Located just across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska, Council Bluffs is a small, thriving community that takes pride in maintaining its own identity. After all, the city not only predates its larger neighbor by more than a decade, but it is also the historic starting point of the Mormon Trail, as well as a major national railway hub. A number of successful casinos, including Harrahs Council Bluffs, have sprung up in recent years, increasing the citys financial and cultural opportunities.
Of the nearly 25,000 homes and apartments in Council Bluffs, about 35% are renter-occupied. At any given time, approximately 8.5% of the total rental homes are vacant. Compared to national averages, real estate prices are quite affordable for all types of properties, including single family dwellings, apartments, and rent to own houses. The median sales price for residential homes in the city is $141,500, while rental rates hover around $694 per month.
Theres plenty to do outdoors, particularly in and around water. The Missouri River provides residents with plenty of boating, fishing and recreational opportunitiestheres even a riverboat casino. The expansive Lake Manawa State Park features camping, boating, fishing, swimming and sunbathing. Council Bluffs also offers a wide range of natural areas and historic sites, including Stan Bahnsen Park and the Golden Spike monument.
The Mid-America Center (MAC) in Council Bluffs is a 6,700-seat arena that hosts a variety of entertainment and sporting events. Formerly the home of the Iowa Blackhawks Arena Football team, the MAC has recently hosted the Omaha Rollergirls, as well as USHL hockey. High school sports are something of an obsession in the area, with rabid local followings for St. Albert, Abraham Lincoln, Lewis Central and Thomas Jefferson varsity programs.
Though Council Bluffs is itself a relatively small suburban town, there are distinct neighborhood divisions. Most are fairly historic and served as settlement homes for various groups of railway workers. A few of the most notable areas include:
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