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Old 01-28-2010, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Techified Blue (Collar)-Rooted Bastion-by-the-Sea
636 posts, read 1,651,962 times
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Although it is in neighboring Illinois and not in Iowa, is Chicago considered the primary hub/large city to which residents of eastern Iowa flock to for entertainment, nightlife, restaurants and recreation? How often do the average residents of Eastern Iowa take weekend trips to Chicago? Does having such a large city within a few hours drive break the monotony of living in Iowa?

Also for convenient air travel (non-stop flights, cheaper fares etc.), is O'Hare airport frequently used by Eastern Iowa residents?

When I mention Eastern Iowa, I am particularly interested in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor.

Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
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Chicago is by far the nearest large city to Iowa City and eastern Iowa, so yes, many eastern Iowans go there once in a while. I go to Chicago at least a couple times per year to see a concert or to go to the art museums, and I think that's fairly typical of eastern Iowans. We go to Chicago if we would like to do something that is only available in a large city, which for most people is not terribly often. But it is still nice to have Chicago so close in case such an event should arise.

As for air travel, I think people around here usually fly out of Cedar Rapids or Moline. (Which usually involves a stop in Chicago, but still.) I have flown out of O'Hare before, and am doing so again this spring, because it's sometimes cheaper, but much less convenient, considering Moline is only about 1 hour or so away, and Chicago is about 3 1/2 or 4.

And as for breaking "the monotony of living in Iowa", I'd argue that you could experience monotony anywhere. But that's off topic.
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Old 01-29-2010, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
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I can't speak for the CR/Iowa City corridor, but Chicago is the place to go for "big city" stuff from the Quad Cities area. That said, we have more "big city" stuff here than most people outside of Iowa would expect. Its not like we sit around at the general store counting flies.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Dubuque, IA
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Chicago is certainly the closest and largest city, but there are many other cities that offer entertainment, shopping etc. for Eastern Iowa including Madison, WI, Milwaukee, Moline, Des Moines
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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I grew up in Iowa City for 22 years, then moved to Chicago for the past 8.

I certainly think Chicago is the "big city" for most of Eastern Iowa. I mean it's only 2.5-4 hours away. Lots of people will go into Chicago a few times a year for whatever floats their boat, but then a lot of people won't or have no desire.

Des Moines has become more of a player since it's grown so much in the past 15 years, and has a lot more ammenities now that it's reaching that critical mass. It's only an hour and a half from Iowa City. That's a very easy drive.

I don't really see going to Chicago to break the monotony a valid reason though. Most people live in Iowa because they want to and enjoy their lives. There are actually a LOT more things to do and better entertainment in Iowa than almost anyone looking in from large cities or the coasts give it credit for. People go to Chicago to have fun and get a quick trip in, but I've never noticed it as a crutch for people to "get them through one more day of living in Iowa". I think it's funny how being from Iowa is definitely a conversation piece and "novel" when you're visiting large cities outside the Midwest, but at the same time I REALLY have to roll my eyes at the comments people make. People really have this warped view that it's like 1950's rural America where people haven't ventured outside the state lines.

I'm like - yes, Iowa has malls, flat screen TV's, SUV's, Iphones, Internet and all the other magical things you people have as well, haha. We all listen to the same music, watch the same movies/TV, and follow the same news.

As far as air travel - NO. I've never known anyone from Iowa City or Cedar Rapids who ever drove all the way to Chicago just to catch a flight. Cedar Rapids airport is only 15-20 minutes from most people in the metro area, has dozens of a flights a day, and normally is only a little more expensive than flying direct from Chicago based on flights I've booked for my parents (where I fly direct from Chicago and build them in with a flight from Cedar Rapids-Chicago-Wherever we're going). You'll probably have a layover in Chicago, but might as well take the 30 minute flight there than the 3.5 hour drive.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:11 AM
 
