The University of Iowa anchors Iowa City, which boasts a blossoming cultural scene and eclectic dining options. Two-day itinerary: http://www.midwestliving.com/travel/iowa/iowa-city/two-day-getaway-to-iowa-city
Drive around the Houston Heights area and you will find these colorful row houses that have a great view of a big park and the downtown skyline. Wouldn't it be fun to live in one of these? My optometrist owns one of these!