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About Des Moines, IA


About Des Moines - "The Hartford of the West"


Des Moines is a regular member "best of" lists for Farmers Markets. Every Saturday morning, from May to October, some 20,000 people make their way to the Des Moines Farmers' Market to buy fresh produce and other goods.

Downtown Des Moines is getting it right when it comes to gentrification. Twenty years ago, someone might make their way downtown to go to the office, the local courthouse, local restaurants, or perhaps to make a trip to the Civic Center. These days, people are moving into updated lofts, and great music and fabulous smells seem to leak out of every corner. Add in year round festivals and fairs, and there's usually something going on downtown.

Throughout the city there are a variety of great foodie restaurants and drinking holes with countless beers on tap, so there are plenty of reasons to get out and about. Choose from one of the 120 beers on draft at El Bait Shop. More of Scotch person? Be a sir and check out the extensive list at the Royal Mile. Fong's offers great Crab Rangoon, while Lie Mie is a fantastic place to grab a pastry, and Centro offers some tasty chicken saltimbocca. Zombie burger also offers the Walking Ched burger, and many other foodie restaurants offer their own revered fare.

Of course, Iowa is known for its cold winters, and the summers can get pretty hot too. Good thing the city has an extensive skywalk system! The skywalk has climate controlled walkways that stretch roughly 4 miles through about 30 blocks of the city. People can travel to many places within the downtown without even needing to step outside.

Iowa does get a lot of snow in the winter. That provides a lot of opportunities to enjoy winter sports. The Sleepy Hollow Sports park makes it easy to go snow tubbing and is a favorite among the locals. Best of all, you don't even have to trek up the hill!

During the warmer months of the year Des Moines offers a lot of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. There's Gray's Lake, which offers great picnic and boating opportunities right down town. It's a great place to take a scenic stroll, as well. Anyone looking for more space, head to Saylorville Lake. The 26,000 acre reservoir has a sampling of pretty much everything the Midwest has to offer. You can stroll through prairies, wooded areas, and wetlands as well. Or, also see the local wildlife, and go camping, fishing, and hiking.

The Des Moines State Fair earned a place in the best-selling "1000 Places to See Before You Die" travel book. With 200 food stands, a variety of rides, and numerous contests covering things like hog calling, husband calling, and accordion playing, there is a lot to see. Visitors can also enjoy wine making, lumberjack shows, acrobats, and various other performers and events.

Des Moines hasn't forgotten its history. The Living History Farms offers a great way to look into the past. You can see what it was like to live on a frontier town at the Ioway Indian Farm outdoor history museum, which is set from 1700 to 1985. Guests can also participate in the Living History Farms Race and traverse seven miles of country filled with obstacles. Anyone hungry can check out the Iowa Machine Shed restaurant for a bite to eat.


Photos of Des Moines:


Des Moines, IA
Des Moines, IA
Skyline
Skyline
City Lights
City Lights
Downtown
Downtown
Aerial View
Aerial View
Court District
Court District


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