Hotels in East Central Iowa

With no professional teams in the state, college sports are a big deal in East Central Iowa. Iowa City is the proud home of the University of Iowa and its NCAA Division I athletic teams: the Hawkeyes. Hawkeyes compete in the Big Ten Conference against rough-and-tumble teams including Ohio State, Penn State, and the University of Michigan.

Hawkeye home games bring out the black and the gold, and immersing yourself in the energy of college sports in Iowa City is an electrifying experience. You can catch Hawkeyes football games at Kinnick Stadium, basketball games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and baseball games at Duane Banks Field.

In autumn, you’ll also encounter ‘Friday Night Lights’ at high school football games all across the region. Attending one of these weekly matchups is a unique way to connect with the local culture and small-town ethos that Iowa is known for. Prefer baseball? Cheer for the Cedar Rapids Kernels Minor League Baseball team at Veterans Memorial Stadium. For thrills on the ice, head to a RoughRiders Tier 1 junior hockey league game at The Stable in Cedar Rapids.

University of Iowa

University of Iowa

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Top Things to Do

Golf Course in Iowa

Get Your Golf Game On

Iowa’s easy rolling plains and tranquil countryside are made for golfing. Discover more than 70 golf courses in East Central Iowa, including Cedar Rapids Championship Course - one of the highest ranked championship courses in the state. Blue Top Ridge at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort is also a favorite for its breathtaking views, waterfront setting, and diverse terrain.

Herbert Hoover House in Iowa

American History: The Orphan President

Learn how an orphan became the 31st President of the United States at the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. Located in West Branch, this well-preserved, two-room cottage is where the Depression-era President was born. He moved away after being orphaned at age 9, but the home offers insight into his simple beginnings - and how hard work, education, and faith made his American Dream come true.

Girl in a Museum in Iowa

Fantastic Art and Culture Museums

Broaden your horizons at one-of-a-kind museums that showcase Iowa’s distinct personality. Explore American history at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum and Library. Dive into Iowa’s ethnic heritage at the National Czech and Slovak Museum, which has been recently expanded. Art lovers will find 2,000 years of masterpieces at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, which is known for its Grant Wood collection and studio.

Lake Pier in Iowa

Hike, Bike, Float, and Fish

Find outdoor adventures in East Central Iowa. Walk an ancient sea floor scattered with fossils at Devonia Fossil Gorge, a natural wonder from 375 million years ago. Float down the Wapsipinicon River at Pinicon State Park. For outstanding boating and fishing, head to Cedar Valley Park, Lake Darling State Park, or Clark’s Ferry Recreation Area on the Mississippi River. Love to hike? Follow trails to cool geological formations at Wildcat Den State Park.

Football in Iowa

Hawkeyes College Sports

Go Hawkeyes! Here in the eastern part of Iowa, sports excitement revolves around the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. Part of the Big Ten Conference in the NCAA Division I, the Hawkeyes are based in Iowa City - and home games light up the town. Watch Hawkeyes college football games at Kinnick Stadium and basketball games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Be sure to wear your black and gold.

Iowa Map Pin

Discover Best Western Hotels in Iowa

With 18 Best Western locations in Iowa ~ you're bound to find something new where you're headed.