Passionate About Iowa City
and the Moms Who Live Here.

Choosing an Iowa City Neighborhood: A Mom’s Guide to Coralville

Sixteen years ago, my husband and I were looking for a new place to live with our one-year-old son (and, unbeknownst to us at the time, his younger brother who would join us eight months later!) We settled into a small duplex in Coralville, fell in love with the community, and haven’t looked back. Five kids and two houses later, we are still grateful that we made Coralville our home all those years ago.

iowa city neighborhoods coralville

What We Love About Coralville:


Coralville is unique in that it is a convergence of big-city amenities and small-town charm. Its proximity to the Iowa City and the University of Iowa means that residents are just a short 5-10 minute drive from world class cultural activities, incredible health care, and of course, some of the best collegiate sports in the nation. Another unique feature of Coralville is the bus system; not many towns with a population of approx. 20,000 would have a public transit system as comprehensive as Coralville’s.


There are four elementary schools that are situated in Coralville: Coralville Central, Kirkwood, Wickham, and Borlaug. (Coralville Central, Kirkwood and Wickham serve only Coralville students, while Borlaug primarily serves students on the West side of Iowa City.) Parts of north Coralville also feed into James Van Allen Elementary, which is located on the south side of North Liberty. (You can find links to all of the schools on the Iowa City Community School District website)

Northwest Junior High is the only secondary school located in Coralville and serves students from Coralville and the Westside of Iowa City. Students in the northernmost neighborhoods of Coralville attend North Central Junior High in North Liberty, and all Coralville schools feed into West and Liberty High Schools (depending on the neighborhood).

Biking and Walkability

Many of Coralville’s neighborhoods are just a short walk away from grocery stores, parks, recreation areas, the library, shopping, and other services. And if you’re a fan of biking, you’ll love all of the wonderful trails situated throughout the town (you can view a comprehensive map of Coralville’s trails and overwidth sidewalks here.)

Abundance of Parks and Recreation Amenities

Coralville is home to several conveniently-located parks (you can view the full list here). As an added bonus, most of Coralville’s parks include playground equipment for both older and younger kids. In addition, the Coralville Recreation Center offers a wide variety of programming for residents of all ages. You can view the latest program offerings here. Types of programming include youth and adult sports, before and after school programs, summer care, and arts and enrichment programs.

Concerts and live performances can be enjoyed at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, including top-notch community theatre presented by City Circle Acting Company of Coralville.

Library Love

I can’t say enough wonderful things about the Coralville Library. It’s one of my family’s favorite places in town; in fact, my teenage son spends a large amount of his free time browsing their shelves! The knowledgeable and friendly staff can help you find just what you’re looking for. It’s a beautiful facility with a lovely children’s section, a private nursing room, a cozy fireplace, a teen reading room, and ample meeting space. There’s even a coffee shop attached where you can grab sandwiches, beverages, and snacks.

Shopping galore

Coral Ridge Mall features over a hundred stores, several restaurants in its food court (including Zombie Burger!), an ice rink, and a large movie theatre. In addition, Coral Ridge Mall is home to the Iowa Children’s Museum.

Another great shopping destination is the Iowa River Landing. The Landing offers a more upscale shopping experience and is a great place to “Arrive, Unwind, and Indulge.” You can view the list of Iowa River Landing shops, restaurants, and amenities here.

“Fest” Fun

We love throwing big parties in Coralville! Each Fourth of July we host FourthFest, a celebration featuring a free community concert, a parade, and of course, fireworks. We kick off football season with FryFest, a celebration of all things Hawkeye. Then we beat our winter blahs each January with WinterFest, a fun family event.

Coralville is a wonderful place to live. My husband and I are so grateful our children are growing up in this thriving, nurturing community. As we like to say here…

“We just can’t hide that Coralville pride!” 

Spend some time with us; we think you’ll agree. 


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One Response to Choosing an Iowa City Neighborhood: A Mom’s Guide to Coralville

  1. Molly Bellew April 3, 2017 at 11:08 pm #

    I love Coralville too! Been living here for three years and absolutely, love the friendly atmosphere here. I worked at one of the lovely community based stores for 2.5 years and, still have customers say hi to me when out in public. One of the best places I’ve ever been to for sure. I have my own toddler, who went to an incredible in home daycare for just over a year before they moved. There are some wonderful people here in Coralville, I wouldn’t change a thing about this place.

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