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Old 12-25-2010, 11:56 AM
180 posts, read 438,776 times
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How would you compare these two small Iowa cities? They are roughly the same size, and compared to the popular Iowa cities, don't seem like much.

But does one seem better or have more to offer than the other?
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:11 AM
Location: Des Moines
586 posts, read 1,896,625 times
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Mason City seems like a cleaner, more progressive town to me. It's got better dining and retail than Fort Dodge and has the town of Clear Lake next door to really seal the deal. I like the focus on the Prairie Style architecture that's found throughtout downtown and in several neighborhoods there.

I give Fort Dodge credit on having a decent parks system and better topography. It sits inside a larger river valley than Mason City does, which actually gives portions of the city and the nearby area (beautiful Dolliver State Park) some interesting terrain that strays from the norm of rolling hills and corn fields.

Neither of these places shine economically and are probably both slowly losing population, but Fort Dodge was hit much harder by the farm crisis of the 1980's and it still shows. Mason City at least can claim the nearby infusion of wealth/tourism from Clear Lake.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:45 AM
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
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I also prefer Mason City for location which is essentially just off of I-35 putting them a quick two hr drive north to Minneapolis or 2 hours south to Des Moines.
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