Mount Vernon, Iowa

Mount Vernon is not what you might expect from Iowa. Yes, it’s a small, quiet town but we boast an active, creative culture. Mount Vernon is one of three Iowa locations with a designated Cultural and Entertainment District. Mount Vernon’s district stretches from the Cornell College campus through downtown to the First Street Community Center. 

This designation comes from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, which recognizes cultural districts as walkable, compact areas where cultural facilities serve as an anchor. The Mount Vernon district includes 11 performance spaces, 22 arts and arts-related businesses, 17 food-drink-lodging establishments, and more than 20 specialty shops. 

We are only a half hour away from the bustling arts scene of Iowa City, a Unesco City of Literature. Iowa City offers a continuous array of readings, plays, and music, as well as boasting one of the best bookstores in the country, Prairie Lights. 

Mount Vernon is similarly bustling. While you will find plenty of quiet here, you will also find literary readings, theatre, music, excellent food, antiques, and hospitality that can’t be beat. Your time on campus can be whatever you want: quiet time to write, plenty of socializing, or a plenitude of arts and culture.