When you’re planning to move to a new city, one of the difficult choices you’ll have to make is deciding which part of town to live in. Because the Iowa City metro area includes not only a wide variety of fantastic neighborhoods but also many surrounding small towns, that choice is even more complicated. But don’t stress. The women behind the Iowa City Moms Blog want to help you make your decision by sharing what we know and love about the areas we live in. Today we’re talking about Solon.
Solon is a small (but growing) town situated about ten miles north of Iowa City along Highway 1. Commuters to both Cedar Rapids and Iowa City/Coralville might find Solon an ideal location, as it is about halfway between the two cities. As you can see from the school district boundary map, Solon’s borders run along the east edge of the Iowa River, encompassing all of the Lake Macbride area. With a population of just over 2000 people and its close proximity to Lake Macbride, Solon is the perfect place to live for people looking for a healthy small town with plenty to do.
Many Solon moms name the schools as the number one best thing about living in Solon. Academics, co-curriculars, and extracurricular activities are all emphasized at Solon Community School District, offering students a wide range of areas to pursue and excel in.
Local mamas call Solon a Foodie’s Paradise! For its small size, Solon boasts some of the very best restaurants in the area, with lots of farm-to-table options and gourmet cuisine. The following are some of our favorites:
Big Grove Brewery – Serving farm-to-table food with 14 craft tap lines
Salt Fork Kitchen – made from scratch, locally-sourced restaurant serving seasonal fare
El Sol – Mexican cuisine
Frida Kahlo – Mexican restaurant
Red Vespa – VPN- and APN-certified authentic Italian pizzaria
Nomi’s Restaurant – Asian cuisine
You’ll have to drive to one of the nearby “big cities” to find your typical big box stores, but Solon does offer several convenient businesses for families. Many amenities and conveniences are all available locally.
Palmer House Stable – Authentic rustic events center for weddings or parties
Solon Public Library – In addition to books, this library offers many programs, clubs, movie nights, and activities for kids and families.
Sam’s Main Street Market – Local grocery store open 7 days a week! Deli, dry-cleaning, bait, flowers, and more.
Casey’s General Store (Two locations: north and south) – Excellent pizza and convenience store fare
Parks and Recreation
If you love getting active in nature, Solon offers access to many parks, nature areas, and recreation opportunities. From beaches and walking trails to organized sports and programs, there is something for everyone.
Parks and Recreation
Lake Macbride State Park
Solon Recreation and Nature Area (SRNA)
WildThings program – a unique nature immersion program offered at Lakeview elementary through the DNR
Saddleback Ridge Golf Course
Lakeview OHV Park
If you’re looking for a faith community in the area, there are lots of opportunities to be involved in Solon’s churches, including excellent programs for children.
Solon offers a rare balance of quiet small-town life and bustling opportunity. Therefore, this is one small town where you won’t have to face the typical feelings of boredom and isolation. If you’re looking for a rural area to live with a short commute to the city, this might be the right fit for you.
Happy house hunting, and welcome to the Iowa City area!