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There's something about college towns that I have always found to be special. Perhaps it's because these places tend to be filled with so much hope, perhaps it's because they're populated by so many young and energetic people… I've never quite figured it out, but I've never really tried that hard, either. I just know that whenever I get an opportunity to visit a true college town, I jump at the chance. One of the few college towns I had never visited before was Iowa City. Fortunately for me, that all changed a couple of months ago when I stumbled into an opportunity to spend 24 hours there on an overnight trip. The only catch was that it was a last-minute invitation, I'd be on my own once we got there and I'd have to find my own lodging almost immediately upon arrival. Fortunately for me, I travel with my HotelTonight app, the app that's built for helping people find nice, clean and higher-end hotels at the last minute. I gleefully accepted the invitation, and it took me all of about two minutes to book an Iowa City hotel room. I was off to explore a new place.

The University

Obviously, the place to start when exploring Iowa City is the campus of the University of Iowa. This is a campus that is enormous, bucolic and beautiful in just about every way. The buildings range in age from brand-new to extremely old, the squares and common areas were bustling with activity and the students I spoke to while having coffee were all very happy to be attending. I enjoyed my time there so much that I went to the university's bookstore and spent a lot more money than I should have on clothes and other gear.

The Outdoors

After walking around on the campus for so long, I wanted to get a bit closer to nature. I heard about a nature preserve near campus, so I went over there to see what there was to see. What there was to see was an abundance of seemingly untouched wildlife and land. I walked near marshes, along bodies of water and under trees that were so massive it was hard to believe. I spent a couple of hours there as well, taking more photos than I'm sure I'll ever remember taking. Once again, the place was populated with really nice people.

The Dining

I've always enjoyed eating at a popular pizza joint when I'm on a big college campus, as this is a natural pace for great pizza. I heard about one that students loved, so I went there for dinner. It was decorated with a lot of wood, but the smell was unmistakable. I ordered the supreme pizza, and I couldn't believe that such a thin and crispy crust could support so much cheese and so many different toppings. I ate hungrily and talked to quite a few folks while doing so.

HotelTonight – Iowa City Hotels at the Ready

I was full and tired, and I needed to get some sleep. I walked over to my room and fell asleep almost immediately. I was thrilled to have enjoyed this experience, and I was happy to have had the help from HotelTonight.