Cedar Falls Apartments


A Guide to Cedar Falls Apartments and Neighborhoods

Becoming familiar with the different neighborhoods in Cedar Fall will help to determine which neighborhood will be the best fit for you, along with knowing how far your commute to the University of Northern Iowa campus will be. To help make your search for off-campus housing and the perfect Cedar Falls apartment easier, we have put together a list of neighborhoods that are near the University of Northern Iowa campus. Each of these neighborhoods is within walking distance to campus, or just a short bike, car, or bus ride away.

Running alongside the Cedar River is historic Downtown Cedar Falls. The charming Downtown area is the epitome of a Great American Main Street and has several blocks of eclectic shops and locally owned restaurants. Signs along the street lead residents and visitors around the area and to many historic landmarks.The area is easily walkable, great for bike riding, car-friendly, and you can even take the trolley system around the area. On Thursdays, many of the businesses stay open later and throughout the year many events, like ARTapalooza and Hops on Main, are held.

The Whitewater Park is a great spot for residents to enjoy over 100 miles of trail systems that run adjacent to Downtown. There are several art and entertainment venues, museums, and the popular SingleSpeed Brewing Co. to visit. The area has plenty of apartments for a variety of different residents from students to retirees. For three seasons out of the year, the community can also enjoy the open-air farmers market to buy fresh veggies, fruit, and dairy products.


College Hill
Located in the heart of Cedar Falls, just adjacent to the University of Northern Iowa campus, is the lively College Hill neighborhood. A diverse mix of students, faculty, families, retirees and other permanent residents call this vibrant College Hill home. The tree-lined, walkable streets boast both contemporary and historic housing that were built around the turn-of-the-century. As part of the College Hill Urban Revitalization Plan, many of the older homes are undergoing improvements to increase property values.

In addition, many of the older homes have been turned into student rentals or town down for apartments to be built. Many of the residents choose College Hill for the close distance to the University of Northern Iowa campus, in addition to the abundance of entertainment and restaurant options, and a booming art scene. Residents can enjoy a great diversity of shops, nightclubs, and businesses in College Hill, like the Hearst Center for the Arts. Here, you can enjoy two galleries, a sculpture garden, and recital hall. During the summer months the neighborhood hosts the College Hill Arts Festival and on each Thursday there is an open-air farmers market.


College Square
College Square, located east of College Hill, is right down the road from the University of Northern Iowa. In the middle of the College Square neighborhood is the College Square Mall which has nearly 50 different stores like Von Maur and Bath and Body Works for residents to shop at. The neighborhood has several residential communities and various apartment complexes. In addition, College Square is home to many national chain coffee shops, stores, and restaurants like Texas Roadhouse, Panera, and Buffalo Wild Wings. The Hart Reserve Nature Center trailheads also begin in College Square.

The University neighborhood is appropriately named for being home to the University of Northern Iowa campus. On campus, student and Cedar Falls residents alike can take advantage of the many activities and events. The Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center has over 300 shows every year from small musical performances to Broadway shows in each of their three concert halls.

There is the McLeod Center that hosts home basketball and volleyball games as well as providing a space for concerts from many popular artists like Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line is scheduled to play this April at the UNI-Dome. Besides a concert venue, the UNI-Dome is home to track and field events and football games, go panthers! Aside from the University of Northern Iowa, the majority of the neighborhood is farm fields and off-campus student housing apartments like the Quarters at Cedar Falls. Walking to College Hill is just a matter of minutes from University and Downtown is less than two miles away.

Industrial Park  
The Industrial Park neighborhood district of Cedar Falls is located off of HWY 20 and is accessible by the Cedar Falls trail system. Getting its name from the many businesses located in this neighborhood, there are many locally owned and operated companies but also national companies like the Target Distribution Center and Bossard.

As Industrial Park began to expand, more retail shops have gone up like Menards, Blain’s Farm & Fleet, and Wal-Mart Supercenter. More restaurant chains like Culver’s have been built, too. Industrial Park has more permanent residents and families due to many subdivision communities located in the neighborhood. Industrial Park also includes the Cedar Falls Visitor Center and both the North and South Prairie Lakes.  


As you continue to travel north of Downtown Cedar Falls and over the Cedar River you are entering the North neighborhood. Much of this area is wooded and houses, mainly family occupied, are scattered about. The neighborhood is perfect for any outdoor lover as this is where Black Hawk Park, a popular camping spot, and Big Woods Lake are located. The trail system also runs through North and residents can take in the beautiful scenery. Being that the North neighborhood is primarily wooded, there are fewer businesses located in here. However, you can find a Dollar General, Casey’s General Store, and Mary Lou’s Bar & Grill.  

Being that the North neighborhood is primarily wooded, there are fewer businesses located in here. However, you can find a Dollar General, Casey’s General Store, and Mary Lou’s Bar & Grill.  


Primarily a residential neighborhood, Northwest, is located north of University and west of Downtown. Northwest has an elementary, middle, and high school, so the are certainly draws in more families.Cedar Falls has two golf courses and the popular Pheasant Ridge Golf Course is located in Northwest.

Next door to the golf course is the Robinson-Dresser Sports complex that is home to the UNI softball team and provides people of all ages with baseball diamonds and tennis courts. After a game, a favored spot is 4 Queens Dairy Cream for some ice cream. For running errands or grabbing groceries residents can stop at Walgreen’s of or Fareway Grocery.

To recap, here are some helpful tips/reminders:

  • Most Northern Iowa students living off-campus in Cedar Falls live in the College Hill or University neighborhoods

  • Make sure your new place is easily accessible to shopping and grocery stores for running errands

  • Use Google Maps to determine the distance of a property you are considering to the University of Northern Iowa campus

Cedar Falls Violent Crimes Data

Cedar Falls violent crimes are well below Iowas crime rates. As you can see in the chart below, violent crimes in Falls dropped dramatically from 2011 to 2012 and has remained stable since.


The State of Iowas theft crime rate has remained fairly stable from 2010 to 2014 with a small decline since 2011. The theft crime rate for the City of Cedar Falls has remained well below the State of Iowa until a sharp increase in 2014. The theft crime rate is reported by a combination of various types of property damage and burglaries.