Home to the University of Iowa, Iowa City is the county seat of Johnson County and the original capital of Iowa; its gold-domed Old Capitol Building is in the National Register of Historic Buildings. Adjacent and part of the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area is smaller Coralville, which in the mid-19th century was an important stopping-off point on the Mormon migration to Salt Lake City; it is close enough to share some Iowa City meeting veneus, although Iowa City is to the east of the Iowa River, Coralville to the west.
The nearest major airport to Iowa City is Eastern Iowa Airport (CID), which is 30 miles north of the city along I-380 in Cedar Rapids. Only Allegiant, American Eagle, Delta and United Airlines serve the airport, but they do as far southeast as Orlando and Tampa and as far west as Las Vegas and Phoenix.
The two cities do not yet have a convention center, but there are hotels here that step up to the plate regarding this absence. Hotel venues include the 280-room Coralville Marriott, which has a 60,000-square-foot conference center; the 234-room Sheraton Iowa City, which has 12,000 square feet of meeting space; the 97-room Holiday Inn Coralville, which has 6,500 square feet of meeting space; the 90-room Clarion Hotel Highlander Conference Center, which has seven meeting rooms and reception space for up to 350 persons, and the new, stylish, 56-room Hotel Vetro, which has 15,000 square feet of meeting space and a 4,800-square-foot roof deck.
There are unique function venues in Iowa City and Coralville, some connected with the University of Iowa. Choices include the Kirkwood Room at Governor's Ridge, a banquet facility in a trim mansion that can host up to 100 persons; the very unique, three-domed, wooden-roof, farmhouse-style Celebration Farm that has a soaring main barn able to fit 300 persons and made of 11 different types of wood, as well as a smaller barn for 150 and an outdoor amphitheater seating for 400. New as of August 2011 is the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts, which includes the 472-seat Jim L. Fausett Theater. Two options at the university are the Roy G. Karro Athletics Hall of Fame & Visitors Center, which has everything on show that a Hawkeyes' fan could wish for, and University of Iowa Campus Recreation & Wellness Center, which has its Outdoor Rental Center for use, among other spaces.
The Linn Street Cafe might be the finest dining in the region and has space for private events of up to 80 persons. Other great selections include the Mediterranean-inspired Vesta for 150 guests; Iowa River Power Restaurant, in a former, 19th-century flour mill overlooking the Iowa River, and BlackStone, which according to many gives Linn's a run for its money, with a Asian-Mediterranean menu and two private dining rooms for 30 and 60 persons, respectively. A great barbecue choice is the Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon, which regularly puts on musical acts and has space for private events of up to 500 persons (there's also a mechanical bull).