Cedar Rapids, Iowa was formally incorporated on January 15, 1849. The city was named for the rapids of the Cedar River, which was, itself, named for the many red cedar trees that grew nearby. At the time, the town's population was less than 400 people. Cedar Rapids grew in population during the 1850s. By the time it was reincorporated in 1856, around 1,600 people were living there with roughly a quarter of them Czech immigrants. Cedar Rapids continued to grow steadily throughout the 19th and 20th centuries thanks, in part, to the development of railroads and other industries.
Today, Cedar Rapids has a population of around 140,000 and is an economic hub of Iowa. The majestic Cedar River flows right through the center of the city, and one of the best ways to experience it is by visiting the beautiful Palisades-Kepler State Park. There, you can enjoy fishing, canoeing, hiking, and rock climbing. Another great outdoor haven in the city is the Indian Creek Nature Center, which features a large network of nature trails and offers the opportunity to learn about the area's ecosystems.
Czech culture is very present in Cedar Rapids, and you can learn all about it by visiting the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. Alternatively, you could head to the African American Museum of Iowa to learn about African American culture and history, or you stop by the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art to see the wonderful exhibits. Another great option is to head over to the Paramount Theatre to see Orchestra Iowa perform. The theater, built in the 1920s, is a local landmark with a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
Annual Marion Arts Festival – The Annual Marion Arts Festival is a free, family-friendly event taking place in late May in Marion, which is only 12 miles northeast of Cedar Rapids. The festival features fantastic artists, delicious food, and even a half-marathon and 5K run.
Cedar Rapids Taco & Margarita Festival – Come out to the McGrath Amphitheatre in early June to enjoy this annual event, which will feature plenty of tasty tacos and refreshing margaritas.
Cedar Rapids Caribbean Jerk Festival – The annual Caribbean Jerk Festival is happening in Cedar Rapids in early September and will feature jerk chicken, chili cook-off contests, limbo contests, and much more!
Indiana Sand Dunes National Park lies in the northwestern corner of Indiana four hours and 10 minutes southeast of Cedar Rapids on the shores of Lake Michigan. The park's most notable feature is its collection of rugged dunes, but it also contains rivers, forests, wetlands, and prairies. Popular activities for visitors include horseback riding, hiking, biking, fishing, and paddling. The beautiful park, which was granted national park status in 2019, is one of the newest national parks in the country.
You'll find Gateway Arch National Park right in the heart of St. Louis, Missouri, four and a half hours southeast of Cedar Rapids. The park is home to the iconic 630-foot arch that towers high above the Mississippi River. If you want to get the full experience, you can take a trolley tour to the very top of the arch and enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the region. The arch marks the location where Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition. The park also features several museums and historic buildings that you can explore during your visit.
If you drive nine hours northwest of Cedar Rapids, you will reach South Dakota's Badlands National Park. The park is known for its breathtaking landscape, which is one of the most unique in the country. The alien-looking park features numerous eroded buttes and pinnacles jutting out of the ground. Visitors can partake in hiking, biking, backcountry camping, stargazing, and wildlife observation. The park is inhabited by a variety of interesting creatures, including bison, prairie dogs, and bighorn sheep.
Wapsipinicon State Park lies in Eastern Iowa a half-hour northeast of Cedar Rapids and comprises roughly 400 acres of picturesque scenery. The park lies on the banks of the mighty Wapsipinicon River and contains 3.5 miles of lovely multi-use trails. There are also several well-known landmarks in the area, including a three-span bowstring arch bridge, the bowl-shaped Horse Thief Cave and the breezy Ice Cave.
An hour north of Cedar Rapids is Backbone State Park, the oldest state park in Iowa, and it comprises 2,000 acres. Visitors to the park can enjoy water-based recreation on the nearby lake, hiking and biking on the 21 miles of scenic trails, and touring several historic buildings. The most popular aspect of the park is the Devil's Backbone hike, which will take you to one of the highest points in the state.
