Best Places to Live

Iowa City, IA

Population: 71,832
© 2016 The University of Iowa, all rights reserved.

Move here if you want to … jumpstart your literary career.

If this is the year you promised yourself you’d get serious about writing, a move to Iowa City might be just the spark you need.

Iowa City is home to the famous Iowa City Writers’ Workshop, an MFA program at the University of Iowa where famous writers like Ann Patchett, Kurt Vonnegut and John Irving have studied and taught. But even if you’re not enrolling in the program, the entire city itself is a literary treasure. Literally. Iowa City is a UNESCO City of Literature, an international designation bestowed on the city for its dedication to celebrating and supporting literature.

The beloved local bookstore, Prairie Lights, will keep you well-stocked with reading material and inspired with a full roster of events, readings and author visits.

When you’re not hard at work on The Great American Novel, this lively college town has plenty to do to keep you entertained and connected. Plus, the cost of living here is below the national average, which means you don’t have to be a starving artist (unless, of course, it's part of your process).