Kathleen Pegg, 27, Cedar Rapids Manager Communications & Research @ Priority One

Downtown Farmers Marke Kari Lammer took me to the first downtown Farmers Market post-flood, and I absolutely fell in love. We had a pretty impressive farmers market back home (in Detroit), but the quality and variety of produce, baked goods, flowers and crafts available here is unbelievable. My favorite booth by far is From Scratch. Their banana cupcakes? TO DIE FOR. Amazing. I took my husband and my dog to the downtown market a few weeks later and we had lemonade from Brewed Awakenings and breakfast burritos from Victors. We also picked up local honey and tons of local produce. It was a great way to learn about the area. I had no idea there were so many wineries in Iowa! Definitely a great place to start for people new in town. Downtown Farmers Market Downtown, Cedar Rapids
Amana Colonieshttp://hooplanow.com/files/2009/03/amanas.jpg My parents came to visit us over Labor Day weekend and we decided to check out the Iowa Festival of Beers at Millstream Brewery in the Amana Colonies. My parents now want to move to Iowa. We had a BLAST. Not only did we enjoy the live music, tasty snacks and amazing craft and home brews, but we decided to have dinner at the Ox Yoke Inn. It was some of the best food I've ever had. Amana Colonies
Helen G. Nassif YMCAhttp://hooplanow.com/files/2009/03/ymca.jpg One of the first things my husband and I did when we moved here was join a gym. I wish we would have waited. The downtown Y is beautiful and has everything you need for a complete workout. I love that they have an indoor track, great equipment and classes. I can't think of another place that gives you access to so many different options. Helen G. Nassif YMCA 207 Seventh Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
Irish Democrathttp://hooplanow.com/files/2009/03/irish-democrat.jpg Can you tell I like food? My first few weeks here, people in the office kept talking about the ID and these weird things called cheesy wontons. Finally, someone brought them in for an office party; the mystery was solved and I was hooked! My husband and I went to the ID that weekend and gorged ourselves on cheesy wontons. Now whenever one of us has a really bad day, the other one picks them up on the way home from work. Cheesy wontons always make the day better! Irish Democrat 3207 First Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids Kernelshttp://hooplanow.com/files/2009/03/kernels.jpg About a week and a half after the flood, my husband and I visited Cedar Rapids so that I could do some interviews and we could look for a dog-friendly apartment. This was my first trip to Cedar Rapids, and on our second night in town we went to a Kernels game. I knew immediately I was going to like it here. The weather was beautiful, the game was great and the beer was cheap. What more could you ask for? I even bought a T-shirt and wore it proudly to my husband's goodbye party the next weekend. Cedar Rapids Kernels 950 Rockford Rd. SW, Cedar Rapids www.kernels.com