With nearly 100 locally owned restaurants and a vibrant farmer's market, Iowa City is a foodie heaven. You'll find numerous fresh tastes to explore. Head to the award-winning Atlas Restaurant & Bar for praise-worthy favorites like the Atlas Macaroni and Cheese featuring fontina, mozzarella, parmesan, and gruyere. The Wig and Pen is another local favorite, serving up an outstanding range of gourmet pizzas.
Combining the convenience of a major metropolis, the excitement of a college town, and the natural highlights of a rural Midwestern destination, Iowa City has it all. Wherever you stay, you can enjoy attractions ranging from museums to parks minutes from your homey hotel.
When to Visit Iowa City, IA
Iowa City enjoys all four seasons, so you can experience a different side of the municipality on every visit. Summers are hot and humid with average highs in the mid to upper 80s and at least five inches of precipitation most months. If you want festivals, this is the time to visit. You can catch the Iowa Arts Festival, Friday Night Concert Series, Iowa City Jazz Festival, and Iowa City Soul Festival. Just make sure you bring your sunscreen and a water bottle to comfortably survive these events.
The Taste of Iowa City takes place around the end of August. Over 40 local restaurants participate in the event, offering sample portions of their best dishes so you can eat your way around the city. You'll also find pop-up entertainment in the streets, adding ambiance to your explorations.
In fall, temperatures drop rapidly from an average high of 78 in September to 66 in October and 50 in November. Toward the end of September, you can experience the annual Northside Oktoberfest. Over 50 local breweries are highlighted during the event, making this a must for anyone interested in experiencing the best of the microbrewery scene here.
In the winter, you can experience Tis the Season Downtown. This festive event features horse-drawn carriage rides, a scavenger hunt for hidden elves, and a gingerbread house competition. The temperatures drop to highs in the 30s and average lows in the teens. Iowa City sees an average of 28 inches of snowfall each year.
As spring heats things up again, you'll feel temperatures rising steadily from an average high of 50 in March to 65 in April and 75 in May. Top Chef Downtown kicks off the spring season at the end of February with a friendly culinary competition to see which of the city's prime restaurants will reign supreme.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Iowa City, IA:
Iowa City, IA: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below are 3 charts illustrating avg. nightly cost trends by star rating class in Iowa City, IA. Browse these charts to determine the most cost effective months to book a room in Iowa City during the year.
Luxury Hotels in Iowa City, IA
4 Star Average Prices: $137.07
Are you looking for accommodations with added amenities and a touch of luxury in Iowa City? You have a couple of options that will give you a distinctive experience with some added pampering included.
The Sheraton Iowa City Hotel offers on-site perks that include an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and Link@Sheraton connection center in the 24-hour lobby. The Share Wine Lounge & Small Plate Bistro is a warm gathering spot with more than 40 wines available by the glass. Small plates include delicacies like salmon belly sliders or rare seared tuna. You can also order a full meal with options like cow girl rib eye and chicken piccata.
Standard rooms at the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel include down bedding, a spacious work area, and a flat screen television. Complimentary high-speed internet keeps you connected so you can plan the day ahead. When you're ready to explore the city, you'll find a complimentary shuttle available to ease your travels.
If you want to enjoy the comforts of home while you're in Iowa City, book a room at hotelVetro. This extended stay hotel offers fully equipped suites with kitchenettes, dining spaces, oversized bathrooms, and cozy pillow-top beds. Guests enjoy complimentary access to Iowa City Fitness and Heartland Yoga during their stay. If you're travelling with children, you'll appreciate the outdoor play area for kids as well as the convenience of the on-site laundry facilities.
Affordable Hotels in Iowa City, IA
3 Star Average Prices: $102.58
Nearly all the hotels in Iowa City are budget friendly. If you really want to trim your travel spending, book a room at one of the city's most affordable options without sacrificing anything in the way of comfort or amenities.
The Travelodge Iowa City is a convenient choice with several amenities that will help you trim your travel budget. With an airport shuttle to take you to and from the hotel, you can eliminate the need for a rental car. A microwave and refrigerator in your room let you keep affordable snacks and drinks on hand. Mornings begin with a free Bear Bites breakfast, while the on-site restaurant can satisfy cravings later in the day. Keep up with your fitness routine with complimentary passes to the athletic club next door, or enjoy a comfortable afternoon in the indoor pool.
Another affordable pick is the Clarion Highlander Hotel and Conference Center. This convenient option features a free continental breakfast and relaxing indoor heated pool. The Against the Grain Bar and Lounge offers additional options for on-site dining or room service. Your room here will feature a microwave, refrigerator, cable or satellite television, and pay-per-view movies.
2 Star Average Prices: $84.75
Which Iowa City hotels have real discounts?
If you want to trim your travel expenses with hotel discounts, your best option is to pick a chain you love. By participating in hotel loyalty programs, you can use points you've earned from previous trips or begin accruing rewards for future travels. Promotions for these types of programs change regularly, so remember to check out the latest offerings before your visit.
