Cedar Rapids is a city in Eastern Iowa. In 2000, it was the second largest city in Iowa by population and is home to approximately 140,000 residents. While historically known as an industrial, working class city, Cedar Rapids has recently begun to grow and expand employment opportunities in the service sector, attracting new residents to the area. While out of the way of most major travel routes and destinations, a stop in Cedar Rapids may uncover a great taste of the Midwest. Typical Iowa hospitality is not lost here.
All addresses in the city are based upon a quadrant system. The system divides the city into four directional quadrants with addresses that may look something like this:
500 33rd Ave SW
The quadrant system's base is the insection of the Cedar River and 1st Avenue. Although seemingly simple to an observer, this system is nearly useless to visitors since the intersecting lines essentially form an "X" on a map rather than a "+".
Also, visitors should note that along I-380 (North/South interstate corridor) and the surrounding downtown area, traffic cameras are utilized to enforce speed and red-light laws. The Cedar Rapids Police Department (CRPD) has suggested that no additional cameras will be placed, although this hasn't been confirmed by any other agency. The photo-enforcement begins at various speeds over the posted limit, but you generally will not be cited for speeds between 1 and 8 over the limit on the interstate. Lower tolerance is used on city streets, and fairly strict enforcement applies to red-light violations.
Driving in Cedar Rapids can be a hassle compared to cities of similar size. First, major thoroughfares (1st Avenue, Collins Rd., Blairs Ferry Rd., and Edgewood Road) have traffic lighting patterns that are inefficient. You will likely feel as if you're "catching every light." Although this is true in many cities, Cedar Rapidians agree that it is decidedly worse, here. Additionally, the roads are insufficient for the volume of traffic during peak travel hours. This means that the city becomes a rolling traffic snarl for an hour around high-traffic areas (Lindale Mall), and the traffic backup is worth of a city much larger than this.
Also, those who plan to travel by vehicle should be ready for the likelihood of pervasive construction and difficulty accessing major stores, restaurants, etc...
If you happen to travel in the adjacent city of Marion, be wary of the posted speed limit. Rumors of excessive enforcement are exaggerated (but only slightly). The speed limit inconspicuously drops to 20 mph on major roads, and the Marion Police Department is only too happy to cite unfamiliar vehicles.
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, 410 Third Ave SE, +1 319 366-7503  Features a collections of works by Iowa natives Grant Wood and Marvin Cone, along with a collection of 21 Roman portrait busts. (Currently Closed to public)
Science Station, 427 First St SE, +1 319 366-0968  Interactive children's science museum. Features an IMAX dome. (Currently closed to public)
Lindale Mall, 4444 1st Ave SE, ☎ (319) 378-1380, . Lindale Mall is anchored by Sears, Von Maur, and Younkers and also features many other large chain retail stores as well as small local retailers. Linndale also features a food court with just as many Cedar Rapids based restaurants as it does large chain restaurants. edit
Westdale Mall. editThough not a large or as popular as the Lindale Mall, the Westdale Mall Features a Yonkers and JC Penney's in addition to a larger number of boutique stores. Much quiter than Lindale.
Beef O'Brady's, 5240 Edgewood Rd NE, ☎ +1 319 294-4992, . 11AM-11PM. A family type sports pub. Specialize in chicken wings (12 different sauces) and burgers.$6-$12. edit
Bishop's Buffet, 2600 Edgewood Rd SW (Westdale Mall), ☎ +1 319 390-4541. All-you-can-eat cafeteria serving American food. A favorite Sunday dinner stop for the elderly. Known for its chocolate ambrosia pie. (CLOSED AS OF 2011)edit
Brewed Awakenings, 1271 1st Ave SE, ☎ +1 319 363-4333, . A very comfortable coffee shop near Coe College that makes excellent espresso.edit
The Flying Wienie, 103 8th Ave SW, ☎ +1 319 861-3036, . The roof is adorned with a full sized, bright yellow bi-plane. As the name suggests, serves hot dogs and other greasy short order food, homemade Polish sausage and Gyros.edit
The Irish Democrat, 1st Ave and 32nd St, ☎ +1 319 364-9896, . 11AM-?. Irish pub and grill.$7-$15. edit
The Starlite Room, 3300 1st Ave NE. Small town Iowa atmosphere with greasy food. Known for it's 1/2-pound Superburger. edit
The Vernon Inn (The Greek Place), 2663 Mt Vernon Rd SE, ☎ +1 319 366-7817. Greek cuisine. Flaming cheese and stuffed grape leaves are a must.edit
The Vault (formally The Piano Lounge), 208 2nd Ave SE, ☎ +1 319_363-0606, . Known for its large martini menu and music, dueling pianos every weekend, and also featuring comedy acts. Half-price martinis from 3-7pm everyday, and all day Tuesdays & Thursdays. Closed Sundays. edit
R.G. Books, 3611 1st Ave NE, ☎ +1 319 363-7550. Small, cozy, intimate place for a small group of friends. Books line the walls, the bartenders have unique personalities, and a variety of drinks. Try the mojito.edit
Third Base Sports, 500 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, ☎ +1 319 378-9090, . Great hand crafted ales, including 5 year round beers and 3 rotating seasonal tap handles. A diverse food menu, tons of TVs, a "party room", and patioedit
Zins taste, 227 2nd Ave S.E, ☎ (319) 363-9467. M-Th 11AM-10PM | F 11AM-12AM | Sa 5PM-12AM. Tapas - Anything from Sliders to seared Scallops served as a Tapas portion.$$. edit
Fairfield Inn & Suites Cedar Rapids Hotel, 605 32nd Ave SW (Cedar Rapids, IA-52404), ☎ 319-247-1000, . Cedar Rapids iowa hotel in Iowa City located near iowa airport hotel in Cedar Rapids offering comfortable Cedar Rapids hotel accommodations with free breakfastedit