U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Iowa
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-02-2016, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Chicago
92 posts, read 180,576 times
Reputation: 54

Advertisements

I'm looking to visit some places outside of Illinois for consideration of relocation. Of all the surrounding states, Iowa is one I've never visited, despite it's proximity to Chicago. And I've noticed the low unemployment rate. I could easily plan trips there and conduct job interviews if necessary!

What I'm wondering is the differences in the cities; Dubuque, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City. What I look for is a smaller city with some diversity, arts scene, low cost of living and nature/hiking opportunities. I don't care about nightlife, weather, and I've given up on relationships so dating is of no concern either.

I'm early 50's, single bi-male, mixed-race and just can't stand life in the big city anymore. As much as I want to go back to southern CA, or join my brother in FL, a move across country is a bit too stressful at this point in my life. And I do like the four seasons still.

Any suggestions for me would be really appreciated.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-02-2016, 03:37 PM
 
49 posts, read 35,491 times
Reputation: 43
I don't know much about Dubuque. Cedar Rapids, IC, and Waterloo all kind of feel like big cities to me even though they physically aren't. Traffic won't be too bad in any of them, but all 3 are pretty urban feeling and have fairly high crime (Waterloo in particular). Iowa in general is a poor state for outdoor recreation. I mean, it has stuff sure, but significantly less than almost any other state. Cost of living will be fairly low in all of those areas. All three are fairly diverse, not sure there are significant differences between the 3 there. The biggest dividing factor would be that IC is a big college town where the other two aren't. I don't know if that is a positive or a negative for you. The benefits of it would be college athletics (Hawkeyes), downsides being dealing with drunk college students.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2016, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,983 posts, read 5,461,547 times
Reputation: 9217
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJbust View Post
Any suggestions for me would be really appreciated.
I understand about wanting to downsize, but after having all of the Chicago amenities at your fingertips, you may find that after six months a place like Waterloo is too small and limiting.

I suggest that you also add Des Moines to your list and plan a trip over here. You might be thinking now that it's too large, but I moved from Columbus, OH, and it's blessed relief. For one thing, I can get around the metro in 20 minutes tops, even during rush hour, unless there is a major accident, and then the surface streets aren't that much slower.

Also, IMHO, there's more for older people to do over here. I'm in my late 50s, and there are lots of affordable things to do on weekends ranging from events at the fairgrounds to recreation. There's a great set of bike trails.

Iowa City also has a lot to do, but as mentioned, you'll also have to put up with a lot of college students and the nonsense that goes along with them. There are college students around Des Moines (Drake, Grandview Des Moines U), but it's a big enough area that they aren't in your face at every turn. I only write that after living near the OSU campus for 17 years -- It's a relief to be away from drunken Buckeyes!

The one downside is the winters, but after living in Chicago, you won't have any problems with January in Iowa.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2016, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, AZ
529 posts, read 390,017 times
Reputation: 922
Waterloo is a mostly blue collar town. There is probably more cultural diversity there than the other cities you mentioned except for IC because of the university. Iowa City is, as others have mentioned, the location of U of I. As such, there are much cultural activities and diversity. It would be the most accepting of your bi-male status. Unfortunately, IC is probably the most expensive of your choices, although probably still lower than Chicago.

Cedar Rapids is more of a conservative, family friendly city. There is some cultural diversity, but not as much as IC and Waterloo. Dubuque is sort of in between Waterloo and CR in the sense that it was a largely blue collar town that is becoming more and more white collar. I have not spent enough time there to speak to their cultural diversity. Dubuque would offer the best hiking opportunities as it is very hilly there. However, I believe all these cities have excellent walking trails.

All things considered based on the little bit of info you provided, I think you might like IC the best. But by all means, visit all 4 on your visit to Iowa! Good luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2016, 07:51 PM
 
387 posts, read 480,514 times
Reputation: 463
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
I understand about wanting to downsize, but after having all of the Chicago amenities at your fingertips, you may find that after six months a place like Waterloo is too small and limiting.
Or, they may not that find that at all.

More likely, they'll find the people of Des Moines to be irritating, persnickety, and mentally unstable.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-02-2016, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,983 posts, read 5,461,547 times
Reputation: 9217
Funksoulbro, hello! I was just waiting to see what snarky things you'd have to say. I'm honored that you chose to use your snark on my post. That is really special!

I hope that you're having a great holiday.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2016, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Jonesboro
3,168 posts, read 3,036,468 times
Reputation: 3375
Default Visit from Chicago...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
Funksoulbro, hello! I was just waiting to see what snarky things you'd have to say. I'm honored that you chose to use your snark on my post. That is really special!

I hope that you're having a great holiday.
Meemur
Good morning & happy 4th weekend!
I appreciated your thoughtful input on your first post in this thread that suggested Des Moines & enjoyed your rejoinder. Yes, you have been honored so welcome to the club!
I have noticed that sometimes when people write snarky things & are pointing it elsewhere in an accusatory direction, they really are describing themselves & fail to recognize it as such.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2016, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Chicago
92 posts, read 180,576 times
Reputation: 54
Vitae, thanks for your response! I appreciate your insight.

"all 3 are pretty urban feeling and have fairly high crime (Waterloo in particular)" After living in Chicago, I feel I can live anywhere now. Crime is a part of urban life everywhere, although sometimes it seems Chicago has a special brand of it.

"The biggest dividing factor would be that IC is a big college town where the other two aren't. I don't know if that is a positive or a negative for you." I've always liked college towns but I was younger. It would probably get on my nerves now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2016, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Chicago
92 posts, read 180,576 times
Reputation: 54
Thanks so much for your input. It seems like overall, a visit to at least three cities would be wise so I can get my own feel. Perhaps I'll start with Des Moines and work my way back east. Visually, Des Moines and IC really look appealing. I can't really tell from the others. (I hope I did this "multi-quote" thing correctly. I was trying address everyone.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-03-2016, 12:20 PM
 
1,509 posts, read 2,060,479 times
Reputation: 2592
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJbust View Post
Thanks so much for your input. It seems like overall, a visit to at least three cities would be wise so I can get my own feel. Perhaps I'll start with Des Moines and work my way back east. Visually, Des Moines and IC really look appealing. I can't really tell from the others. (I hope I did this "multi-quote" thing correctly. I was trying address everyone.)

I agree that Des Moines may be your best bet because of size and opportunities. I live in Cedar Rapids and think it's a great small city, contrary to what many on this forum have voiced, but feel it may be too much of an adjustment for an older transplant. Many people have lived their whole lives here and are tight with relatives and childhood friends. Iowa City is more diverse because of UI, but for me, I just never cared for the layout, outside of downtown. Personally, I would scratch Waterloo off the list but that's just me. I just don't think it's that diverse at all. However, on a positive note, Waterloo does have beautiful trails
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Iowa
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top