I love to travel, and I especially love stumbling across places that pleasantly surprise me. In that spirit, Thrillist came to all 50 states and ranked the most underrated cities in each. Which Iowa town exceeded their expectations?

Loras College via Facebook
Loras College via Facebook

Did you know that Dubuque is Iowa's oldest city?

The home of three college campuses (UD, Loras & Clarke), Dubuque is nicknamed the "Masterpiece on the Mississippi" because of its gorgeous riverfront scenery. The city even inspired author George R. R. Martin--a former English professor at Clarke--to create the land of Westeros in Game of Thrones (perhaps you've heard of it).

There's plenty to do in Dubuque, regardless of the season. When winter is coming (another GoT reference), the slopes at Sundown Mountain Resort are a great place to be. The Mississippi River Museum provides a wonderful look at the history of Dubuque. Areas like the Millwork District & Warehouse District have helped the urban renewal of the city.

And if you like beer, Dubuque has a rich culture of brewing--the iconic Star Brewery made beer from 1898-1999, and the traditions has been carried on by the likes of Jubeck New World Brewing, 7 Hills, and Backpocket.

Dubuque truly does have lots to offer, but every state has its "hidden gems." Click HERE for the complete list.

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