IowaMonumentsMuseums Tag: marquette

6 Free And Cheap Things To Do In Marquette, Iowa

    Marquette is a city in Clayton County, Iowa with around 430 residents. Marquette was originally incorporated as North McGregor in 1874, and it served as a railroad terminus.


    Nestled in the bluffs of the Mississippi River it is known as the “Driftless Area”. It is named after Father Marquette, who along with Louis Joliet, explored the Mississippi River in the area.

    Below are some free and cheap things to do during your visit to and near the city.

    Effigy Mounds National Monument: Effigy Mounds National Monument is Iowa’s only national monument. It preserves over 200 prehistoric mounds, including numerous effigy mounds like Little Bear and Great Bear Mounds.

    They have some great hikes to explore the mounds that also provide views of the Mississippi River. Check out the visitor center for more information on the monument.


    Pikes Peak State Park: Pikes Peak State Park features 11 miles of trails offering visitors great hikes with some amazing views and even a few ancient mounds. Bridal Veil Falls is a popular hike, but the water flow is seasonal. It was barely flowing during our visit.

    We stayed in the campground while exploring the area and enjoyed our time there.

    Valley Fish & Cheese: Just across the border in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin you will find this quirky little store. It carries a variety of smoked fish and cheese as well as many unique items such as coyote claws, animal furs, and skulls.

    The outside is decorated with a lot of random objects as well providing some great photo-ops.


    Marquette Depot Museum: This museum pays tribute to the town’s rich railroad history and showcases a wide array of historic railroad artifacts. It also serves as a local information hub for the area.

    Don’t forget to explore the old caboose located just outside the museum.

    Casino Queen Marquette: The Casino Queen Marquette is a 17,500-square-foot riverboat casino located right on the banks of the Mississippi River. There are tables games and hundreds of slot machines. You can walk around the decks of the boat or enjoy a meal at their buffet.

    I broke even playing slots the first day but lost $20 bucks on our second trip.


    Pinky the Elephant: Pinky is a large fiberglass elephant that’s called Marquette home since the 1960’s. He wears a fun tophat and can be found in the casino pavilion positioned between the main building and the riverboat casino.

    Do not miss getting a pic taken with this giant pachyderm.


    For more information on anything listed above click on the link for my full post.

    Leave a Reply