Clarke's "Official" Guide to Bellevue, Iowa
Aptly nicknamed the "Jewel of the Mississippi," Bellevue's position is unique among river towns, because its attractions are legion. It is especially known for its location astride Lock and Dam 12 on the mighty Mississippi, its learned eagles, the absence of chain stores and restaurants and the parks to its north and south. It is located on U.S. route 52, the "Great River Road," between Savanna and Dubuque.
Bellevue is a town full of friendly people. People just naturally wave or say "Hi." Be sure to return the greeting.
The town's name means "attractive sight" in several languages. Where did the name come from? Well, a Mr. Bell platted the town in the late 1830s, so I would guess he snuck his name in there.
Descriptions of some attractions of Bellevue follow in no particular order.
The Second Street Station (563-872-5410) is a large family oriented restaurant with an emphasis on pizza. The pizza specials are particularly interesting. The Second Street Station is a great place to sit and have a pizza and beer and watch trains go by. Oh yes, Second Street has a train track down its middle.
Riverview Antiques & Uniques (114 N Riverview 4629) is an antique mall with a bunch of interesting stuff. This is a great place to brouse and buy a beer sign.
The Frontier on Riverview Street (4232) is a bar which has the look and feel of a long time drinking establishment. It is a great place to sit and have a beer.
The Spruce Creek Inn (5637) is a bar and restaurant (no rental rooms) about 2 miles north of town on the mighty Mississippi River. My wife feels they (either Chris or Kim) make the best Margaritas in the world (she is serious about this. Update - as of 03/15/03 tied for first with Two Fat Guys in Ixtapa Mexico.) It has the only gas dock in the south end of this dam pool. Its menu is nicely varied, and the view of the river unrivalled. It is a great place to sit, eat dinner and have a beer.
The Bellevue golf course (4262) is 2 1/2 miles north of town. Its nine holes are on rolling hills which make the course a delight to play. The club house sits on the highest of these hills and has a truly spectacular view of the river. It is a great place to sit and have a beer.
For fishermen, the Shady Haven Trailer Park (4204) offers the chance to talk to many long time anglers and piscadors at length. Its location by the mighty, makes it a great place to sit and have a beer. But bring your own or walk over to:
The Riverbottom Cafe - You're too late or perhaps too early for this one. It suffered a substantial fire in December 2003 and is now gone.
The Horizon Bowling Lanes and Reception Hall (4441) is located at the north end of town between the Conoco and the feed store. The lanes are a popular place for various bowling leagues with special times for children and so on. Inexpensive and tasty food is available. The reception hall is quite large and many activities are held there - principally charitable events and wedding receptions. There is a bar in the bowling area and when a wedding reception is underway it is a great place to sit and have a beer and watch the bridal party doing shots.
A major summer event falls on the Sunday of the Labor day week end when Iowa's largest pork roast is held. Drop back later for a more complete description of this event.
Several public parks/camp grounds are near to Bellevue to both the north and south of town. Just south of town is a lounging/cooking type park with a great scenic outlook of the town and river as well as a substantial butterfly garden, which is a delight to visit. Be sure to bring your own beer.
Here is a list of camping spots in Jackson County, Bellevue's home. Don't ask me why some of these list "cross country sking" as activities. So far as I know, they are all closed in the winter.
BED AND BREAKFASTS
The Riverview Hotel (4142) in the middle of town has inexpensive, clean rooms, a bar, and a restaurant.
The Bellevue House (4130)
Potter's Mill - in an old mill, which happens to be on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Rooms, Restaurant, and Bar. Scenic as all get out. The rooms must be seen to be completely appreciated.
The Harbor Motel (4644) about a mile north of town on US52 is a favorite with visting sportsmen.
Well, here's something a bit strange, the named summits of Jackson County, of which Bellevue is a part.
So, what's the weather like there?
The learned eagles of Bellevue - over time, the many bald eagles living around Bellevue have come to recognize buses, which they avoid. So only rarely do the buses of "Eagle Peepers" get to see an eagle in Belleuve, but at other times, particularly in the winter, the eagles, often twenty or thirty at a time, fish the open waters at the foot of the dam. So come and see the eagles (or not, if you're in a bus). Of course, if you just want to see some eagles, click here. These lads are perched in a tree on Riverview Street.
How many eagles are there anyway? The Corps of Engineers does eagle counts at the Dam, so by going here you can see a history of the counts there.
The public schools.
What the BBC website has to say about Bellevue.
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