Best Places to Live

Cedar Rapids, IA

Population: 128,829
LIV
SCORE
613
Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance

Cedar Rapids is Iowa’s second largest city with median home prices below $150,000. But that only tells a small part of the story. On a few wonderful summer days, Cedar Rapids hosts over 40,000 visitors to their “Market After Dark,” a free, evening farmers market with vendors, food, makers and live entertainment that people talk about year-round.

Minor-league sports are a huge part of the city’s entertainment scene. The Cedar Rapids Kernels (The Minnesota Twins’ Single-A affiliate) and the USHL’s Cedar Rapids Roughriders make their home in the City of Five Seasons. Cedar Rapids is also home to some of your favorite brands, even if you don’t know it! The Quaker Oats company is based here, so you can thank Cedar Rapidians for Cap’n Crunch, Life Cereal and Quaker Oats Oatmeal.

Local Obsession: KOLACHES.

Climate Described in 6 Words Or Less: All four seasons in one day.

Top Industries and Employers: Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, Education, Finance and Insurance are the area’s top industries. Top employers include Collins Aerospace, Transamerica, Whirlpool, Nordstrom, Quaker Oats, General Mills, Toyota and United Fire Group.

Local Dream Job: Director of Innovation at NewBoCo. Sorry, this job is taken, but Mandy Webber has the coolest job ever. She gets to teach companies how to improve their culture, efficiency and product/services through innovation. How? NewBoCo’s Intrapreneur Adacemy.

Quintessential Meal: Chilaquiles at Caucho.

Favorite Weekend Activity: Shopping, eating, drinking and golfing in nearby Amana or cheering on the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

After-Work Meetup Spot: Black Sheep Social Club, a gorgeous space with unique cocktails and great food.

Best Brewery/Local Beer: The seasonal brews at Lion Bridge Brewing can’t be missed. Our favorite? The port barrel-aged pink guava saison, which is just as delicious as it sounds.

Beloved Bookstore: Next Page Books, a cozy shop in Cedar Rapids’ NewBo district.

Free Way to Have Fun: Market After Dark

Truly Hidden Gem: The Flying Wienie — This beloved spot figured out a way to make hot dogs fancy and interesting while still being messy and, well, hot doggy. You’ll need extra napkins, but it's worth it.

- Tim Carty

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Why Cedar Rapids is a Best Place to Live

Best Places to Live in Iowa

“I love Cedar Rapids because as a young professional, I can afford to live downtown in the center of the action, while also traveling regularly, both nationally and internationally. This is a place where it’s easy to get connected quickly — no one is more than a phone call away.”

Ellen Bardsley
Communications Specialist, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance

Cedar Rapids, IA Ranking Data

Civic
62
Demographics
42
Economy
62
Education
57
Health
59
Housing
62
Infrastructure
78