Iowa : Safety by City
- Arnolds Park
- Cedar Falls
- Cedar Rapids
- Clear Lake
- Council Bluffs
- Des Moines
- Fort Dodge
- Fort Madison
- Iowa City
- Mason City
- North Liberty
- Pleasant Hill
- Polk City
- Sioux City
- Spirit Lake
- Storm Lake
- The Amana Colonies
- West Des Moines
Coralville, Iowa, has only been a city since 1857, but it’s named after an event from 375 million years ago.
Coralville is part of the Iowa City region, which is home to fossil beds and archeological sites containing, among many things, coral.
Coralville is in eastern Iowa, just north of Iowa City and just south of North Liberty.
This metro area is one of the fastest-growing cities in America.
Even from April 2020 to July 2022, Coralville grew almost 3%.
With that growth comes a growing list of things to do and places to see.
The Devonian Fossil Gorge is the fossil bed of an ancient lake that once covered this region and it’s closer to Coralville than Iowa City, even though it technically has an Iowa City address.
The Iowa River Landing is one of the newest spots in Coralville, with a live/work/play atmosphere developing on the banks of the Iowa River.
There’s more shopping to do at the Coral Mall, which is also home to the Iowa Children’s Museum.
Coralville brings a nice balance to the bigger college town of Iowa City and the sleepy bedroom community of North Liberty, with hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking in some of the state’s best outdoor areas nearby.
These are three of the safest communities in Iowa.
Warnings & Dangers in Coralville
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a great balance here of low crime rates with a lot to do. It's also an affordable area, so you won't go broke trying to see it all.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Coralville has its own public transportation system, called Coralville Transit. Iowa City has its own system that is connected to Coralville. Coralville Transit will also take you through the main parts of North Liberty. You can also call taxis and rideshares. There's low risk with any option and transit fares are just $1, but there's a 24-hour pass you can purchase for $2.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk of being pickpocketed, with a one in 63 chance of being a theft victim. You should lock the car doors and roll up the windows when you park, as car break-ins are the greatest "crime of opportunity" risk in the city.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
There is a medium risk here because of all the events that can happen throughout the year. In any Midwest city, you'll face a risk of floods, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and winter weather. If you are informed about the risks and know how to protect yourself, it's not a reason to avoid visiting here.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There's low risk with just four robberies reported in 2021, which was down from 11 in 2020. Petty theft is more common here than violent theft.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There's a low risk that Coralville would be a target, being a small town of just 22,000 people. You can rest easy knowing that the risk is almost non-existent, but the Iowa Department of Homeland Security has a plan for a worst-case scenario.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There are no scams reported that are outside of the normal ones in a residential area. None of the scams target tourists. If you have questions about possible new scams before your visit, call the Coralville Police at (319) 248-1800.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk for women visiting here as the crime levels are low and there are a lot of things that would make the trip interesting for women. Nearby Iowa City is a college town with a lot of nightlife, so just use basic caution if you're out for a night on the town.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2021 Consumer Confidence Water Report shows no violations. All water meets or exceeds the required standards. You can feel safe the water has a low risk.
Safest Places to Visit in Coralville
The Iowa Children’s Museum is fun for the whole family.
There are 14 ongoing exhibits that explore your child’s imagination.
From farms to flight school to fine art, you can experience rides, interactive projects, and educational lessons.
The Coral Mall has a slew of popular shops and restaurants, but also adds a carousel, movie theater, and ice rink.
Events are scheduled here throughout the year, so check the website before your visit to see what’s happening.
The Devonian Fossil Gorge is just 15 minutes east of Coralville.
This unique geological feature was actually discovered after intense flooding washed away the soil, revealing this immaculately preserved fossil bed.
There are 12 sights to see in the gorge area.
Be sure to bring a camera because you’ll get some amazing photos.
Nearby is West Overlook Beach and a recreation area.
You’ll be able to swim in the river (at least in the summer), go fishing, take a hike, or just relax on the banks.
This is also a great spot to go camping, but still, be close enough to major cities.
The Iowa River Landing is the newest and hottest spot in town.
This is right along the banks of the Iowa River near the border with Iowa City.
This is an outdoor shopping and dining area with a Von Maur department store.
Inside this landing area, you’ll find the Johnson County Historical Society.
Stop by to learn about the historic homes and businesses available for tours, and check out the museum for a lesson on the history of this unique region.
The Antique Car Museum of Iowa is right next door.
The Brown Deer Golf Club is a public course, so you don’t have to worry about making friends with a membership member to get in.
There’s also a restaurant there and a free practice green.
To see more things to do in this area, check out our articles on Iowa City and North Liberty.
We try to be as non-redundant as possible in each article to give specific focus to the actual city or big nearby attractions.
