Loras College's 60-acre campus is located on one of Dubuque's highest bluffs, overlooking the Mississippi River at the junction of the states of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, about 3 hours west of Chicago. Dubuque's population is approximately 65,000 and its nineteenth century architecture is woven into limestone bluffs and provides a picturesque backdrop to the river landscape. Many residential and commercial areas have been designated as historical districts to preserve Dubuque's unique heritage. Its strong education base supports numerous cultural activities, and in addition, there are sporting events, shopping facilities, schools, and churches that are convenient to its residents. The climate has marked seasons with a comfortable summer, cool spring and fall, and a winter that encourages a variety of sports that have in recent years attracted a growing tourism industry.