Iowa: the final frontier. Any self-respecting sci-fi aficionado will tell you that the Hawkeye State is the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. What they may not be able to tell you, however, is that today's Iowa is one of the up-and-coming spots in the country.
Iowa might conjure images of corn fields, tractors, corn fields, barns, small towns and more corn fields, but the state is becoming a hub of future technologies, according to small business consulting firm Guerilla Interactive. Des Moines in particular is setting the stage for the rest of the state, with its small business-friendly atmosphere, locally-sourced food and community values, the website said.
Two other emerging trends in Des Moines and the rest of the state could help make Star Trek's dream of intergalactic space travel a reality. Iowa is becoming a center of the technology boom, according to Guerilla Interactive, with new technology companies like Dwolla and BitMethod calling the state home. Younger workers have been calling up moving companies
and emigrating from other states in droves to work at these and other similar companies. And though the state has yet to develop a Dilithium Crystal-powered warp drive engine, it is leading the pack in other alternative energies like wind and ethanol.
Not too far up the road from Des Moines in the small town of Ames is Iowa State University. The school is best known for its science and technology program, which has graduated a number of award-winning physicists, scientists and even an astronaut or two.
Fortunately for Des Moines residents, inflation hasn't hit astronomical heights in the area. The cost of living is nearly 15 percent lower than the national average in Des Moines, according to real estate expert Bert Sperling. Home prices are particularly low, too, with a median price of $116,800.
If you're a particularly big Star Trek fan, however, and you'd like to share a hometown with Captain Kirk, Riverside is the place to be. Every year, the local Rotary Club hosts Trek-Fest, which, as you may have guessed, celebrates all things Star Trek with family-friendly sci-fi activities and a parade through the downtown. Though Kirk isn't expected to be born until March 22, 2228, those who move to Riverside will find the wait quite affordable. The median home price in this town of barely 1,000 residents is $136,000, according to Sperling.