GPS: 41°39'N, 91°32'W
Smarty-pants Iowa City has more adults with a bachelor's degree (61 percent) than almost any other U.S. town (the country average is a paltry 27 percent). Home to the University of Iowa's famed writers' workshop, it has 41 public parks—most equipped with trails and many that overlook the dramatic Iowa River—right in city limits.
The Iowa City Bike Library, a quaint bike shop on E. College Street, leases new bikes for six-month try-outs ($20 deposit; www.bikelibrary.org). Grab some wheels for the day and cycle through City Park. Or hike through the Devonian Fossil Gorge in Coralville Lake Park www.coralville.org.
For the freshest lamb kebob this side of the Atlantic, go to Oasis Falafel, where they can top your pita with mango chutney and homemade pickled cabbage (www.oasisfalafel.com).
At Smiths’ B&B, a bright home in the historic north side neighborhood, you can seriously relax: a licensed masseur is onsite (doubles from $65; https://www.tripadvisor.com/).