Located near the city of Maquoketa, an hour northeast of Cedar Rapids, Maquoketa Caves State Park is known for its unique geological landmarks. The park contains 13 natural limestone caves that visitors can explore. The caves are linked by lush hiking trails and may have once been inhabited by ancient native peoples. The park also features an interpretive center, which is open every weekend between April 15 and October 15.
Iowa features several interesting monuments and landmarks, such as the Effigy Mounds National Monument, which lies in the northeastern corner of the state and two hours north of Cedar Rapids. Native Americans have regarded the site as a sacred space for centuries, and the ancient mounds are in a wide variety of shapes, including some for different animal species.
Iowa City was once the capital of the state, and if you head there now, you can visit the Old Capitol Building. The building is the centerpiece of the University of Iowa's campus and has been preserved as a fascinating museum.
About two and a half hours southwest of Cedar Rapids, you can stop by the famous Bridges of Madison County. The bridges, which inspired the 1995 romance movie, are indeed real-life landmarks. There are six of the original 19 covered bridges still remaining, and you can see them in person.
When you need a peaceful place to camp overnight near Cedar Rapids, one spot to consider is Lazy Acres RV Park, 22 minutes northwest of Cedar Rapids, which features 76 RV campsites with full hookups. You can refill your propane tank while you're there, and the campground contains an on-site pond and a great playground for the kids.
Another campground that's worth considering is the BEYONDER Getaway at Sleepy Hollow, which is a half-hour southwest of Cedar Rapids. When you rent one of the 105 full-hookup RV sites, you'll also have access to a playground, pool, pond, and a variety of amenities.
You could also travel an hour and 12 minutes southeast of Cedar Rapids to stay at Interstate RV Park, which boasts 98 RV campsites with full hookups. The park also features a camp store and free Wi-Fi, and there's a truck stop within walking distance.
In most areas, the price to rent a motorhome is around $200 a night and the price to rent a towable trailer is around $120 a night.What does RVshare Protection cover with my Cedar Rapids, IA RV rental?
RVshare's protection plan standard package covers up to $300,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage based on the value of the RV. It also includes free 24/7 roadside assistance and free towing and tire service. For more information on RVshare insurance, click here.What do I need to know before renting an RV in Cedar Rapids, IA?
Cedar Rapids has freeway and highway access to make RV driving a breeze. The city also has ample parks, bodies of water, and open spaces to visit. Be sure to include time in your plans to explore the Indian Creek Nature Center, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, or the Czech Village / New Bohemia District.What are the RV rental requirements in Cedar Rapids, IA?
There is no special license needed to rent an RV, but it never hurts to check state websites. if you are unsure about traveling there and any regulations they may have, double-checking with the state will provide some peace of mind!What are some tips for first-time RV renters in Cedar Rapids, IA?
Renting an RV in Cedar Rapids, IA means endless blue skies and wide open roads. With all the wide open space between destinations, make sure you have a full tank of gas and plenty of food before you hit the road. You'll find some RV campgrounds with pools and other fun amenities. Busy season is in the summer so book early to get your spot, or go off-season to avoid crowds.What are the minimum age requirements for renting an RV in Cedar Rapids, IA?
The minimum age requirement for renting an RV is 25.What is included in my Cedar Rapids, IA RV rental?
You should find any amenities that are included with your rental in the listing details. But it never hurts to check in with the owner before you arrive at the RV or have it delivered to ensure you have everything that is needed to have a fun and enjoyable trip!Are there pet friendly RVs for rent in Cedar Rapids, IA?
Looking for a pet friendly RV rental? Use the pet-friendly filter when searching on RVshare.com to find the perfect one for you!Can I have my Cedar Rapids, IA RV rental delivered to a specified location?
Many owners on RVshare.com offer delivery, and will even set it up for you at the campsite. Choose the 'Delivery' filter to narrow down your search results to RVs that can be brought to your home or destination. Check the listing details for any information regarding extra fees for delivery, or ask the owner if you are unsure.Are there one way rental options from Cedar Rapids, IA?
One way rentals can add flexibility to your trip, but there are typically costs associated with returning the RV back to the owner. Learn more about one way rental options at rvshare.com/one-way-rv-rentals.