Best hotels in Iowa City
Iowa City IntroductionIowa City is a must-visit destination for bookworms the world over. In 2008, the home of the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop was honored by UNESCO as the third City of Literature in the world and the first in America. The Iowa Avenue Literary Walk chronicles the city’s rich literary heritage and its annual book festival showcases the work of established and up-and-coming writers. Prominent historic landmarks such as the Old Capitol Building and the Johnson County Courthouse contrast with bohemian Ped Mall, a popular student hangout, famous for its lively summer festivals and buzzing nightlife.
Hotels in Iowa CityThanks to its world-famous university and thriving student population, hotels in Iowa City are experts in providing quality accommodations at affordable prices. From funky downtown B&Bs to luxurious landmarks on the Iowa River, illustrious professors and cash-strapped students alike will find a home from home in this welcoming community. Visiting parents will appreciate the tried-and-tested comforts of familiar national brands, with on-site leisure facilities to aid relaxation at the end of an exciting day. Family suites often represent the most competitive Iowa City hotel rates—shop around to find the best deals and save your dollars for the bookstores.
Where to stayThe biggest concentration of cheap hotels in Iowa City is northeast of downtown towards the suburb of Coralville, at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Interstate 80. This convenient location also puts you in easy reach of Waterworks Prairie Park, an area of natural beauty on a scenic bend of the Iowa River. Downtown Iowa City hotels bring the historic buildings of the beautiful university campus within pleasant walking distance, along with the added bonus of having the city’s buzzing restaurants and bars right on your doorstep. Or book a suite in an upscale inn on the Iowa River and enjoy tranquil walks with panoramic views across the skyline.
Things to seeThe University of Iowa broke new ground when it launched its pioneering creative writing program in 1936. The innovative workshop format was designed to prepare graduate students for professional careers in fiction and poetry writing. Among its distinguished alumni are Philip Roth, Flannery O’Connor, and John Irving, along with many Pulitzer Prize winners and Poets Laureate. Stroll along the Iowa Avenue Literary Walk to find inspiration in the words of 49 authors with ties to Iowa, set in bronze panels on the sidewalks. Then wander through the university campus to admire the four halls of the celebrated Pentacrest, with the Old State Capitol at its center. Macbride Hall houses the Museum of Natural History, famous for its extensive collections of Native American artifacts and prehistoric stone tools. Be sure to visit Iowa’s quirky Haunted Bookshop, the city’s oldest secondhand bookstore, which occupies the storied Wentz House dating from 1847.
How to get to Iowa CityEastern Iowa Airport offers non-stop scheduled flights to a wide range of domestic and international airports, including Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Detroit. Hire a car at the terminal to make the 25-mile journey to downtown Iowa City—taxis and pre-booked limos are also available for a speedy, hassle-free journey direct to your hotel. The transcontinental Interstate 80 runs east–west on the northern outskirts of Iowa City, and provides direct connections with many major cities in the U.S. Travel in Iowa City downtown is supplied by a range of bus companies, including the University-run Cambus network.