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Old 11-09-2012, 10:13 PM
 
11 posts, read 59,920 times
Reputation: 20

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I currently live in Cedar Rapids. I have lived in many states, and actually really like Iowa. However, Cedar Rapids is still a bit too big for my taste, as it is spread out over 60+ square miles. Due to an eye diesase, I don't drive, and don't care too much for the bus system here, and prefer to walk. I generally do well in smaller cities in the 20-75K range. I could likely transfer with my job with a retail chain.

I have visited a few smaller cities, and read about others. From what I can tell, this is what I have gathered:

In the 50-75K range:

Waterloo - Pretty run down with some very unsafe areas. Also, pretty spread out, so not really an improvement.

Iowa City - Everyone seems like it. May be too much of a college town for me, and apartment rents look high and hard to find.

Ames - Similar to Iowa City, although rents look a bit cheaper, but hard to find unless it is summer. Also, I like the layout of Ames better.

Dubuque - Really enjoyed my visit there. But it is very hilly, which is hard when you walk a lot like I do. Also, I have read that there is a major rental shortage there.


After those, you drop to the 20-40K size cities. Cedar Falls, Burlington, Mason City, Fort Dodge, Marshalltown, Muscatine, Clinton, Ottumwa) The size of these cities actually appeals to me, but it seems like no one has great opinions about them. They all have bus service. Burlington seems to have the most minimal service.

I don't think I could go smaller than that, as I do need some city amenities. I do not need the fanciest stores and restaurants though. So what city would you consider if you were me and wanted something smaller, and needed to find a 1 bd apartment under $550?
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:57 AM
 
4,359 posts, read 5,283,967 times
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I like Cedar Falls.

Muscatine and Clinton have that rust belt look and are a little isolated but both are large enough to have pretty good amenities/bus sytems.

Under $550 is getting hard to find pretty much anywhere but I'm sure you could find something in most of the towns you mentioned.

You could check little towns that sit outside larger ones, like Leclaire being close to the Quad Cities, but then the bus systems aren't as good.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
218 posts, read 321,602 times
Reputation: 150
There are many nice small towns which are close but far enough from Iowa Metros such as Quad Cities, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids Metro Areas..

Quad Cities
-Blue Grass
-Tipton
-DeWitt
-LeClaire
-Durant

Cedar Rapids
-Center Point
-Mt. Vernon
-Solon
-Vinton
-Springville

Des Moines
-Winterset
-Nevada
-Huxley
-Adel
-Pleasantville
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:00 PM
 
11 posts, read 59,920 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by CincyIowan View Post
There are many nice small towns which are close but far enough from Iowa Metros such as Quad Cities, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids Metro Areas..

Quad Cities
-Blue Grass
-Tipton
-DeWitt
-LeClaire
-Durant

Cedar Rapids
-Center Point
-Mt. Vernon
-Solon
-Vinton
-Springville

Des Moines
-Winterset
-Nevada
-Huxley
-Adel
-Pleasantville
The problem with those towns is that my company does not have a store in any of them. And as I noted in my original post, I cannot drive, so i have to live in the same city I work in. I also need to have access to at least some stores, doctors, services etc...
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:47 PM
 
5 posts, read 9,720 times
Reputation: 10
I'd say Burlington isn't too bad of a town.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Iowa
30 posts, read 58,446 times
Reputation: 13
I'd recommend Coralville/Iowa City or Ames, personally. I like the vibe that Iowa City/Coralville puts off (a little quicker pace of life, more opportunities, etc.) a little better than Ames, which tends to lean a bit more on the conservative and slower side in my opinion. Both are very nice though and I've attended both major colleges.

That said, it's all relative as this is the Iowa and it isn't life in the fast lane.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:53 AM
 
1,271 posts, read 2,096,751 times
Reputation: 1293
If you're needing bus service, Ames or Iowa City would be your best bet. Both cities have excellent bus service since they are college towns. If you don't like larger cities, I would lean more toward Ames as the Iowa City metro area is fairly large (160,000 people).

Dubuque is a really nice city...it might be worth looking into to see if it fits your criteria. Plenty of great historical architecture and rolling hills if you are into that sort of thing.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
2,734 posts, read 3,965,409 times
Reputation: 4351
A town that I would recommend is LeMars. It's a town of approx. 10,000 in NW Iowa. It's very clean and growing. It's also home to Wells Blue Bunny Ice Cream which is a VERY large privately held corporation. Thus, it isn't influenced by decisions made thousands of miles away. LeMars is fairly conservative, but is not dominated by any one ideology or religion. It's also within 25 miles of Sioux City and more importantly for shopping, it's approx 70 miles to Sioux Falls SD. They have a couple taxi services and a private busing service called SRTS. Hopefully they will have a branch of the company you work for there.
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