Prarie Lights is the best place in Iowa City to go if you want to buy a good book and enjoy some culture. They have a very friendly staff, and their selection is very good. I am alwyas able to find novels there that Barnes and Noble and Borders don't carry. They seem to carry more intellectual novels vs. popular novels, which is top rate. They also have a Java House on the upper level which is a great place to buy a late and sit with a good book. On a whole, Prarie Lights is one of a kind and a must visit in Iowa City.
The University Book Store is a great place to buy anything related to the university. They have a wide selection of tshirts, coffee mugs, license plate covers, window clings, etc. Their main object, however, is to sell text books and office supplies to students. They have the biggest selection of text books and their prices are usually pretty fair. If you want to buy a work of fiction, however, you may want to try another store because their trade section is rather small.
Kirkwood Community College is the ideal place to either start a higher education or continue one. The buildings are all nice and well kept up, and the classrooms have all the technology needed for modern instruction. There are many study areas and computer labs for students to use during and after class. The Rec building is also free to students and usually not very crowded.
I stumbled accross Gen X Pets on day when I was tired of going to Petland and waiting for service. Gen X Pets is a relatively new, locally owned business where you can buy just about anything you need for your pet, whether it's there in the store or you have to order it. The owner works there herself, and it's nice to see the same face every time you need to buy supplies!
PROS: quiet, independent, not crowded
CONS: slightly expensive
The Ice Arena Cedar Rapids is a very fun place to spend an evening. Whether watching a hockey game, enjoying open skate, playing video games or visitig the pro shop, there is always something going on. The open skate is rarely very crowded and they have good quality skates if you need to rent. The Rough Riders hockey team is always a good choice. The tickets are inexpensive and the crowd really gets into the games to make it a very fun evening.
I lived at both Emerald Court and Westgate Villa apartments. I can say that I really don't have many complaints about Barker Apartments. I found their grounds to be really clean, and well kept. The housekeeper cleans the buildings daily and the on site maintenence keep everything in great condition. Whenever I needed work done, maintenence was there very quickly to fix the problem. The rent is reasonable for Iowa City and you even get a small deck. I think by far the best feature of the complexes though are the pools!
PROS: rent cost, pools, location to UI Hospital
CONS: slighly old buildings
The food here is amazing. The cost is pretty low for the quality, so no complaints there. I think the atmosphere is the best quality about this restaurant by far. It's colorful, vibrant, and you can view the brewery from your table! They also brew really good tasting beer in many different varities from bocks to pale ales. I really would reccomend trying their beer while you are there, because it's not every day you can taste beer brewed on site!
PROS: price, beer, atmosphere
CONS: wait time for a table
City Looks in the Westdale Mall has an elegant, vibrant atmosphere. It's a great place to get a cut, wax, spa treatment, you name it. The employees at City Looks really cater to their clients. You are greeted when you first arrive, taken to a waiting area and offered a beverage ranging from water to wine. The sytlists are excellent and offer great advice
PROS: great service and advice
CONS: a little expensive, minimum product selection because of Aveda contract
Westdale Mall is in the perfect location: right in the heart of the SW side of Cedar Rapids.There are many nice stores in the mall (Yonkers, Von Maur, Maruices, Universitees, Bath and Body works, etc.). The downside is that much of the upper half of the mall is vacant! I would like to see more stores..
CONS: aging exterior, vacancies, needs more stores
Pet's Playhouse seems to be geared towards fish, but they have a large selection of amenities other pets need. They have a good selection of exotic pets such as reptiles, etc. Their prices are very reasonable and they buy from local breeders.
PROS: lots of pets to choose from and great price
CONS: hours, feeder crickets die quickly