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Old 09-27-2007, 10:47 AM
12 posts, read 72,499 times
Reputation: 17


I may be taking a job in Waterloo and don't know anything about Iowa (except for "Field of Dreams") LOL
I have read a few other posts on here and did not gain much information. From what I have read Waterloo is a poverish area. I am a divorced 45 yr old male and what I am looking for is an area to live that offers good shopping, nighlife, outdoor recreation.
I would appreciate some help on this.
PLEASE no arguments about what cities murder rate is higher than the other. I have had posts in the past completely taken over by people who want to argue over stuff I don't care about.
Thank you!
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Old 09-27-2007, 09:23 PM
Location: in the general vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
296 posts, read 1,223,001 times
Reputation: 189
The Waterloo area has plenty of outdoor recreation, although no mountain climbing or deep sea fishing; those moving there expecting recreation of the types other than those typically found in the midwest (hunting, fishing, outdoor watersports in summer, and, um... ice fishing? in winter) will be somewhat disappointed. Shopping... depends on what you mean. There are representatives of most of the national store chains in Waterloo/Cedar Falls. Presently, West Des Moines is the only location in Iowa for what is presently being called "upscale" shopping, such as Pottery Barn and (I am not making this up) Costco. Nightlife... people who come to Iowa expecting to find "entertainment districts" of the type that they are used to in metropolitan areas that are 10 times as big as the whole state put together are often also disappointed. You are much more likely to find someplace where everybody knows your name, to quote a popular concept. I think that the nightlife options are presently more varied in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Des Moines than in Waterloo/Cedar Falls, but the area is growing and improving all the time.

My advice would be to define better what you want -- what kind of recreation, what kind of shopping, what do you want from nightlife -- and then visit and see whether you think the place has possibilities. In general, I think we're more about a sense of community and our friendships and relationships than we are about the specifics of what we're going to "do." Folks who come here looking for specific things that will entertain them... it doesn't seem to go well.

As far as being an "impoverished" area, I wouldn't say that at all. It's one of the larger metropolitan areas in the state, and has a lot going on in terms of civic growth.
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:57 AM
458 posts, read 2,124,246 times
Reputation: 399
I wouldn't say Waterloo is impoverished. It's a decent sized city, so like any city it has good parts and bad parts. I think there is a tendancy by some to call it "ghetto" because it is quite a bit more diverse than your run of the mill Iowa town. I've been through Waterloo a few times and always thought it was a nice city.

I'm not from that part of the state, but I have always heard good things about Cedar Falls (which is right next door to Waterloo).
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:13 AM
12 posts, read 72,499 times
Reputation: 17
Thank you both for the replies. As far as outdoor activities: I like to hunt, fish, mountain bike, hike, camp. Nightlife: I am not a bar scene guy, but was wondering what kind of entertainment was available such as concerts, shows, etc.
Woodwardgirl, you mentioned ice fishing. Is there good icefishing there? What is a typical winter like there?
I am not sure if the job there will be mine yet, but it is one option that may be offered to me.
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:22 AM
4 posts, read 20,967 times
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Hey, Will62, I was also born in '62. I know the Waterloo area very well and hope that you settle there. I hope to return there soon. Curious as to where you are coming from. That has an impact on how you will like Iowa.

As far as the immediate area, there are a few outdoor attractions, such as Hartman Reserve, Cedar Valley Nature Trails, Geo. Wyth State Park, but if you go northeast, there are many more parks, etc. which are a one to two hour drive. Easily done in a day or weekend. Same goes for fishing, as the Mississippi is just 90 minutes east.

As far as entertainment, there is UNI and the Gallagher-Bluedorn Center, especially, but also concerts and the like that you would expect to find at a university of 13,000 students. Also, Wartburg College in Waverly, less that one-half hour north of Waterloo has a great artist series and other entertainment. Waverly, surprisingly, has a decent night life for a town its size, even independent of the college. With the four lane US 218, US 20, etc. it is an easy area to get around in, too.

Speaking of small towns, are you interested in them at all? Housing is inexpensive. I would suggest looking at Denver or Janesville (can rent a house for $600 or less in Janesville), the latter being half way between CF and Waverly and also roughly 10-15 min. from both colleges and 20 min from downtown Waterloo. The entire area is full of "down to Earth" people. Easy to follow the links to view those towns on City-Data.com!

I would suggest visiting www.wcfcourier.com, the Waterloo-CF Courier website, and follow the link to "Guide to the Cedar Valley" as it gives a great overview of the entire area. GOOD LUCK!
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