Published Date Author: , March 19th, 2016

Iowa City Town Hall - Donald and Ray

Iowa City has often been referred to as the “Athens of the Midwest” because of it’s rich cultural and educational offerings. Two of Iowa’s certified cultural and entertainment districts are positioned in the heart of Iowa City. The University of Iowa campus, intertwined with Downtown, showcases the Old Capitol Museum, the Pentacrest Museums and other cultural attractions throughout their community.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized Iowa City as the world’s third City of Literature joining Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia. It is THE only city of Literature in North America! That designation provides additional international luster to the community and serves to validate the area’s long history of nurturing the literary arts and those who appreciate them. Pound for pound, this area constitutes the most literate community in the world!

Iowa City - Donald and RayNaturally we were very interested in visiting Iowa City and it really is a tremendous place! We were welcomed to the city by Joshua Schamberger, the President of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. In our travels from coast to coast, this gentleman was the most professional director of any Convention and Visitor’s Bureau that we have ever encountered. His assistant, Clarissa McPheron, Director of Creative Services at the CVB assisted in our scheduling and was extremely professional.

Brown Street Inn Bed and Breakfast - Donald and RayOur first stop was to check into The Brown Street Inn Bed and Breakfast. It is owned by Mark Ruggeberg and Bob Brooks. They have operated the Inn for more than 10 years. It is located at 430 Brown Street which is just a short walk to downtown. It is located in a lovely two story old home and decorated to perfection. Casual elegance in Iowa City’s historic Brown Street neighborhood.

It is a 1913 Dutch Colonial Style Mansion and located on a very quiet street and within walking distance to downtown as well as to the University of Iowa campus. Mark and Bob are fabulous hosts. Their website is Their toll free number to make reservations is 319.338.0435. Their email is They have 5 rooms and one huge suite.

Brown Street Inn Bed and Breakfast - Donald and RayThey have a computer for guests as well as WiFi for those who bring their laptops. This is one of the finest B and B’s where we have ever stayed. These gentlemen do EVERYTHING the right way.

While we were there we met other guests who had stayed there several times in the past. We can certainly understand that once you stay at their Inn that you would want to stay there again and again and again. The first morning when we were there we met two delightful guests from eastern Iowa who were celebrating their anniversary…. Linda and Henry Neuman, both attorneys from a city in Eastern Iowa.

She was the first woman to serve as a member of the Iowa Supreme Court in it’s 150 year history. She and her attorney husband were extremely interesting to talk with over breakfast and both are full of stories of their past. We need more people like that! Congratulations on your Anniversary! Another couple staying at the B and B were Kirsten and Ross Smith from greater Indianapolis. Since we had just been to Indianapolis the month before we had a lot to talk about.

That is just one of the many reasons why we love staying at a B and B is that you get to meet such wonderful, exciting and interesting people and many times we run in to them again in our travels. We have stayed in over 100 B and B’s and The Brown Street Inn is one of our very favorite ones.

In Part Two of our travel columns on Iowa City we will tell you about the many things to do and see and the wonderful dining opportunities that the town has to offer. For a city this size it is really remarkable how much they have to offer. No wonder so many people from coast to coast love to visit Iowa City! Before going, be sure and visit

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at and visit their website at

Iowa Gay Travel Resources

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