Iowa City is town of about 70,000 permanent residents plus another 30,000 when school is in session. It is known best for being the original capital of the state of Iowa and for the University of Iowa. In years past it was one of the biggest party towns in America, but recent anti-drinking laws, the closing of many downtown bars, and an increase in law enforcement has dramatically changed the culture, especially for underage drinkers. Venues, exempt from some drinking ordinances have been springing up to fill the void left by the bars and have caused growth in the music, art, and live entertainment scene. Iowa City was also named a Unesco City of Literature in 2008. Football season can be fun or awful, depending on whether you like large drunk crowds, but there are many other collegiate, amateur, and professional athletic events such as cycling, cross-county skiing, basketball and others going on year round.
Iowa City draws a lot of its population and culture from Chicago, so if you go there be prepared to talk about the Cubs. Also, bikes and pedestrians rule the streets; it's best not to drive within the city.
Dude:What's the best place to live in Iowa?
Grrl: Uh, Des Moines.
Grrl: No. Iowa City, dummy.
Foreigner: America isn't as bad as I thought it would be.
Iowan:Seriously? Where have you visited?
Foreigner: Iowa City
Iowan: Oh, I see. America Lite. Just wait until you see what it's like down south.