Cedar Rapids gets four distinct seasons and is warmest during the summer months of July through to early September. This is a good time to visit thanks to nice weather, but the city can be visited year-round. It is likely that the cost of flights and accommodation would be lower during the colder months of December through March. Visitors travelling to Cedar Rapids during this time should pack a winter jacket and warm layers.
Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa and offers many sites, attractions and activities to suit every type of traveller and interest level. The city is located on both sides of the Cedar River. Visitors will find everything from museums and shopping, to a wide variety of restaurants, accommodation, and attractions suited to all types of travellers. Everyone from outdoor enthusiasts, to families with young children, to history buffs will find something to do in the city.
One popular place to visit in Cedar Rapids is Brucemore, a National Trust Historic Site. The 1886 Queen Anne-style mansion sits on 26 acres and can be toured, along with the grounds. Events and concerts are often held here, but in general the landscaped grounds make for a nice place to explore during warmer months. Another attraction for those who enjoy history is Ushers Ferry Historic Village. Here you’ll find 20 historic buildings that show what life would have been like in small town Iowa between 1890 and 1910. Those who prefer museums can visit several including Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Iowa Children’s Museum, and the African American Museum of Iowa.
Cedar Rapids is also home to many parks and trails, which make it easy to get active outdoors. Ellis Park is 416 acres and located on the shore of the Cedar River. The park has an 18-hole golf course, duck pond, outdoor ice rink, swimming and spray pool, tennis courts, and boat ramps. The Sac and Fox Trail is the oldest National Recreation Trail in Iowa and is almost 7.5 miles (12 km) in length. Other trails include the Cedar River Trail, and the Boyson Trail.
Depending on the type of traveller, the best ways to get around in Cedar Rapids is either by car or the public bus system. A car would be more convenient for families with young kids, or for those who need to get around the city quickly or who are on a fixed schedule. Otherwise the bus can be an affordable way to travel. Buses run from early morning to evening Monday to Friday and on reduced schedule on Saturday. Keep in mind there is no bus service on Sundays.
The best way to get into Cedar Rapids from the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) is by car, taxi, or public bus, depending on personal needs and preferences. Taxis are readily available at the airport, and there are car rental counters for anyone wishing to rent a vehicle. A public bus serves the airport as well.