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4 Reasons to Visit Graduate Iowa City This Summer

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Hey, Hawkeyes! The newest Graduate hotel just opened in Iowa City barely a mile from Kinnick Stadium.

Between events on the University of Iowa campus and in downtown Iowa City, this literary city has a lot to offer this summer. And at Graduate Iowa City, we’re following suit. Get geared up for a tailgate, hear some jazz, celebrate RAGBRAI and more at our newly opened hotel.

Out-of-towners, take note — there are plenty of reasons to swing through Iowa City this summer.



Football season will be here before you know it. Get your Iowa Hawkeyes fan gear at the Tailgate pop-up shop in our lobby on June 23. The brand is bringing its best black and gold looks, including T-shirts, tanks, and sweatpants. Get a sneak peek of the goods at the Tailgate University of Iowa online shop.

The event runs from 3–8 p.m., and a local jazz ensemble will be there providing some music to shop to. Come by and check it out while you’re in the neighborhood for the Downtown Iowa City Block Party.



Kick-off your Fourth of July celebrations with the Iowa City Jazz Festival, which runs from June 29 through July 1. See established musicians and up-and-comers during the three-day fest.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, we’re sponsoring a performance by the Behn Gillece Quartet on the Main Stage. Check out the full schedule here.

The weekend ends with a bang — a full-blown fireworks display over the University’s Pentacrest lawn on Sunday night.



Join us for a night of creative expression and Iowa pride with Brush and Barrel. This fun, intimate painting class is open to artists of all levels — no prior art experience required! Instructors from Brush and Barrel guide you step-by-step as you create a sunset scene on a 20” Iowa-shaped wood surface.

Register for the class on the Brush and Barrel website. The class starts at 6 p.m. in the Graduate Iowa City lobby.



Book it to Iowa City, bikers! For the first time in 42 years, the town is an overnight stop during RAGBRAI.

What’s RAGBRAI, you ask? RAGBRAI stands for Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. During this seven-day trek, bikers make their way across the great state of Iowa. The riders start near Iowa’s western border and head east toward the Mississippi River.

Iowa City last hosted a RAGBRAI overnight in 1976, so the town is pulling out all the stops to make it a memorable return. You can check out the route, which takes the bikers right through the heart of the University of Iowa campus, on the Iowa City RAGBRAI site.

At Graduate Iowa City, we’ll have a RAGBRAI-themed photo booth and live jazz on the patio of Gene’s. The official Iowa City RAGBRAI bash includes refreshments from local food and beverage vendors and music from Blitzen Trapper, the Jayhawks and some great local acts. The music is free and runs from 4­–10 p.m.

And stay tuned for info about our Grand Opening event for Graduate Iowa City. It’s going to be lit(erary)! Follow the hotel on Facebook for updates.


Photo by thinkiowacity.

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