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About Cedar Rapids

Numerous magazines and organizations have ranked Cedar Rapids among the elite cities in a variety of categories. Cedar Rapids was placed among the top 20 Forbes Magazine Best Places and was named the No. 2 kid-friendly city in the country by an organization looking at factors such as education, crime and arts and culture. Located on the Cedar River the city incorporated in 1856, and is the second largest city in Iowa. The city is named for the appealing surging rapids in the river.

The city is also manufacturing capital of Iowa, and serves as a regional hub for Eastern Iowa because of its proximity to several of the country’s largest metropolitan areas and major interstate highways.

With a rich history and quaintness it has a flavor all its own. Many more small communities surround the Greater Cedar Rapids area. From a rich cultural heritage to diverse leisure activities, history is celebrated with the preservation of the grand Paramount Theatre and the reinvention of the riverfront of the Cedar River. Mt. Vernon is the home of Cornell College and its streets are lined with beautiful Victorian homes refurbished.

The Residence Inn is inviting and comfortable; the Marriott Cedar Rapids is an attractive Atrium Hotel. Crowne Plaza Cedar Rapidsis a 16-story Hotel and is part of Five Seasons Civic Center complex, connected to city's downtown skywalk system.

Cedar Rapids has a wide variety of diversified choices for fine dining. Some of the many options include: the Vernon Inn, the Brick Haus Restaurant; Al’s Red Frog-a quaint gathering spot; Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano, an intimate Italian restaurant; and Bistro On First, a contemporary American cuisine spot.

From malls to specialty shops, boutiques to antiques, the Cedar Rapids area abounds with choices. The Westdale Mall is Eastern Iowa’s largest two-story shopping mall offering over 90 stores. The Lindale Mall has anchor stores as well as 100 more favorite retail stores. Coral Ridge Mall-Iowa’s shopping playground -features over 100 specialty stores. Simply Divine Premier Chocolatier & Candy Shoppe has over 100 varieties of homemade confections, gifts, candy bouquets, and a large selection of old time candies.

Major Attractions
Carl and Mary Koehler History Center have exhibits that trace the history of the area in its Living Along the Tributaries, which serves as the central exhibit of the museum. There is also a vast and eclectic assortment of objects in the museums’ collection that range from hat pins to electric cars. Over thirty five thousand objects are in the collection. The museum also offers a variety of programs geared towards children, as well as the Time Quest journey that takes one on a simulated journey through the streets of Cedar Rapids at different eras in the cities development.

The African American Historical Museum & Cultural Center of Iowa, exhibits African American history in Iowa. The National Motorcycle Museum showcases more than a century of two-wheeled adventure with collections of 180 plus vintage motorcycles from around the world. Accessories abound for the collector, including antique posters, billboards, books, toys, clothing and other collectibles.

The Bloomsbury Farm is a century-old farm in a unique setting for theme parties, ice cream socials, picnics, story-telling and hayrack rides.

Written by: Karen J. Lee

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