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Old 08-30-2017, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
1,303 posts, read 1,692,852 times
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I'd probably live in/near Iowa City or Cedar Rapids. Des Moines would probably be third, but I prefer the scenery and culture of the eastern part of the state. That, and IC/CR are only 4 hours from Chicago - close enough to make a day trip out of (granted I'd have to leave the house by 5 AM, and likely won't get back until 10 that night).

If Dubuque was a bit closer to 100K, and had interstate access, it might top my list. I did the "small town in the middle of nowhere" thing, I can't do that anymore.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, AZ
572 posts, read 600,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fezzador View Post

If Dubuque was a bit closer to 100K, and had interstate access, it might top my list. I did the "small town in the middle of nowhere" thing, I can't do that anymore.
Why Interstates? Dubuque is served by several 4 lane hiways, most of which are largely controlled access (freeway grade):

* 151 SouthWest to Cedar Rapids where you can catch I-380
* 61 South to the Quad Cities where you can catch I-80, I-88, and I-74
* 20 West to Waterloo where you can catch I-380 and further to West to I-35 (eventually, it will be 4 lane all the way to Sioux City where you can catch I-29).
* 61/151 NorthEast to Madison where you can catch I-90 and I-94.

The only downside to these hiways is they do all go through town and there are traffic lights to deal with. But once you are out of the heart of the city, Dubuque has great access to points in almost all directions.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
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My niece went to Ellsworth College in Iowa Falls. I spent a weekend there. If a cute older town that probably gets really quiet during the summer when students go home. There are a lot of older homes that need fixing up. Some nicer homes along the river in town. It's a bit of a backwater place but if you like that kind of thing. There were a few other towns along that same river we drove through that had the same sense. Beware, lots of farmland and corn.
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Old 08-31-2017, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Minnysoda
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Don't go to Osage....
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:31 PM
 
Location: around the way
657 posts, read 987,124 times
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Probably around Grinnell or Newton. Close to Des Moines, almost close-ish to Iowa City, but still small enough to be its own thing. I've never done more than passed through and maybe gotten a quick bite or filled up the tank in either one, so no idea how livable they are. I would think the college would make Grinnell a bit more of a happening place.

Really though if we're talking dream scenarios, my ultimate would be to live in the country just a ways outside of one of DM or IC, preferably near a river (but not too close that I'd have to worry much about floods)
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Iowa City, IA
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In terms of ease-of-living, access to high quality heath care, protected real estate market, schools, career opportunity and entertainment, I would choose the Iowa City or Ames areas. If one was looking for all that in a smaller town setting that is an easy commute to a lager metro, take a look at Mt. Vernon. In terms of outdoor beauty, Decorah!
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Minnysoda
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Well Decorah beats New Hampton....That place sucks too....
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Midwest
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Hey all just wanted to thank you for your replies. We have decided to visit Decorah next month for two weeks to try to get a feel for the area and if we could see ourselves raising our son in the community. If that doesn't pan out I think we'll end up in the Ames/Des Moines area just due to family/friends and having some built-in community. Thanks again!
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:22 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 1,851,081 times
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Good luck! Decorah would be my go-to choice as well. I'm wondering how your visit went to that area. I love the extra opportunities the college brings to town (events to attend on campus, etc). Barring that, I'd want to live near Iowa city.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Midwest
104 posts, read 313,686 times
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Hi, GraceKrispy.

We enjoyed our time visiting Decorah and have decided we will be moving there this summer after we sell our home. We are realistic that there will be some changes we'll have to get used to moving from a large metro area to a small town but we are really excited to lower our stress levels and live a simpler lifestyle.
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