Iowa City

Iowa City proper is home to about 70 thousand people, including 20-30 thousand students. The downtown area is very centralized with dozens of options for food, beverages, and shopping within a four block area near the hotels and conference space. Fortunately for us, many of them are relatively empty this time of year with the students starting to leave town. I've listed a handful of our favorites with brief comments below.


Restaurants (View Map)

Coffee Houses (View Map)

  • Java House
  • Fair Grounds Coffee House
  • Capanna Coffee
  • Starbucks
  • T Spoons

Bars (View Map)

  • Joe's Place - good neighborhood-style place, lots of space, cheap prices. Where the grad students go and alumni return to reminisce.
  • The Sanctuary - best pub in town. Great selection including some Belgians on tap. Good food, too.
  • Martini's - relatively inexpensive martinis. Good patio out back.
  • Graze - Fancy martinis, small.
  • Brothers - cheap and large.
  • Dublin Underground - small Irish-style basement pub.
  • Donnelly's Pub - small Irish pub.
  • The Mill - basic food and drink, big, often has live music on weekends.
  • Dave's Fox Head - where the Iowa Writer's Workshop people hang out.
  • Backpocket Brewing - nearby, recently opened brew pub.


Exercise and Recreation

Local Attractions

  • The Old Capitol Building.
  • Prarie Lights - renowned local, independent bookstore.
  • The Englert Theater.
  • The Amana Colonies.
  • Herbert Hoover Museum.


Taxi Service

  • Marco's Taxi (319) 337-8294.
  • Five Stars Taxi (319) 358-5859.
  • Black and Gold Cab Company (319) 887-1976.


The average high temperature in May is 75F and the average low is 57F, so plan on it being potentially warm and possibly humid. Be prepared for rain, too.