Cedar Rapids is a city in Eastern Iowa. In 2010, it was the second largest city in Iowa by population with 126,326 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.
Cedar Rapids is on I-380, about 50 minutes southeast of Waterloo (Iowa) and 30 minutes north of I-80 and Iowa City. From Iowa's capitol city of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids is slightly less than a two hour drive via I-80 and I-380.
The Eastern Iowa Airport (IATA: CID) , approximately 5 miles south of downtown, is served by five airlines: Allegiant Air, American Eagle, Delta Airlines, Frontier Airlines and United Airlines. Car rental agencies available at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National.
Burlington Trailways (2818 Lippisch Place SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401) offers regular service from cities in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, with connecting service to national destinations via Greyhound and Jefferson Lines.
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 Transit provides daytime bus service throughout much of the city. Fares are $1.50 for adults and $0.75 for Students and Seniors. Children 4 and under ride free. No service available on Sundays, after 6:20pm on weekdays or after 4:15pm on Saturdays.
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, 410 Third Avenue SE, ☎ (319) 366-7503, . The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art houses more than 7,200 works of art spanning many eras—from Roman antiquity to the present. The collection is particularly strong in American art, especially from the first half of the 20th century. There are a number of artists the Museum holds in great depth—including the world's largest collection of works of art by Grant Wood. The Museum also possesses a strong collection of Roman portrait busts donated by Tom and Nan Riley, and an extensive print collection from the 15th century forward primarily donated by Peter O. Stamats.
Cedar Rapids Science Center, 5824 Council St NE, ☎ (319) 363-7836, . STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning center specializing in experience-based learning and workforce development. Features an early childhood exploration area for ages 2-8, and an Elementary Gallery designed for ages 5 and up.
Carl & Mary Koehler History Center, 615 First Ave SE, ☎ (319) 362-1501, . Founded in 1969 as the Linn County Historical Museum Association, the Museum opened in its current location in 1999. The museum is dedicated to connecting the past to the present and future of Linn County, and features a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits.
National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, ☎ (319) 362-8500, . Museum celebrating the history and diversity and Czech and Slovak culture. Hosts a variety of public and private events. Includes the multilingual Skala Bartizal Library.
Theatre Cedar Rapids, 102 Third St SE, ☎ (319) 366-8591, . Box Office M-F 11am-5pm. Nationally recognized community theater currently celebrating its 81st season.
Orchestra Iowa, 119 Third Ave SE, ☎ (319) 366-8203, . Founded in 1923 as the Cedar Rapids Symphony, the orchestra has a full season, performing a fine arts series, a chamber series, a popular series, and performances with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and Ballet Quad Cities. Performs at the Paramount Theatre, 123 Third Ave SE.
Planet X Family Fun Center, 4444 1st Ave NE #3001, ☎ (319) 294-2237, . Laser Tag, Miniature Golf, Rock Climbing, Indoor Playground, Space Ball, Jump Shot, Bumper Cars, 50 arcade pieces and more. Has hosted more than 30,000 birthday parties and 10,000 group functions over 15 years.
Indian Creek Nature Center, 6665 Otis Road SE, ☎ (319) 362-0664, . Bordered by Indian Creek and the Cedar River on the southeast edge of Cedar Rapids, the 210-acre Indian Creek Nature Center is a wildlife refuge that provides a unique glimpse into Iowa’s natural past. Four miles of trails wind through 210 acres of woodland, prairie and wetlands perfect for hiking or fishing in Indian Creek.
Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball, 950 Rockford Road SW, ☎ (319) 363-3887, . Single A minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins (MLB). Games played at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Cedar Rapids Titans Indoor Football, 370 1st Ave E, ☎ (319) 730-6301, . The Titans are a professional indoor football franchise that plays at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. The Titans are a member of the Indoor Football League. The IFL is a developmental league designed to get players to the National Football League or Canadian Football League.
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Hockey, 1100 Rockford Road SW, ☎ (319) 247-0340, . The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders are a Tier 1 junior ice hockey team playing in the East Division of the United States Hockey League (USHL). The RoughRiders' home ice is the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
Cedar Rapids has a variety of options for the avid golfer:
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.
Westdale Mall. Though 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.
Czech Village/New Bohemia District, . Small neighborhood centered on 16th Ave SW north of the Cedar River that was originally home to Czech, Moravian and Slovak immigrants. Good little spot for antiques, local art and ethnic gifts.
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.
Brewed Awakenings, 1271 1st Ave SE, ☎ +1 319 363-4333, . A very comfortable coffee shop near Coe College that makes excellent espresso.
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.
The Irish Democrat, 1st Ave and 32nd St, ☎ +1 319 364-9896, . 11AM-?. Irish pub and grill.$7-$15.
The Starlite Room, 3300 1st Ave NE. Small town Iowa atmosphere with greasy food. Known for it's 1/2-pound Superburger.
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.
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.
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 patio
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.$$.
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 breakfast
Howard Johnson, 616 33rd Ave SW (5 blocks W of I-380), ☎ +1 319 366-2475, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: Noon. Includes complimentary continential breakfast,free wi-fi,in room appliances
Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area (4530 McClintock Road, Palo, IA 52324-0242) is a great place for a family picnic. The lake is one of the highest quality fishing lakes in the region and is stocked with largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish and muskellunge. There are 10 miles of trails for hiking, snowmobiling, bicycling, cross-country skiing and equestrian riding, with connecting access to many area facilities and scenic overlooks.
Palisades-Kepler State Park (700 Kepler Drive, Mount Vernon, IA 52314) is a beautiful place for a family cookout. The Cedar River offers some excellent fishing for a variety of species, including channel catfish, bass and bluegills. On the six miles of trails, walkers can often see a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer and wild turkeys. Many species of trees, shrubs and flowers are also present along with innumerable species of songbirds.