Affordable living packed with plenty to see and do, plus access to quality health care makes Cedar Rapids an excellent choice for those looking for a great place to retire.
This city of just more than 100,000 people ranks second in size behind Des Moines, but residents here can get their heart's desire of culture, variety in restaurants, shopping, sports, outdoor recreation and nightlife without having to travel 100 miles east (yet, it's a relatively short trip to the state capital if something merits it).
Cedar Rapids residents also have peace of mind knowing the city has a strong existing health-care network, and there's more on the way. Two major medical centers serve Cedar Rapids residents. St. Luke's Hospital, a five-time Truven Health Analytics Top 100 Hospitals designee, and Mercy Medical Center, which also has earned the Top 100 Hospitals designation among several other notable awards for patient care and quality of service. The city currently is working on a plan to develop MedQ, a downtown health-care district that will centralize many medical services for patients.
The city's health-care score was the most influential in helping it gain the 29th spot on our Top 100 Best Places to Live list for 2013, as it was exceptionally high for residents' access to hospitals as well as for low health-care spending by residents. Yet this score indicates not just the availability of affordable health-care options, but a healthy population not as frequently in need of them. Residents here stay healthy by keeping their bodies and minds active, and the city has many entertainment and recreation attractions to ensure that.
A well developed trail network, more than a dozen golf courses, and a good city parks system help keep residents physically active. Meanwhile, several performing arts venues accommodating crowds of all sizes, three sports teams, community festivals and other cultural attractions, such as the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and Czech Village, offer less physically demanding yet still mentally engaging entertainment options.
Read more about the many things to do in Cedar Rapids.