Iowa City, Iowa, is ideal for literary retirees.
% over 50: 23%
Median home price: $164,000
Top state income tax: 8.98%
Cost of living index: 96
For the better part of a century, Iowa City has been a literary destination for writers who flock here for the University of Iowa's world-renowned writing workshops. But you needn't be an aspiring John Irving or T.C. Boyle to appreciate the city's creative appeal.
The Old Capitol Cultural District melds 19th-century architecture with quirky shops and innovative restaurants. In the summer, its pedestrian mall serves as center stage for free concerts, outdoor movie nights, a jazz festival, and an arts festival, complete with sand sculpting.
The art doesn't stop when the temperatures drop. National and local artists perform year round at the restored 1912 Englert Theatre, while the Riverside Theatre produces a half a dozen professional shows each season. For retirees who want a more hands-on experience, the university's lifelong enrichment classes run the gamut from salsa dancing and social networking to--of course--writing.See complete 2010 data and interactive map for Iowa City
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