The Travelodge Iowa City is part of the Wyndham Rewards program. You can use points accumulated at any other participating hotels including the Super 8, Days Inn, Ramada, or Baymont Inn & Suites. The hotel also offers AAA/CAA and AARP discounts.
The Sheraton Iowa City Hotel is part of the SPG rewards program. Along with several seasonal promotions, the hotel also offers special rates for AAA members.
The Hampton Inn Iowa City participates in the Hilton HHonors program. This hotel also offers several other discount options, including special rates for AAA and AARP members, government and military personnel, and seniors.
Best Value Hotels in Iowa City, IA
At a value hotel, you can enjoy a mid-range price and plenty of amenities. Your best option for this type of experience is the Hampton Inn Iowa City/University Area. This hotel is conveniently located near the University of Iowa, Englert Theatre, and historic downtown. You can begin the day with a complimentary hot breakfast on site or snag a fast weekday Hampton On the Run breakfast bag on your way out the door. On-site amenities include a business center, meeting space, fitness room, and indoor pool and whirlpool.
Getting Around Iowa City, IA
You don't need a car to enjoy Iowa City. With a well-placed hotel, you may be able to reach everything on your agenda with minimal hassle and save yourself the expense of an automobile rental. Iowa City is developing several walking and biking routes. There are three scenic options available that direct you past many local attractions, providing a leisurely way to get out and explore the city.
The Iowa City transit offers over two dozen bus routes throughout the city. Do you prefer a little more autonomy? Zipcars are available at five locations throughout Iowa City. If you want to explore areas beyond Iowa City, the Megabus offers daily service to Chicago and De Moines for just $1 each way.
If you do bring a car to Iowa City, you'll have no trouble parking around town. Downtown parking garages offer the first hour for free. After this period, you'll pay just $1.50 for each additional hour. These garages operate 24 hours, so you're free to explore the city by day and night with no worries about getting back to your vehicle at a particular time. Metered parking is only monitored Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you're parking downtown to enjoy the nightlife or visiting on a Sunday, you can enjoy convenient street parking for free.
Iowa City is a diverse destination that's as well-suited to educational conferences and major business meetings as it is to rest and relaxation. There's almost always something exciting happening in the city, so make sure you check local calendars before your visit and ask what the latest buzz is around town at your hotel's front desk. You'll find no shortage of excitement during your visit. Get ready, and book your Iowa City hotel today.
'There are always surprises. Life may be inveterately grim and the surprises disproportionately unpleasant, but it would be hardly worth living if there were no exceptions, no sunny days, no acts of random kindness.'- This is how the words of the renowned American author, T.C. Boyle, explain life in his famous piece of work, known as The Tortilla Curtain. And T.C. Boyle was not the only literary name that has spent time in the only UNESCO city of Literature in all of America, Iowa City.
Experience a Literary Escape
Iowa City is a highly smart and cultured place, with a fine blend of urban and rural elements that keep it very chic. The city is a very 'hard to define' kind of a place, but if there's one thing that we can be sure of; it's not your everyday college town. Don't be surprised if you find the city covered with black & gold, and people donning those colors with pride, since the city favors the Hawkeyes above all the rest. The city is full of well-read habitants, and has the privilege of producing some great American authors, and most of the things that you will find here are always fresh and local. There are many great hotels in Iowa City as well, and tourists usually find a wide range of budget to luxury options that they can consider when they are visiting. Hotels are usually providing great deals for people who may be traveling on a budget as well, and you can practically find all the needful amenities in one of these hotels that you will need for your stay.
You can pay a visit to the Amana Colonies, lying only 20 minutes away from the city, to experience traditional German food and arts without any bounds. There is a wide range of hotels in Iowa City, especially within this colonial region, and the space has been turned into a busy yet welcoming tourist location.
Iowa City's Most Reasonable Staying Facilities
The city houses a large number of cheap hotels that accommodate people who may be traveling without a hefty budget. You can bag some great cheap hotel deals online as well, and if that doesn't go well, choose among names like Travelodge Iowa City, Hampton Inn Iowa City/ University Area, A Bella Vista Bed & Breakfast, or Clarion Highlander Hotel & Conference Center. These places usually offer all the amenities that you could need and make sure that your stay is comfortable and enjoyable.
Traveling to Iowa City with Luxurious Class
If you don't have to fret about your budget, there are some great Iowa City hotels that allow you to add a tinge of class to your travels. You can opt for famous hotel names like Sheraton Iowa City Hotel, hotelVetro, Iowa House Hotel, Brown Street Inn, or any other 4-5 star facilities that you may fancy. It's important to remember that Iowa City hotels usually cater to a large number of travelers, constantly moving in and out of the city, so you should not expect any of these vicinities to be deserted.
Things You Shouldn't Miss When You Visit Iowa City
There are many tourist attractions in Iowa City, and most of them are almost always flooded with new people. You can visit places like the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, or unwind at any one of the Great Lakes in Iowa. We would recommend not missing out on visiting the John & Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, which is famous all over the world for the kind of experience that it offers.