National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

Vacation Travel Guide
National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium featuring interior views

Learn about the region’s history and its aquatic life in one location. The role of this important river becomes apparent through the many interactive exhibits.

As you might expect, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque is near the Mississippi River. It’s fitting that many of the living exhibits showcase aquatic life found in the river’s natural habitat. View bizarre paddlefish that are unique to the Mississippi River watershed and pet stingrays as they swim along in their touch pool.

Aquariums here feature the river’s seasonally flooded forest regions as well as re-created wetlands with their inhabitants of birds, turtles and fish. View the American alligator that makes the lower Mississippi River its home and be amused by the playful antics of river otters.

Four of the attraction’s aquariums are dedicated to North American marine areas that have habitats affected by rivers, including the largest exhibit, which depicts the Gulf of Mexico.

The role of the river has been pivotal in the region’s history, having an influence on agriculture, commerce, boat building and the arts of music, literature and painting. Explore these areas through displays.

A large paddlewheel greets you as you approach the entrance. This type of wheel powered a riverboat, an iconic site on the Mississippi River in historic times. Through simulation, try your boat-handling skills as you attempt to skipper a barge on the river.

In addition to the exhibits and displays, movies on river-related themes are shown in the 3-D and 4-D theaters.

Plan to spend up to 3 hours at this attraction. The cost of a ticket permits a return visit the following day to see what you may have missed earlier.

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is an accessible attraction spread over two buildings. It is open most days throughout the year. Take the family or come by yourself to be entertained and to learn about this important river and its watershed.

Ask about a discount to Dubuque’s historic Mathias Ham House when purchasing tickets for this museum.

Top Hotels Close to National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark
Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark
3.5 out of 5
350 Bell St, Dubuque, IA
The price is $109 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
This family-friendly Dubuque hotel is located on a river, just steps from Mississippi River and National Rivers Hall of Fame. Riverboat Museum and Diamond Jo ...
3.8/5 Good! (746 reviews)
"Was not happy when we found out the water park, pool and spa was closed, that was the main reason for staying. There should have been an alert when I booked the room."

Reviewed on Oct 15, 2021

Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark
Holiday Inn Dubuque/Galena, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Dubuque/Galena, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
450 Main St, Dubuque, IA
The price is $114 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
Located in Downtown Dubuque, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Five Flags Center, National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, and Diamond Jo Casino. ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (964 reviews)
"I did not know it was a dog friendly hotel. The free breakfast at the restaurant was not good and took a really long time"

Reviewed on Oct 12, 2021

Holiday Inn Dubuque/Galena, an IHG Hotel
Hotel Julien Dubuque
Hotel Julien Dubuque
3.5 out of 5
200 Main Street, Dubuque, IA
The price is $137 per night from Oct 31 to Oct 31
Located in Downtown Dubuque, this spa hotel is steps from Mississippi River and Dubuque Welcome Center. Five Flags Center and National Mississippi River Museum ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (976 reviews)
"Nice location, walkable to restaurants and bars. A bit noisy at night due to Harleys driving through. We were on the street side. There were a lot of weddings also so you could hear some of the music even on the 6th floor. We turned on a white noise app and did not bother us. Room was nice with large ..."

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2021

Hotel Julien Dubuque
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

Days Inn by Wyndham Dubuque
Days Inn by Wyndham Dubuque
2 out of 5
1111 Dodge St, Dubuque, IA
The price is $55 per night from Nov 8 to Nov 8
Days Inn by Wyndham Dubuque
Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark
Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark
3.5 out of 5
350 Bell St, Dubuque, IA
The price is $109 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark
Holiday Inn Dubuque/Galena, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Dubuque/Galena, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
450 Main St, Dubuque, IA
The price is $114 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
Holiday Inn Dubuque/Galena, an IHG Hotel
Hotel Julien Dubuque
Hotel Julien Dubuque
3.5 out of 5
200 Main Street, Dubuque, IA
The price is $137 per night from Oct 31 to Oct 31
Hotel Julien Dubuque
Quality Inn East Dubuque
Quality Inn East Dubuque
2.5 out of 5
7787 Timmerman Dr., East Dubuque, IL
The price is $59 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
Quality Inn East Dubuque
Redstone Inn And Suites
Redstone Inn And Suites
3 out of 5
504 Bluff St, Dubuque, IA
The price is $89 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 1
Redstone Inn And Suites
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Dubuque Downtown
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Dubuque Downtown
2.5 out of 5
1151 WASHINGTON STREET, Dubuque, IA
The price is $159 per night from Oct 18 to Oct 18
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Dubuque Downtown
Hilton Garden Inn Dubuque Downtown
Hilton Garden Inn Dubuque Downtown
3 out of 5
1801 Greyhound Park Dr, Dubuque, IA
The price is $123 per night from Nov 7 to Nov 7
Hilton Garden Inn Dubuque Downtown
The Richards House Bed & Breakfast
The Richards House Bed & Breakfast
3 out of 5
1492 Locust Street, Dubuque, IA
The price is $60 per night from Oct 18 to Oct 18
The Richards House Bed & Breakfast
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.