Top 10 Reasons Living In Iowa Is Your New Dream

Top 10 Reasons Living In Iowa Is Your New Dream

Boy on bicycle in Iowa's RAGBRAI race

Think of Iowa. What comes to mind? Probably corn or rich farmlands. But maybe not much else. The truth is that not a lot of people, even within the United States, have ever even considered going to Iowa. I used to be the same way. It’s not that I had anything against Iowa, the thought had just never crossed my mind. But now, if asked, I would say that Iowa is arguably one of the best places to live in the nation. You may be thinking, “That’s a bold statement to make for someone who had nothing but a starch pop into her head when she heard the state’s name a few years ago”. So what convinced me? Here are my top ten reasons you should move to Iowa this instant.

Graphic reading, "moving blog, top 10 reasons living in Iowa is your new dream" with a picture of downtown Des Moines, IA.
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1. The People

When asked what they love about the state they call home, the number one response among Iowans is “the people”. Everyone who has moved to Iowa agrees that this state is full of some of the friendliest and most welcoming people they have ever met. Whether that be the supportive community spirit, the willingness to help a friend or neighbor no matter the situation, or simply asking strangers how their day is going, you can always count on an Iowan to be there.

2. The Views

If you are looking to enjoy time in nature, Iowa has plenty to offer. The state is bordered by the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, and with its eighty three state parks, you will never run out of things to do outdoors! The Loess Hills, a massive geological landform, has some of the most breathtaking views in the Midwest. This type of formation can only be found in two places in the world: Iowa and China. The state is also known for the Effigy Mounds National Monument. Attributed to a group called the Effigy Mound Builders, this site is full of many animal-shaped mounds, the most famous being the bear and the bird. There has been much speculation as to their significance in ancient culture, some theories being that they were used as a place for religious observance or a way to mark boundaries between territories.

3. Best of Both Worlds

Iowa really has it all. If you tire of the natural phenomena, you can head into the city where there are festivals, bars, and many cultural and historical attractions. The seven Amana Colonies allow you to immerse yourself in German culture. Or if you’re looking for a scarier adventure, you can spend a night in the infamous Ax Murder House. If you’re into the arts, you can visit the home that inspired the famous American Gothic painting by Iowa native, Grant Wood, or the set of the movie, Field of Dreams, in Dyersville. That’s another reason to move to Iowa; no matter how long you live there, you’ll never get bored!

4. Cost of Living

Now to the practical part: the cost of living. No matter how incredible a state is, you have to be able to make ends meet. Luckily, Iowa has one of the lowest cost of living rates in the United States. Plus, with some of the best health care, education, and income equality in the country, Iowa is full of opportunities you wouldn’t have elsewhere.

5. Traffic

Another practical one. While the driving situation can’t be perfect anywhere, Iowa is pretty close. In fact, they were voted the number one best state to drive in by Wallethub in January of 2023. Limited rush hour traffic may just be one of the best things about Iowa living! Just watch out for deer!

6. Weather

Unlike a large portion of the United States, Iowa has four distinct seasons. But, with the crazy midwestern weather, sometimes you experience all of the seasons in just one week. If Mother Nature really has her way, you can experience all four seasons in a single day. If you ever get bored of the weather, don’t worry, it will probably be completely different tomorrow!

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7. Produce

Another big draw to Iowa is the abundance of fresh produce. With the rich landscape, it’s no wonder there are hundreds of farmer’s markets throughout the state. You can’t beat the combination of the best locally grown products along with the welcoming atmosphere the vendors create.

8. Food

Aside from fresh produce, there are lots of foods in Iowa you just can’t get anywhere else. Some local favorites are Scotcheroos, Maid-Rite sandwiches, and Snickers salad. And of course, corn!

9. Sports Culture

Since Iowa doesn’t have any professional teams, the culture centers around college sports. There are two major teams, the Cyclones and the Hawkeyes. Iowans take their sports very seriously, so choose your team wisely, because you may lose friends over it. The CyHawk series may be the rivalry to end all rivalries (go Cyclones!).

10. RAGBRAI

RAGBRAI or Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, may just be one of the most unique things about Iowa. It is not just a normal bike race, it is an eight day event with music, food, and more. The bikers ride from one border of Iowa to the other, covering anywhere from forty to eighty miles per day. Cyclists will dip their back tire in the Missouri River (the western border of the state) to begin the race and dip their front tire in the Mississippi River (the eastern border) at the end. Each day has a host town, where the bikers will camp out in backyards, fields, and parks. There is entertainment, food, and the opportunity to make friends from all over the country!

Conclusion

So, whether you’re looking for community, nature, or simply want to avoid rush hour traffic, Iowa has something to offer. From practicality to the friendly culture to the gorgeous natural formations, there are so many reasons to move to Iowa!

Hannah Boland is an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is studying writing and criminology with plans to go into a Journalism career. In her free time she enjoys surfing, kayaking, and being out in nature.