Iowa City Community Information

Local Parks

Iowa City is a place of rolling hills, lush and scattered woodlands, tall grasses, sparkling waterways, ponds, and lakes, offering proof that the state’s geography is not merely a flat, vast plain of cornfields and grain. The city is home to 41 public parks, many of which overlook the scenic Iowa River. Most of these parks are equipped with walking and biking trails as extensively intertwined as the branches in the trees shading the pathways. The lush greenery enhances the city’s ambience as finely constructed buildings rise above tall trees, creating a breathtaking skyline of architectural brilliance and natural beauty. One building that defines such grace and significance is the state’s Old Capitol Building, located just west of the downtown pedestrian plaza.


The Old Capitol Building is a cherished landmark of the University of Iowa campus and embodies the city’s prominence, elegance and heritage. Beneath its shadow, the downtown plaza comes alive as a gathering place for residents, students and visitors. Music lovers can almost always find a live band playing catchy jazz or blues tunes on one of the plaza’s many mini outdoor stages; onlookers fill the plaza’s wooden benches or sidewalk cafés sipping coffee, reading, or gabbing with friends.


The presence of such a large college campus in Iowa City has a very positive impact on this community and its residents. Not only is the university a constant source of entertainment, it is also a tremendous economic resource for local businesses. Without question, Iowa City’s greatest asset is its people. They are well-educated and highly productive workers who demonstrate low absenteeism and turnover rates. The university’s student population augments the local labor force and provides a large pool of part-time workers for area businesses. In addition, the university continuously provides the labor market with qualified professionals and technical experts. These are just a few of the factors that make working in Iowa City competitive, yet rewarding.


The area’s strong and diverse economy has proven to be very prosperous throughout even the most difficult times. The economy is based on a thriving commerce, a major university and a number of national and international businesses, including some Fortune 500 companies. Iowa City is home to facilities for General Mills, Moore North America, NCS-Pearson, Oral B Laboratories, Procter & Gamble Manufacturing and the corporate headquarters for ACT. Still, the University of Iowa remains the city’s largest employer, with over 23,000 employees punching in every day. The academic and research development supported by the university, along with the health care services provided at its hospitals and clinics, have a very powerful influence on the area and its residents as well.


When not at school or work, locals can find entertainment practically anywhere they turn. For the outdoorsman, rivers, lakes and streams offer abundant fishing and boating opportunities while the area’s many parks and hills provide for challenging hiking and biking excursions. For others more subdued in their pursuit of pleasure, the city is filled with a variety of unique shops to browse through, from stores found in the Old Capitol Town Center and the Sycamore Mall to smaller family-operated businesses offering regional and cultural merchandise. After a day of shopping, one is sure to work up an appetite and there is no better city in the state to satisfy such an urge than Iowa City. Noted for its sidewalk cafés and restaurants offering everything from regional cuisine to home-style meals, the food you find here is simply delicious.


For the sports enthusiast, one does not have to travel any farther than his or her front doorstep to be immersed in one of our nation’s most sports-oriented regions. The Midwest is highly recognized for its athletic programs and institutions, and being an Iowan naturally places one smack-dab in the middle of Big Ten country. Whether the sport is football or softball, a match pitting any two Big Ten schools’ teams against each other is bound to involve fierce competitors fighting for their lives and the reputation of their schools. Iowa is no different and local residents, both young and old, cherish the opportunity be so closely affiliated with such loyalty.

The Arts

Lastly, for the artistic at heart, this city and its encompassing communities fully support creativity and self-expression in every shape and form. The university’s Hancher Auditorium showcases the best in Broadway entertainment. In recent years, the auditorium has hosted such productions as Rent, Cats, Les Miserables and “Stomp.” The Hancher stage has also seen the likes of Yo Yo Ma, Jerry Seinfeld and Wynton Marsalis. If watching a Broadway show sounds too stuffy, never fear. In the summertime, the city and its downtown areas come alive with musical performances from local bands; there are also art festivals and wine tasting events, and an open-air theatre presents live shows under the stars. The city’s largest event is the Annual Iowa Arts Festival, featuring the state’s best visual art, music and food.

All this and more awaits you in Iowa City. If you are looking for an exciting town where tradition and history exist comfortably along with change and progress, then Iowa City, with its affordable housing in friendly communities, is just the place for you

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