Places to Avoid in Coralville
The southwest side of the city, south of I-80, has the higher crime rates, but you certainly don’t need to avoid that area.
There aren’t places too dangerous to visit and no risk of turning down a shady street.
Once you are north of I-80 in Coralville, you’re in a highly residential and more rural area.
The main activities and things to do here are along I-80 or just south of it.
If you are heading to North Liberty, you might even think you’ve gone the wrong way because of a wide piece of empty land along Coral Ridge Avenue.
As time goes on, that land will be developed, but rest assured North Liberty is just a few miles north.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Coralville
- When you’re visiting the Devonian Fossil Gorge, you cannot take any of the fossils you find or damage the fossil beds. If you see anyone damaging the area, call (319) 338-3543 ext. 6300. Anyone caught taking or breaking the fossils will be subject to a fine.
- Sign up for emergency alerts through Alert Iowa in Johnson County. This will give you updated weather information as a storm develops. It’s just as important to know about an approaching storm as the damage in the aftermath.
- The city of Coralville has its own app. If you download it, you’ll have direct access to the city for any questions that come up. It will also help guide you to a location, as it connects to mapping technology. This also gives you real-time bus route information if you are relying on public transportation.
- Anglers need a non-resident fishing license from the state of Iowa. You can get yours at the Iowa Department of Natural resources website. If you want to hunt, please read the rules on that website as well. There are a lot of stipulations for hunters.
- Coralville has its own YouTube Channel called CoralVision. This is a great place to see upcoming events or see videos from last year’s events to see how fun they look to you. You can also get information about safety and community feedback.
- Iowa City Crime Stoppers takes anonymous tips with the possibility of a $1000 reward. If you have any information about a crime that happened, submit the online form or call (319)358-TIPS.
- Coralville Police Department offers interactive crime mapping. For example, you could search for thefts near your hotel or violent crimes near your preferred shopping location. You can also download the RAIDS mobile app to see a crime map on your mobile device. You can also sign up for crime alerts through that app.
- There are street parking regulations in Coralville, and you can’t just park on either side of the street. Parking is banned on the south side of east/west roads. On north/south roads, you can’t park on the east side. You’ll be able to follow the lead of other cars parked on the road if you don’t remember this, but if you happen to park on the wrong side, you risk getting a ticket.
- In order for someone to go door-to-door selling something in Coralville, they need a permit from the city. Sometimes these vendors will go into hotels as well. Ask to see a permit and if the person can’t produce one, call the police immediately.
- Spring, summer, and fall bring a lot of construction in Iowa cities. As Coralville grows, so does the amount of construction. Check the city website for construction projects so you can navigate your GPS around them. In a city that grows this fast, GPS doesn’t always keep up with new businesses. You should plot your routes ahead of time so you don’t end up driving in circles or distracted.
So... How Safe Is Coralville Really?
Coralville is safe, although not quite as safe as nearby North Liberty.
However, North Liberty doesn’t have nearly as many amenities as Coralville.
North Liberty actually only has one hotel, while Coralville has plenty and they are generally located near the big shopping and restaurant areas.
The violent crime rate in Coralville is just under the state average, and the property crime rate is above the state average.
Property crime does include shoplifting, which generally accounts for 30% of thefts.
Another 30% are generally related to car break-ins or stolen car accessories.
One crime category that is on the rise in this whole region is drug crimes.
The state of Iowa as a whole is having issues with the opioid crisis, so it’s important – even as a tourist – to take part in community policing and report any suspicious activity you see.
You should feel safe in Coralville, but don’t ever let your guard down.
If you are from a big city, this is going to feel like Mayberry to you.
If you are from a small town, it might feel like home.
You should check the safety reports of the neighboring cities so you know what to expect when you explore.
How Does Coralville Compare?
- Visas - You should plan for four months to go through the long U.S. Visa application process and you will need to do an in-person interview. It's important to note that having a U.S. Visa doesn't mean you are guaranteed access to the country. Be on your best behavior when you go through Customs. You won't need your Visa again until you leave the U.S. Feel free to travel between cities without having to show any proof of citizenship.
- Currency - You can only use the U.S. Dollar (USD) here and there aren't any places that will require you to use cash. You can exchange currency at several locations in Iowa City.
- Weather - Plan for all four seasons, and be especially attentive in winter and summer. Winters can get cold, so you'll need lots of warm layers. Summers are going to be hot and humid. There is no getting around the fact that you'll sweat a lot. You'll also need bug spray. A perfume or cologne with a citrus scent is going to help keep the insects away too.
- Airports - Cedar Rapids airport is the closest commercial airport. There isn't an airport in Iowa City or Coralville. Des Moines is about two hours away if you want to use that airport.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a great idea because of all the wild weather that can impact air and road travel. You should also be clear about how much insurance is covered on your rental car.
Coralville Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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