Trying to figure out where to take your next conference or event? Look no further than right here in the Iowa City area, where we are consistently ranked as one of the best places to live, retire, and do business. Come as strangers and leave as friends. We are ready to welcome you with open arms and endless possibilities.
Here are six reason why you should host your next conference or event in the Iowa City area!
You can’t have a successful conference or event without the right accommodations. Hotels and meeting space play a huge factor in this. The Iowa City area has over 35 hotels totaling for 3700+ rooms, giving planners ample options for attendees to lay their heads. They are located in several different areas around town providing easy access to everything the surrounding community has to offer. With those hotels comes over 120,000 square feet of meeting space, ranging all shapes and sizes and perfect for conventions, speakers, presentations, meals, etc. The hotels with the most meeting space include:
- Coralville Hyatt Regency Hotel & Conference Center – 60,000 sq ft
- Courtyard by Marriott Iowa City University Heights – 13,000 sq ft
- Highlander Iowa City – 13,000 sq ft
- Graduate Iowa City – 12,000 sq ft
- Radisson Hotel and Conference Center Coralville – 6,500 sq ft
- Hilton Garden Inn Iowa City – 2,800 sq ft
One of the main factors that makes the Iowa City area great is the attractions and the variety of them. Our city is home to the University of Iowa which offers one of the more popular attractions in the state with the Old Capitol Museum. The gold dome is an iconic site and you can get free tours of the inside. This building is part of the Pentacrest Museums which also has the Museum of National History right next door. Stop in there, and see Rusty the Giant Sloth among many other exhibits. Don’t forget about the sports fans. The Iowa Hawkeyes have 7 men’s athletic team and 13 women’s teams, so there is always an Iowa sporting event happening during the year. Right next to the university is Downtown Iowa City with a plethora of shopping and food options. Make sure to check out the Pedestrian Mall!
A very unique attraction is the Devonian Fossil Gorge. This archeological wonder was unearthed after the Coralville Lake and Cedar River flood of 1993, then again in 2008. The limestone ground reveals ancient fossil remains of an ocean floor from 375 million years ago. As visitors make their way through the gorge, they will see rocks that get progressively older with millions of fossils of all shapes and sizes throughout.
We previously mentioned Xtream Arena that lies in the Iowa River Landing. It is home to the minor league professional hockey team the Iowa Heartlanders and the University of Iowa Volleyball Team. There are other events inside year-round from concerts to expos and shows. The Iowa River Landing is a walkable district filled with restaurants, shops, and boutiques.
These are just a few of the many attractions the Iowa City area has. Whatever you like, we have it!
The Iowa City area is a foodies dream with plenty of spots that can accommodate parties of all sizes. We have a wide variety of places and cuisines so for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you are sure to find something you will enjoy.
Downtown Iowa City is surrounded with great dining options. Want comfort fare with a twist? Pullman Bar and Diner is the spot for you. Seafood? St. Burch Tavern has the areas only raw bar. Pizza? Pagliai’s specializes in crispy thin crust. Get fancy with it and go to Joseph’s Steakhouse or Vue Rooftop. Head to the northside neighborhood for several other options including Oasis Falafel which is an area favorite Mediterranean spot.
Visiting the Iowa River Landing in Coralville? Everything is within walking distance. 30hop is one of the most popular places in the area. The Iowa Athletic Club and Tribute Eatery & Bar are also great places to go. Head to Marquee Pizzeria for wood-fired pizza. Another Mediterranean-inspired eatery is Vesta. There is also Konomi to get your sushi fix.
Need some extra inspiration? Check out our blog: Eat Around the World in the Iowa City Area.
4. Ease of Travel
Traveling can sometimes be a pain. Whether you’re flying or driving, you never know what could happen. We are lucky here in the Iowa City area to be within 300 miles of several major midwest cities as you can see on the map above. Also making driving here easy are major interstates and highways that dissect around us. Interstate 80 runs right through Coralville with Interstate 308/Highway 218 crossing is on the west side of town.
Iowa’s most convenient aiport, The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID), is only 20 minutes north of town. With five airlines and 17 direct flight, The Eastern Iowa Airport can get you where you need to go.
5. Off-Site Meeting Space
You’ve already seen how much meeting space we have but sometimes staying in conference rooms the whole time can get old, no matter how nice they are. The Iowa City area has over 40 great spots for off-site meeting space. A lot of places have already been mentioned above can accommodate parties of any size and welcome them with open arms.
You could get private space at a local restaurant or brewery, or utilize one of our many theaters including the Englert Theatre or Hancher Auditorium. You could even host your group or event inside one of our many arenas, including Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Xtream Arena, or in the press box at Kinnick Stadium. There are also outdoor spots like the Hotel Chauncey rooftop or the rooftop at FilmScene on the Pedestrian Mall. Wanna get out of the city? Walker Homestead is a farm/winery on the west side of town and Cedar Ridge is a distillery/winery north of town. Both have great spaces to bring groups!
6. OUR TEAM!
Our Think Iowa City staff along with the Iowa City Area Sports Commission team are here to help make your conference/event the best is possibly can be. We can help you in any way you need and get your foot in the door at any place you want to go.