Unlike other states, the state of Iowa has very few master-planned retirement communities, high rise condos or country club golf resorts. Instead, Iowa offers retirees a small town life, conventional family values, a low cost of living and one of the lowest crime rates in the country. The tax rate, however, is above the national average.
There are a variety of activities for seniors to enjoy depending upon the area of the state that you are considering. The northeastern area of the state of Iowa is a place to enjoy not only beautiful fall scenery but also historic river towns with riverboat casinos.
Eastern Iowa prides itself in being a cultural destination. Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Davenport are all rich in cultural activities. The Amana Colonies are a group of seven villages located just outside of Iowa City. Sometimes mistaken for Amish, this group of German pietists, moved from the Buffalo, New York area to east-central Iowa in 1855. They lived a self-sufficient, communal lifestyle for over 80 years until the mid-1930's. Today, it is mainly known for its restaurants, woodworking and craft shops, wine shops and the Millstream Brewery.
Located in the center of the state is Des Moine. Not only is it the state's largest city but it is also the political, economic and cultural center of the state. Here retirees can enjoy The Iowa Historical Museum, the Science Center of Iowa, the IMAX Dome Theater, an Arts Center, a Botanical Garden, the Riverwalk, the Sculpture Park, the Downtown Farmers' Market and many other cultural events and attractions. Some of the many festivals include the annual Iowa State Fair, the World Food Festival and The Des Moines Arts Festival.
Western Iowa has some of the most beautiful scenery in the state of Iowa. Here, retirees can enjoy the Loess Hills, the Iowa Great Lakes and the Missouri River. Northwest Iowa is home to the largest concentration of wind turbine farms in the world. In Souix City, located in northwest Iowa along the Missouri River, seniors can enjoy over 1132 acres of beautiful parks. Council Bluff, in southwest Iowa at the base of the Loess Hills, is known for its' casino resorts.
If you enjoy golf, there are over 400 public and private courses across the state of Iowa with the largest number of courses being located in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Souix City areas.
Like most of the Midwest, Iowa's climate is considered to be a humid continental climate. If the weather is an important factor is your decision as to where is the best place in America for you to retire, the state of Iowa may not be a place that you will want to consider. Winters can be harsh with temperatures below freezing and abundant snowfall being quite common. Severe weather season begins in the spring and lasts through much of the summer when there is an average of 50 days of thunderstorms and 37 tornadoes per season. Summers are hot and humid with high temperatures hovering between 90 and 100 degrees.
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