Des Moines: Best Things to Do

Pixabay - Photo by Tony Walker

The city has an area of 213.9 km².

Des Moines is the capital city of Iowa.

The city has the biggest population in Iowa that is over 210,000 population.

The authentic food here that you must eat in Des Moines is Steak de Burgo.

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SIGHTSEEING

Blank Park Zoo is a popular attraction in the city with train rides, petting place, huge carousel in a 49-acre zoological park. This zoo is listed as a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. There are many exotic animals in this zoo, like lions, flamingos, zebras, and turtles. November-April opens from 10 AM to 4 PM and 9 AM to 5 PM in May-September.

Blank Park Zoo

There are a many exhibits to see.

Meet the beautiful rhinos and giraffes.

There is a huge carousel in the area.

Address : 7401 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315, United States

DOWNTOWN

Pappajohn Sculpture Park is an iconic destination in Des Moines. This is a sculpture museum with amazing and a big sculpture in the garden. Also, there are chess and picnic tables to enjoy. This park is perfect to visit, especially with your family. Food trucks are available here, serving amazing foods to buy. If you're lucky, you can join an art festival in this park.

Pappajohn Sculpture Park

This is a sculpture museum with amazing and big sculpture in the garden.

Food trucks are available here.

There are art festivals held in this park.

Address : 1330 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

SHOPPING

Heart of Iowa Market Place is a great place located in the West Des Moines. This market has a huge selection of souvenirs you can buy. There are a lot of handmade stuff and the famous fudge candies to offer. Another shop to visit is Calypso 968. This shop is a great place for antique lovers. Not only antiques, but they also sell local souvenirs too.

Heart of Iowa Market Place

A great store located in the West Des Moines.

A perfect place to buy souvenirs.

Address : 211 5th St, West Des Moines, IA 50265, United States

Calypso 968

A store full by antique stuff to buy.

This store is located in the West Des Moines.

Address : 101 Jordan Creek Pkwy #11000, West Des Moines, IA 50266, United States

FOOD & DRINK

The authentic food you must eat in Des Moines is Steak de Burgo. It's a corn-fed beef cooked with Des Moines's flavor. You can get the food at many restaurants in the city, especially at steak houses. Breaded pork tenderloin is also a local dish from the city. For the drink, you must try its craft cocktails like The Dirty Centaur.

CULTURE

Des Moines has an area of 90.65 square miles. The city has the biggest population in Iowa that is over 210,000 population and mostly speaks English. This city is a famous destination because it has a hot summer type. The name of the city comes from the Des Moines River adapted by a French name, Rivière des Moines (River of the Monks). Des Moines also has cultural events you might join, like Des Moines Pride Festival or Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit the city is between April and May or September and October. It's when the climate is pleasant and perfect to explore the city with the temperature ranges from 54- 69 degrees Fahrenheit.

HOTEL

Stay at Staybridge Suites Des Moines Downtown in the Historic East Village. This luxurious hotel is located a 4-minute walk from West River Front Park and a 9-minute walk from events at the Des Moines Civic Center. Also, you can stay at Hilton Des Moines Downtown. This elegant hotel has relaxed bedrooms to stay in. Also, it's located close to the Des Moines River, World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, Iowa State Capitol, and I-235.

Staybridge Suites Des Moines Downtown

Staybridge Suites Des Moines Downtown set in the Historic East Village

The hotel has a heated indoor pool with a hot tub.

Address : 201 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

Hilton Des Moines Downtown

It's located close to the Des Moines River.

There’s a business center, plus an indoor pool and a gym.

Address : 435 Park St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

RESTAURANT

Bubba is a popular southern restaurant with great happy hour food and drink. This restaurant has a stylish space and delicious southern foods, like its Chicken Fried Steak, Deviled Eggs, and Bananas Foster. Also, there is a huge array of whiskey to offer. You can also have dinner at The Iowa Taproom. It's a restaurant in a historical place. This warm restaurant has delicious American foods to eat. Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, Bulgogi, and Cheese curds are the favorite options. They also have over 100 local beers to drink.

Bubba

Bubba is a popular southern restaurant with great happy hour food and drink.

There are Chicken Fried Steak, Deviled Eggs, and Bananas Foster.

Address : 200 10th St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

The Iowa Taproom

Pork Tenderlion Sandwich, Bulgogi, and Cheese curds are the favorite options.

The late-night foods are delicious.

Address : 215 E 3rd St #100, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

CAFE

Smokey Row Coffee Co. is a great place to chill out with a cup of coffee. They have various fresh roasted coffees to offer. This place is good to visit in the morning or at night. The foods are so yummy too. There are cheeseburgers, chowders, bread bowl, and nice desserts to order. You can also go to Caribou Coffee. This cafe is perfect for coffee lovers. There are huge options of coffee to try. Not only coffee, but they also have delicious smoothies and teas.

Smokey Row Coffee Co.

They have various fresh roasted coffees to offer.

The foods are so yummy.

Address : 1910 Cottage Grove Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314, United States

Caribou Coffee Des Moines

This cafe is perfect for coffee lovers.

Not only coffee, but they also have delicious smoothies and teas.

Address : 3220 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312, United States

BAR AND NIGHTLIFE

Juniper Moon is a cool bar to enjoy your night. This bar has great happy hour drinks and cozy outdoor seating. Also, it's popular for its craft cocktails and pizza you must try. You can also hang out at Noce. This club is famous for its jazz cabaret events. This club also has tasty happy hour drinks and modern seating. Enjoy their show with a glass of cocktail and delicious snacks.

Juniper Moon

The bar has a cozy outdoor seating.

There are various alcoholic drinks.

Address : 2005 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

Noce

The place has happy hour drinks.

There are amazing jazz performances to see.

Address : 1326 Walnut St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

INTERESTING PLACE

Iowa State Capitol is a historical landmark in Des Moines that is also known as the Iowa Statehouse. The building was build in 1871-1886. This capitol has a great setting, located on a hill with a wonderful view of the city and the West Capitol Terrace to see. There are many memorials and monuments including Soldiers and Sailors' Monument and the Lincoln and Tad statue. Another interesting place is the Living History Farms. It's a historical Iowa farm with an 1875 village filled by old houses and green areas you can explore.

Iowa State Capitol

This site is also known as the Iowa Statehouse.

The building was build in 1871-1886.

Address : 1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319, United States

Living History Farms

There is a 1875 village filled by old houses and green area.

This place is located in Urbandale.

Address : 11121 Hickman Rd, Urbandale, IA 50322, United States

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOT

Gray's Lake is a lovely lake in a 167-acre park with lighted paths. You can take a shot with the lake to create panoramic photos. Also, there are boat rentals you can visit for boating on the lake. Another nice spot you won't miss is Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Go inside the geodesic dome or waterfalls to get the best angle of the place. There are beautiful plants inside the dome too. Don't forget to check out its gift shop before you leave.

Gray's Lake

It's a lovely lake in a 167-acre park with lighted paths.

There are boat rentals you can visit for boating on the lake.

Address : 2101 Fleur Dr, Des Moines, IA 50315, United States

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

There ware wonderful waterfalls.

A great place to take pictures and relax.

Address : 909 Robert D. Ray Dr, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States