6,001 posts, read 14,625,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Get to Know Dubuque View Post
Chicago is certainly the closest and largest city, but there are many other cities that offer entertainment, shopping etc. for Eastern Iowa including Madison, WI, Milwaukee, Moline, Des Moines
Southeastern Iowans (Burlington, Keokuk, Fairfield) are more likely to go to St Louis.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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Yes alot of people from Iowa travel to Chicago they travel to Illinois period and alot of people also travel to southern Minnesota for fun its what ever floats your boat try it out and see for yourself look at it like this I would rather live in Iowa and play in Chicago but if you got money than not only can you play in Chicago you also can live.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:21 AM
 
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I go to Chicago when I need to, but rarely if ever just to sight see or shop. Within the last 5-10 years I've been to Chicago 1 day to see the Shedd aquarium, 1 day for some other thing involving school, 1 weekend for a competition, and I flew out of O'Hare for an international flight. I've never flown out of an Iowa airport though, I always went by car. It makes more sense if you get several people in 1 car.. I guess 1 plane ticket would be comparable to the cost of time and gas you would spend anyway but not 4 tickets, you know what I mean?

Now that I think about it, I've only ever been to Des Moines probably once or twice in my life, and I only went to the Quad Cities for a special occasion like a competition or dropping off a friend. I don't regularly go to big cities for nightlife or recreation.

As far as other people, I've heard of plenty of people going to Madison for a weekend or a football game or whatever, and sometimes people go to Chicago for a weekend, sure.

I don't want to accuse anyone or insult anyone, but if you think life here is boring and monotonous then you aren't doing enough.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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I live/grew up in the Quad Cities but because of my job I spend half the year in Chicago.

When I was a teen and in my early 20's my friends and I spent quite a bit of time coming to Chicago for concerts and ball games. A lot of people might not have made as many trips as we did, but it's definitely the hub of Eastern Iowa

Pretty much everyone I know from that area comes up for a Cubs game at least once a year.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,835,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
I grew up in Iowa City for 22 years, then moved to Chicago for the past 8.

I certainly think Chicago is the "big city" for most of Eastern Iowa. I mean it's only 2.5-4 hours away. Lots of people will go into Chicago a few times a year for whatever floats their boat, but then a lot of people won't or have no desire.

Des Moines has become more of a player since it's grown so much in the past 15 years, and has a lot more ammenities now that it's reaching that critical mass. It's only an hour and a half from Iowa City. That's a very easy drive.

I don't really see going to Chicago to break the monotony a valid reason though. Most people live in Iowa because they want to and enjoy their lives. There are actually a LOT more things to do and better entertainment in Iowa than almost anyone looking in from large cities or the coasts give it credit for. People go to Chicago to have fun and get a quick trip in, but I've never noticed it as a crutch for people to "get them through one more day of living in Iowa". I think it's funny how being from Iowa is definitely a conversation piece and "novel" when you're visiting large cities outside the Midwest, but at the same time I REALLY have to roll my eyes at the comments people make. People really have this warped view that it's like 1950's rural America where people haven't ventured outside the state lines.

I'm like - yes, Iowa has malls, flat screen TV's, SUV's, Iphones, Internet and all the other magical things you people have as well, haha. We all listen to the same music, watch the same movies/TV, and follow the same news.

As far as air travel - NO. I've never known anyone from Iowa City or Cedar Rapids who ever drove all the way to Chicago just to catch a flight. Cedar Rapids airport is only 15-20 minutes from most people in the metro area, has dozens of a flights a day, and normally is only a little more expensive than flying direct from Chicago based on flights I've booked for my parents (where I fly direct from Chicago and build them in with a flight from Cedar Rapids-Chicago-Wherever we're going). You'll probably have a layover in Chicago, but might as well take the 30 minute flight there than the 3.5 hour drive.
Right on.

Seriously, between this and the guy who asked if Iowans felt "intimidated" by Minneapolis...you guys must think we're all living in the black-and-white part of the Wizard of Oz or something.

We have entertainment, nightlife, cheap/non-stop flights, restaurants and recreation right here. I haven't been to Chicago in probably five years, and I really don't see any big reason to go there now.
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