Keokuk, Iowa


2013 Best Small Towns in America

Contest ends:  September 3, 2013

336 Votes - "Friendliest"
8 Votes - "Most Beautiful"
5 Votes - "Best for Geocaching"
3 Votes - "Most Fun"
1 Votes - "Most Patriotic"
Growing up in a small town there was no identifying skyline, or even a sky dash, by which to see the town from afar. My hometown sat atop a bluff overlooking the Mississippi river, and the most beautiful view of that river was either from Rand Park, or from the club house at the Country Club. Leaving Keokuk may be easier than escaping from its state-of-mind. It lies unquiet as former Keokukians move around the globe. It whispers in a seductive voice in the back of the mind recalling the past, the lessons, and the memories of this place. This voice draws the unsuspecting traveler to return home to this small town nestled high on a bluff above the river.. When they arrive they may wonder why they are here. On the surface it seems to have little to offer but underneath it soothes the being. Returning home the mind recalls the peace the heart remembers. Keokuk is a good place to be from, to return to, and to remember with great fondness. From “Growing Up Without A Skyline: life in a small town”.
Reviewed by PamelaGreenslate
on June 26, 2016
We arrived in Keokuk as French expatriates some years ago. It was an assignment for 2 years for working in my company's affiliate, my wife and my youngest daughter accompanied me. We were immediately seduced by the attractivity of the landscape, the "big river", the variety of the environment with some historical points of visit. But above all we have immediately been surrounded by nice people. They are warmhearted and offer you to participate in many activities. Whatever the first rally is, from that point on you have fun and you make acquaintances that give you further opportunities for other parties, meetings, for making sport or sailing on the Mississipi, or worship or whatever you might desire. Among all the possibilities, we personnally focused on theater, catholic church and golfing. And quite obviously friendship. Our friends there made us attend many events and in particular the reenactment of the civil war at the beginning of Spring? This is great : parade, concert, costume ball, remembrance ceremony at the National cemetery. We keep lots of unforgettable memories. And nostalgia. All these good times stay in our hearts. Fortunately our friendship has stood the test of time, and it is always a great pleasure to prepare a new trip there, to come and spend some days in this special place of the US, and to catch up and have fun with our friends.
Reviewed by bcda
on October 1, 2013
I grew up in Keokuk and had a wonderful childhood. I was away for college and for a brief time following college. My husband and I retuned to Keokuk after a brief time in Texas. We were thrilled to return to the beauty of life on the Mississippi River and the warmth of our community. We raised our children here and are now retired here. Our children and their families and our siblings and their families love to visit here. Keokuk is a place where people still bring food when someone dies or is ill. It's a place where new neighbors are welcomed with food and invitations to neighborhood picnics. Friends and neighbors can be depended on for help during difficult times and to celebrate with during happy times. We turn fund-raising events into parties for the community. We work hard at being inclusive. There are cultural events, an excellent library, and a focus on volunteering and children. What a great place to have spent a life!
Reviewed by dkiedaisch
on October 1, 2013
As the Executive Director of the Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce, it is, of course, my professional duty to extol all of the positive aspects of Keokuk. However, I am also a native of Keokuk who moved away after college and, 20 years ago, moved back to once again experience the environment, beauty and friendliness of my small home town. In my Chamber role, I am regularly, and without solicitation, reminded by visitors of just how friendly our community is. These are just few of the comments I have received from visitors: "I just walk down the street and people I don't even know wave to me and say hello." "I was confused on a city map and a perfect stranger came to my help with very good directions." "I just stopped in your office to let you know that the people in your town are the friendliest people we have ever come across on a vacation trip." Much of the industry in our town has a foreign connection and we regularly entertain many foreign visitors who are really amazed at the friendliness the people of our town exhibit and the helpful behavior they exhibit when they find out that the visitor is foreign. All it takes, of course, for someone to realize just how friendly we are here in Keokuk is to make a visit and experience it for themselves.
Reviewed by clbetts
on October 1, 2013
It was friendliness in my home town that made me feel safe in my childhood - that framed my world when I was young - that encouraged me as I grew to an adult and that gave me the confidence to leave my home town and try to grow into a contributing adult, parent and citizen. Twenty years later, it was that same friendliness which called me back to that town, drove me to be actively involved in community projects, committees and boards, and allowed me to pay forward the strength I drew from that friendliness. That defines friendliness for me and its that friendliness that I still experience as I meet and greet my family, neighbors, colleagues in Keokuk. It is that history and depth of friendship which makes my home town worthy of the title, "The Friendliest Small Town in America".
Reviewed by chuckb
on October 1, 2013
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