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Old 04-06-2010, 11:43 AM
 
4 posts, read 18,010 times
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Hi everyone! My fiance has taken a job around the Cedar Rapids area, and we're looking for a nice, smaller town to live nearby. We know we don't want to live in Cedar Rapids, and we're both willing to commute, but would prefer to keep it at 45 minutes or less. As I said, he already has a job secured, and I'm looking for a teaching position, but I can always work as a substitute teacher if need be.

We're looking for towns big enough to have some restaurants and shopping, but nothing too big. We're in our late 20's, but we don't go out to bars much, so we don't need anything with a lot of nightlife. Just some nice parks, a grocery store, a couple of restaurants, a cafe, and maybe even a movie theater, in case we're feeling wild!

We've looked a little at Vinton, Marion and Tipton, but I think Tipton might be too far away. I'd love to hear any information on these towns, or suggestions you might have for others we should check out. Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:43 PM
 
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i love Iowa
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 787,518 times
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I suggest Mt. Vernon. It's about 30 minutes (or a little less) east of Cedar Rapids on Highway 30. It's a small town with about 3500 people, and it's home to a small liberal arts college, Cornell College, which brings in some cultural events and things that you don't get in a typical small town. It has a very cute main street area on 1st St. with a few small stores and restaurants, and a movie theater. It would definitely be my first choice in the CR area.

Another option you might want to consider is Solon, which is also about 30 minutes away, and even smaller at about 1200 people. It has a few restaurants, and I believe it has a small grocery store as well. It's very close to Lake MacBride and all of the recreational opportunities available there, and it's also within very easy commuting distance to Iowa City (maybe 20 minutes?), which could provide you with more teaching job opportunities, and also more shopping and things to do.

Tipton is too far away, more like an hour to Cedar Rapids, and there are equally nice towns a lot closer. If you want a small-town feel, you wouldn't like Marion. Even though it has a town square area, it's definitely a suburb of Cedar Rapids and doesn't have the same feel as towns farther out. I don't know much about Vinton, but I do know it's about 45 minutes away, so it's about as far out as you want to get.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
682 posts, read 2,058,717 times
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I agree with iowegian. Mt. Vernon is a great small town and definitely worth checking out. (My guess is that the population is probably around 4500-5000 now, though we won't know until the census is done.)

Marion is a nice suburb, but it is a big suburb and stopped being a small town a long time ago. It even has two school districts now.

Solon is a nice little town, but I live there now and it's honestly a bit too sleepy for my tastes. And I commute to Marion every day and while it's not a real stressful commute, it's a little long. Just my opinion.

You might also want to check out Hiawatha. It's a suburb, but a smaller one (6-7k). It's also right off 380, which will make your commute short and simple.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:38 AM
 
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I too am looking to move to the area, retiring from the military in two years. How long does it take to get to CR from Solon? What about Anamosa?

Looking for small town around 2K with good schools for kids. Grew up in Walnut IA. but have family in Marion. Want a peaceful commutable to CR town, safe, pretty town.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
1,656 posts, read 2,087,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpHawkeye View Post
I agree with iowegian. Mt. Vernon is a great small town and definitely worth checking out. (My guess is that the population is probably around 4500-5000 now, though we won't know until the census is done.)

Marion is a nice suburb, but it is a big suburb and stopped being a small town a long time ago. It even has two school districts now.

Solon is a nice little town, but I live there now and it's honestly a bit too sleepy for my tastes. And I commute to Marion every day and while it's not a real stressful commute, it's a little long. Just my opinion.

You might also want to check out Hiawatha. It's a suburb, but a smaller one (6-7k). It's also right off 380, which will make your commute short and simple.
I too, agree with Mt. Vernon and Solon. Definitely nice towns that are close to CR and Iowa City. Another nice clean town in the area that has all the basic amenities is West Branch. It's still within commuting range thanks to the interstate spur to Cedar Rapids.
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