HotelTonight – Great Hotels in Cedar Rapids
In recent years, business has taken me to the Midwest countless times. I've been lucky enough to explore cities all over Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin, but I had never even stepped foot into Iowa until my recent business trip to Cedar Rapids. As soon as I arrived, I noticed the welcoming, cheerful attitude of this Midwestern city, and over the course of my stay, I came to fall in love with the people and the atmosphere of Cedar Rapids. As I do whenever I book travel at the last-minute, I found my Cedar Rapids hotel through HotelTonight. For someone who travels frequently, having the HotelTonight app at my fingertips is a godsend. In just a few minutes on the app, I can book a great last-minute hotel no matter what city I find myself in that night. So once I checked in to my charming hotel in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I looked at my watch – I had just about 24 hours to explore the city before the workweek began, so I set out to see as much as I could of Cedar Rapids in just one day.
Ushers Ferry Historic Village
When I travel, I like to learn about the history of a place. To me, that's one of the best ways to truly understand the culture of a city, which is why my first stop in Cedar Rapids was Ushers Ferry Historic Village. This quaint village is located in the Seminole Valley, and it consists of 20 historic buildings that perfectly illustrate what life was like in this small Iowa town over 100 years ago. At first glance, Ushers Ferry Historic Village may seem like a tourist draw, but locals actually frequent this time capsule village for many community events and programs.
I knew next to nothing about Cedar Rapids prior to visiting, so I was surprised to discover that the city is full of Czech, Slovak and Moravian immigrants and their descendants. Thus, Czech culture is pervasive throughout Cedar Rapids, and it's most noticeable in the New Bohemia Main Street District, also known as Czech Village. This historic shopping district has been carefully restored to celebrate the neighborhood's Czech roots, and it's a great place to find great restaurants, performing and visual arts venues, and exciting nightlife.
If there's one thing I've discovered about the Midwest during my recent travels, it's that Midwesterners love their sports. So I wasn't surprised to find a vibrant sports scene in Cedar Rapids. This Iowa city may not have a major NFL or MLB team, but it does have plenty of other great options, such as the Cedar Rapids Kernels, a minor league baseball team that locals love to go support. Then, of course, there's Hawkeye Downs Speedway, a major racing venue that hosts everything from motocross races to car races to concerts. Hawkeye Downs is an entertainment epicenter for locals, so I decided to head to the venue to test my skills at go-cart racing. While I can't say that I was much good at it, I can say that it was one of the most fun activities I've found in my recent travels.
When you find yourself in the Midwest, with its sprawling plains and a sky that stretches for days, you can't help but fall in love with the outdoors all over again. Cedar Rapids made that particularly easy for me, since the city is home to countless beautiful public outdoor spaces that locals take advantage of. As a city dweller, I was immediately enamored with all of the greenery in Cedar Rapids, particularly in the Indian Creek Nature Center. The Center offers 210 acres of beautiful, diverse natural landscapes, from prairie to forest to wetlands, which means there's an outdoor setting for every visitor. While at the Indian Creek Nature Center, I stumbled across locals bird watching, hiking and fishing. If I were a Cedar Rapids local, this would be one of my favorite spots in the whole city.
HotelTonight – Book Your Last-Minute Cedar Rapids Hotel Now
Even though I only had one day to fully explore Cedar Rapids, I felt that I was able to see a great deal of the city. And, as always, I tried to see the city through a local's eyes, which is why I visited local hotspots and asked friendly Cedar Rapids residents for recommendations. My travels wouldn't have been nearly as fun or as memorable without HotelTonight, which makes it a breeze to book great last-minute hotels. Now that I have HotelTonight in my pocket, I know that I can spend more time exploring a city rather than hassling with finding and booking a hotel. With more time on my hands, I get to see more of cities like Cedar Rapids, and that's why I love traveling so much. If I return to this Iowa city in the future, whether for business or pleasure, I'll be sure to book my Cedar Rapids hotel through HotelTonight.