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Downtown Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids is a city in Eastern Iowa. In 2016, it was the second largest city in Iowa by population and is home to about 137,000 residents. Largely known as an industrial, working class city, Cedar Rapids has 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.

Understand[edit]

Cedar Rapids
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See CEDAR RAPIDS MUNICIPAL AIRPORT, IA US's 7 day forecast   Data from NOAA (1981-2010)
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Originally home to the Fox and Sac people, white settlers thought the river rapids were suitable for building a mill, and the river itself was handy for exporting goods. Later, a major meatpacking industry used ice taken from the river plus the rail networks to sustain its growth.

The city attracted Czech immigrants in the latter part of the 19th century.

Get in[edit]

Map of Cedar Rapids

By bus[edit]

Cedar Rapids is served by Burlington Trailways.

By car[edit]

Cedar Rapids is on I-380, about 20 minutes north of I-80.

By plane[edit]

  • 1 Eastern Iowa Airport (CID IATA) (about 8 mi (13 km) south of downtown). Allegiant Air: Las Vegas, Orlando–Sanford, Phoenix–Mesa, Punta Gorda (FL), St. Petersburg–Clearwater and seasonal Los Angeles. American Eagle: Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth. Delta Air Lines: Atlanta. Delta Connection: Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul. Frontier Airlines: Denver. United Airlines: Chicago–O'Hare, Denver. United Express: Chicago–O'Hare. The Eastern Iowa Airport (Q1431066) on Wikidata The Eastern Iowa Airport on Wikipedia

Get around[edit]

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 "+".

Along I-380 (North/South interstate corridor) and the surrounding downtown area, traffic cameras are used 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 mph 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 rivals that of larger cities.

If you happen to travel in the adjacent city of Marion, be aware 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 all too happy to cite unfamiliar vehicles.

By bus[edit]

Cedar Rapids Transit +1 319 286-5573. Service runs M-F from 5:20AM until 7PM, and Sa 8:25AM to 5PM. There is no service on Sunday.

See[edit]

  • Cedar Rapids Downtown District.
  • Cedar Rapids History Center.
  • 1 Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, 410 Third Ave SE, +1 319 366-7503. Features collection of works by Iowa natives Grant Wood and Marvin Cone, and a collection of 21 Roman portrait busts. Museum of Art Cedar Rapids (Q6940755) on Wikidata Cedar Rapids Museum of Art on Wikipedia
  • 2 National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, 1400 Inspiration Place SW, +1 319-362-8500. M-Sa 9:30AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM. General $10; Seniors (65+) $9; Active Military, Veterans, and Students $5; Youth (6-13) $3, Children (5 & under) free. National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (Q14689261) on Wikidata National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library on Wikipedia
  • 3 African American Museum of Iowa (AAMI), 55 12th Ave. SE (On the northwest bank of the river, by the 12th Ave SE bridge), +1 (319) 862-2101. Closed until 2023. The popular image of Iowa is that its residents are almost entirely white, but Iowa has an African American history here as well. This museum aims to preserve, exhibit, and teach it. If your reaction is, "Black people, in Iowa?", then AAMI would like you to visit. Unfortunately, the museum's riverside location led to it being badly flooded in 2009. As of 2022, the city is improving the flood control structures, and the museum is closed for major renovations. They expect to re-open in 2023. Look for travelling exhibitions elsewhere in the meantime. "Suspended: Systemic Oppression In Our Schools" opens in the Cedar Rapids Public Library on October 14, 2022. African American Museum of Iowa on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Lindale Mall, 4444 1st Ave SE, +1 319 378-1380. Lindale Mall is anchored by Sears, Von Maur, and Younkers, with other chain stores and local retailers. Food court has chain restaurants, and Cedar Rapids-based options. Lindale Mall (Q6552112) on Wikidata Lindale Mall on Wikipedia
  • NewBo City Market, 1100 3rd St SE. Th F 10AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 10AM-4PM, closed M-W. Marketplace for local businesses, including food and beverage vendors and boutiques.

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

  • R.G. Books, 3611 1st Ave NE, +1 319 363-7550. Small, cozy, intimate place with a variety of drinks. Books line the walls. Bartenders have unique personalities.
  • Third Base Brewery, 500 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, +1 319 378-9090. Great hand crafted ales, including five year round beers and three rotating seasonal tap handles. Diverse food menu, tons of TVs, party room, patio.
  • Zins taste, 227 2nd Ave S.E, +1 319 363-9467. M-Th 11AM-10PM; F 11AM-midnight; Sa 5PM-midnight. Tapas - Anything from sliders to seared scallops served as a tapas portion.

Sleep[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through Cedar Rapids
ENDWaterloo  N I-380.svg S  Iowa CityEND
AmesMarshalltown ← Jct US 63.svg  W US 30.svg E  Mount VernonRock Falls
Ends at W I-80.svg EAmana Colonies  SW US 151.svg NE  AnamosaDubuque
AustinWaterloo  N US 218.svg S  Iowa CityKeokuk


This city travel guide to Cedar Rapids is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.