The University of Iowa

Downtown Iowa City

Located right next to campus, Downtown Iowa City and the nearby Northside Marketplace are great spots to grab coffee or lunch, get your hair cut, pick up groceries, and explore unique shops and entertainment options. On Iowa! is a great time to learn what's available—look for the "Ask Me" booths Aug. 21-25 to get oriented to the campus and community. Learn more at the Iowa City Downtown District website.

Alumni-owned business graphic
Alumni Owned Businesses

You'll meet UI-alumni entrepreneurs all over—more than 70 of them own businesses in the Downtown and Northside. Find a list on the Downtown District website, or look for the Iowa alumni window cling when you're out and about.

Public pianos

Want to help bring a little music to downtown? Sign up to play one of the outdoor pianos solo or with a larger band. Sign up online.


BenchMarks was the first participatory public art project championed by the ICDD as part of the Community Gallery Program. The Downtown District is home to over 125 public benches, perfect for relaxing, reading, conversing, or simply people watching. In the summer of 2012, the ICDD brought together a group of artists who viewed the benches in another way -- as blank canvasses. Working with a team of local street artists, the City of Iowa City, and with financial support from the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, the ICDD initiated the BenchMarks project to bring the work of local artists to the public at-large.  - See more