For the better part of a century, this city has been a 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 to appreciate the city's appeal.
The Old Capitol Cultural District melds 19th-century architecture with quirky shops and innovative restaurants and in summer offers free concerts, outdoor movie nights, a jazz festival, and an arts festival.
For retirees who want a more hands-on experience, the university's lifelong enrichment classes run the gamut from rowing to Russian literature.
The downside? Frigid winters.
Think you might want to move once you're no longer chained to a desk? This quiz can help point you in the right direction.