by Kara Williams
Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River in the Port of Dubuque, Iowa, the Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark is home to a 25,000-square-foot indoor waterpark with slides and a lazy river, as well as a game room and kids’ club. The resort is centrally located in the Midwest, within a few hours’ driving distance from metropolitan areas, Chicago, Madison, and Des Moines. When the kids can’t take any more chlorine, you’re just minutes away from exploring the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, embarking on a paddlewheel river cruise on, or taking a stroll down the Riverwalk.
Our Editor Loves
- 25,000-square-foot indoor waterpark
- Location on the banks of the Mississippi
- Affordable rates
- Water Parks
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Grand Harbor has standard rooms and five styles of suites, each with a view of either the Mississippi River or downtown Dubuque. Opt for a room with a king bed and sofa sleeper, two double beds, or a double bed with a sofa sleeper.
The Junior King and Junior Double Suites are similar to their respective standard rooms, but with more space. The Turret Suite comes with a king bed and separate sitting area with a full sofa sleeper as well as a Jacuzzi. In the Harbor View Suite, you'll find a king bed, sofa sleeper, living room with wet bar and bar stools, and a bathroom with Jacuzzi and separate shower. The Captain's Fireplace Suite comes with all the same features as the Harbor View suite, but has the added attraction of a fireplace in the living room area.
All rooms and suites come outfitted with 27-inch televisions, mini-refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, hair dryers and irons. In-room wireless Internet service is complimentary, but you'll have to pay for Nintendo games in your room. Access to the resort fitness center is included, and room service is available.
Unlike the Great Wolf Lodge concept, a regular room rate at Grand Harbor does not include entrance to the waterpark; but "room and waterpark" packages are available. When you reserve, confirm whether or not you are booking "room only."
by Karen V
We visit here once a year and they did major remodel of front inner entrance, not at all inviting/friendly...looked kinda prison like. Not a bit homey. Our room was nice and overlooked the river which was wonderful, but all the time there, esp at night, loud noises almost like loud non stop thunder rumbling sounds, woke us up often. When looking down below our window, there were huge AC units running, and huge silver metal tubings and no doubt was where the loud noises came from continually. Very disturbing, and lack of sleep. The elevator also made noises. The gal who gave us our room keys (we were with group off Riverboat Twilight again), she was very friendly, smiling, welcomed us and quickly found our names/keys. We were on 6th floor, room was dusty esp the light bases. The pillows were too soft for our desire, but bed comfy. We did not visit the pool area or game room this trip, but it is very nice! This stay was not as good a stay as in past! We had breakfast buffet at Tony Roma's with our stay pkg, which is connected and really delicious.
The staff was amazing and very helpful, they even delivered a late to arrive from FedEx banner to my companies display booth in the convention center next store. There was no way for me to leave as I was alone and busy. This was absolutely awesome service.
The room was nice and super clean with an incredible view of the Mississippi. Couldn't really ask for more from a business accommodation. I will be back next year.
Creative Outdoor Distributors
Lake Forest, CA
Inside the resort's Mississippi-themed waterpark, kids can spend hours splashing around in waterslides, an inside/outside tube ride, a lazy river, activity pools, rope ladders, waterspouts, water chutes, squirt guns and water cannons, and two giant hot tub whirlpools.
A favorite is the Huck Finn II Treehouse, a water-play structure full of fun, crowned with that the resort calls the "four-story splash": a 350-gallon bucket of water that's dumped every eight minutes from atop the treehouse. At Huck's Revenge, thrill-seekers can get their fix on the 200-plus-foot indoor tube slide, while younger kids will love the misting spray and kiddie slide at Aunt Polly's Playground. Bring water shoes.
Important to note: The waterpark is open Thursday through Monday. Admission fees (from $10 to $24 for children and adults) and hours vary depending on the time of year and day of the week, so check with the hotel for the current fee and operating schedules.
Other family-friendly fun includes The Cave, the resort's game room, which has a variety of video and arcade games. Collect your tickets and trade them in for souvenirs at the prize redemption center.
Kids ages 2 to 12 can sign up for the free WaterSquirts Kids' Club. Club activities include arts and crafts projects, scavenger hunts, candy bingo, drive-in movies and popcorn, and homemade boat races. Members receive a Watersquirts membership card with their picture and name, along with four free game tokens for The Cave.
Two on-site restaurants cater to the appetites of families. The River Walk Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual indoor or outdoor dining environment. Menu items include many kid favorites like chocolate chip pancakes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and wood-fired pizzas. In addition, in the waterpark area you'll find hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, nachos, pizza and ice cream, at the River's Edge CafÃƒÂ©.