Office of Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives

  • Where is Iowa City?

    Clinical Vitals

     Iowa City is 220 miles directly west of Chicago on Interstate 80. It’s also within a 4-5 hour drive to Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, Omaha, Kansas City and St. Louis. It has the cultural, educational, social and political opportunities of a bigger city with the values and ambiance of a Midwestern town. It’s clean, safe, nothing is farther than a 15 minute car ride, it has a great city bus system (with bike racks!), wonderful parks, sports, schools, and even sailing. Those who have lived here and left, frequently return because what they were looking for was in their own back yard. But we’re not the only ones who think Iowa City is great:

    • The 2011-2012 “Best Doctors in America” database recognized 315 doctors from UI Hospitals and Clinics and UI Children’s Hospital
    • U.S. News & World Report: The national new magazine’s “America’s Best Hospitals” rankings for 2011 include two clinical specialties in the Top 10 – Ear, Nose and Throat (5th), Ophthalmology (6th) and seven others in the top 40.
    • No. 3 out of 75 mid-size cities for volunteer rate (“Volunteering in America,” Corporation for National & Community Service, June 2011)
    • No. 13 “Best Small Places for Business and Careers” (Forbes, April 2011)
    • No. 9 out of 179 on best performing small cities list (“Milken Institute,” October 2010)
    • “Healthiest Town in the United States: (Men’s Journal, February 2010)
    • “Top Towns for Jobs: (MSN CareerBuilder, January 2010)
    • Ranked as one of America’s Top 100 Adventure Cities (National Geographic Adventure, October 2009)
    • No. 5 “Best Places to Begin a Career,” Metros Under 500,000 (Forbes Magazine, July 2009)
    • No. 13 “Top College Towns for Jobs” (Forbes Magazine, May 2009)
    • No. 5 best-educated city under 250,000 (USA Today, August 2009)

    What’s the weather like in Iowa City?

    It depends on what you like. For about two weeks every winter it’s very cold and windy and for two weeks every summer it’s really hot and humid. The rest of the time it’s pretty nice. We have a lot of sunny days even in the winter – 166 per year. Our average snowfall is 28”, average rainfall is 35”, average temperature in the summer is 72.6 and in the winter, 23.7. We consider our weather character building.

    What is there to do in Iowa City when you’re not working?

    There are 15 different festivals and art fairs, plus concerts and race events. There are many music venues, sports events and neighborhood street fairs and garden walks. We also have a really big mall and several smaller ones, 41 parks, 9 golf courses, 6 public tennis courts, 6 public pools, some lakes and a reservoir with trails, camping & boating. There are bike trails, some famous bookstores, a ton of galleries and excellent museums. There are half a dozen or more performing arts venues including Hancher Auditorium. There's always something going on. Find more information from the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

    What's Iowa City like for kids and families?

    There's ice skating, bowling, organized sports, 50 public parks, miniature golf, a great public library, a toy library, fun centers, swimming pools and 3 beaches, 9 museums including a children's museum, dance companies and public recreation centers that feature many activities for kids and families at little or no cost. We also have 20 movie screens and 50-licensed daycare providers. The Iowa City schools are perennially ranked among the top schools in the nation. Iowa City is unique in the facilities and services available for individuals with disabilities. Many families who have a family member with a disability are reluctant to leave Iowa City because they cannot duplicate those services in another location.

    Are there any job opportunities for my spouse/significant other?

    Yes, in March 2011, Iowa City had an average of 3% unemployment. Also check out The University of Iowa's Dual Career Network.