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Fenelon Place Elevator Co., Dubuque

Categories: Landmarks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.8/5 based on 700+ reviews on the web
Claiming to be the shortest and steepest scenic railway in the world Fenelon Place Elevator Co. climbs 57.6 m (189 ft) in elevation during its mere 90.2 m (296 ft) long ascent. At the top, you can spend time on two observation decks overlooking downtown Dubuque and the Mississippi River. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, the funicular is also known as the Fourth Street Elevator for its location at the end of Fourth Street. The lift was originally built for J.K. Graves, a politician and banker who lived at the top of the hill and wanted a faster way to reach the city. He opened it to the public in 1884. Work out when and for how long to visit Fenelon Place Elevator Co. and other Dubuque attractions using our handy Dubuque trip builder.
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  • Can't beat it, especially if you have kids. Ride the elevator and see three states on a clear day. Fun experience, throwback to the past. Don't miss it! 
  • This is a great little attraction. My husband and I enjoyed the ride up the cable car and a walk around the neighborhood when we arrived at the top. (I think most people just stand at the top and look...  read more »
  • The Fenelon Place Elevator was originally built in 1882 and has been rebuilt a number of times because of fires. I have been on many funiculars in Europe but this one is one of the steepest I've ever ...  read more »
  • Value for Money: Incredible. Architecture at the top of the Bluff: Awesome. I: Impressed. Must-see in Dubuque.
  • Historic District cable car lift. Gift shop. Beautiful scenery overlooking the Mississippi and downtown Dubuque, IA. Very friendly staff.
  • An incredible spot to get an unexpectedly awesome view of the Mississippi river as well as a couple other states nearby! This elevator that started in 1893 sits at the bottom of Fenelon place around 5th Street. There's a number of fun little places at the bottom of the elevator including a handmade gift shop and an ice cream & Chocolate Shop. The ice cream shop was particularly nice on the hot day that we visited. One car goes up while another comes down to the weight is never super long. The cars are wooden and feel a little bit on the janky side, but certainly get the job done. $3 to ride if you're over the age of 5 or $1.50 if you're a kiddo. As others have noted, you pay at the top and you're not required to ride back down if you'd rather just hang out there or walk back. Reviews of here are spectacular and give a great perspective of Dubuque, the Mississippi River and most of the surrounding communities. It's not the sort of place that you expect to see in the middle of Iowa! Any time that we are up here, we try to stop in and do this as it's a great reminder of some of the beauty that exists in the state. It's well worth your time and definitely worth the $3!
  • A stop in Dubuque without a ride to the top is an incomplete visit. It is hands down the best $2 round trip ride to be had anywhere. The view at the top is spectacular.
  • A great family attraction that is very affordable. Great view at the top too!
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