirit of Dubuque for lunch, dinner or just to sightsee. Be sure to stop in Bellevue at the Bellevue State Park – home of a butterfly garden. Get lost in the world class art exhibits and collections at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport.

THE WISCONSIN GREAT RIVER ROAD will take you on a 250 mile journey through 33 river towns. There are spectacular scenic overlooks along the entire Wisconsin Great River Road with nearly two-thirds of the roadway passing along or through protected natural environments. With a stop in Cassville, you might take a ride on the Car Ferry that connects the Iowa and Wisconsin Great River Roads. Tour through the National Brewery Museum to discover the history of brewing in the area on your way through Potosi and be sure to grab a local brew at Potosi Brewery right next door! Take in the beauty of the Dickeyville Grotto – comprised of stone, mortar and bright colored objects collected from around the world.

Two Must Do Events for Beer Lovers

Summer was made for one thing…beer. So why not spend the best days of the season sipping on fine local brews under the hot sun of the Tri-States.


The Tappening-Dubuque, IA

The Tappening is your one stop for all things craft beer and classic rock on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Located in the Port of Dubuque, Iowa, The Tappening is a celebration of premier beer and their brew masters from the around the Tri-States and beyond. Galena Brewing Company, Jubeck New World Brewing, Dubuque Bier Company, and more will make their appearance for a chance to win the people’s choice award for the favorite brew. While you sample your favorite beers, enjoy the classic American music of the Ryan McGrath Band. Then stick around for a truly rockstar lineup at America’s River Festival Saturday night. Styx, The Guess Who, and Little River Band take over the main stage for Classic Rock night. You won’t want to miss it!


Brews & Blues-Lancaster, WI

Take a trip up to Lancaster, Wisconsin for the Brew & Blues Festival on Saturday, June 17, 2017. This annual event full of locally crafted brews of the Badger State brings together the perfect summer drink and a lively afternoon of the blues. Taste the latest from Tri-State favorites, Potosi Brewing Company, plus over 30 other breweries. Live music for the afternoon is brought by two Grammy Nominated acts, Aaron Williams & The HooDoo and The Jimmy’s. With a lineup like this, you’ll be dancing all day long.

Uniquely Delicious Brunch Destinations

Curled up tightly in a blanket on a crisp winter morning, I daydream of the sweet and spicy scent of cinnamon wafting through the air and tickling my nose. I imagine the sizzle of freshly sliced bacon as it hits a creamy butter coated pan and reminisce of lazy Saturday mornings with my siblings. I envision a stack of fluffy pillow like pancakes is placed in front of me and stretch for the maple syrup I secretly hope is on my nightstand. Thank goodness a mouthwatering brunch is within reach in the Tri-States.


Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ at Potter’s Mill- Bellevue, Iowa

A little something extra special is exactly what’s in-store at Flatted Fifth Blues & BBQ at Potter’s Mill in Bellevue, Iowa on Sunday mornings at their Lagniappe Brunch. Fried Chicken and Waffles will find your taste buds in perfect harmony between sweet and salty. A tower of Pancakes and Ice Cream is sure to make every kid’s eyes pop and the chef may throw on some chocolate chips if you ask! Not to mention, it’s a BBQ joint so their house-smoked bacon is spot on. It’s the brunch spot of choice for all things Cajun culture and historic charm.


Katina’s Kitchen- Dickeyville, Wisconsin

For a bright and cheery brunch along the Great River Road, check out Katina’s Kitchen in Dickeyville, Wisconsin. Serving up crowd favorites like crispy Cap N’ Crunch French Toast and heaping plates of Pecan Caramel Pancakes all day long can’t help but put a smile on your face and warm your belly. This whole-in-the-wall eatery is the perfect pit stop on your road trip or a destination itself.


Otto’s Place- Galena, Illinois

Gorgonzola Apple Bacon Omelets are only the beginning of your brunch experience at Otto’s Place in Galena, Illinois. While tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, their grub is anything but quiet. Egg Tacos topped with Goat Cheese and Sriracha will set your tongue on fire and gooey Bread Pudding French Toast will make you want to sign. And you are always in for a welcomed surprise with the Quiche of the Day. Add Otto’s to your restaurant bucket list.


Nourish your body and soul at these uniquely delicious brunch destinations in the Tri-States.