Hotels in Des Moines, USA
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Des Moines: Vibrant City with Small-Town Charm
Des Moines, IA is a revitalised capital city on the rise. Due to its versatility in what it offers to travellers, the area is known as the cultural hub of Iowa. From an array of live events throughout the year to various must-see attractions, this “big city with a small-town heart” packs in plenty of things to do. Throw in an enticing mix of restaurants, shops, bars and hotels, and it is little wonder that Des Moines is popular with both locals and visitors!
As the capital of Iowa, it should be expected that there are plenty of attractions available in Des Moines. One of the most acclaimed is the city’s Capitol Building. With stunning interior design that deserves to be admired, the building provides informative tours at no additional cost. For a change of pace and something that is more family-friendly, the Blank Park Zoo – complete with over 800 animals that are spread across 25 acres – is another activity that is highly recommended. To discover an abundance of exotic plants and one of the nation’s best collections of bonsai trees, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is the place to go. Oh, and if you want to sample some of the artistic culture that is supplied by the city, you can’t go wrong with a visit to either the Des Moines Art Center or Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The latter of which is an expansive park area that contains artwork from numerous famous artists.
Events & Festivals
From one off live events to week-long festivals, a wide selection of shows take place throughout the year in Des Moines. Arguably the most celebrated is the world-renowned Iowa State Fair. Beginning all the way back in 1854, and scheduled for each August, this 11-day fair attracts more than one million visitors – all of whom partake in an assortment of amusement park rides, live concerts, food and much more! Spread over the week, June’s Winefest – a celebration of local wine, live music and food culture, is another popular festival that brings in many guests. And to support a worthy cause, the Festival of Trees & Lights, the main fundraiser for the Blank Children’s Hospital, features family-friendly activities, entertainment, shopping, food and wonderfully decorated trees. As for periodic live events, music performances from celebrated artists take place at venues such as Wells Fargo Arena, Hoyt Sherman Place and Wooly’s. Oh, and if you have a passion for Broadway shows, spaces like the Des Moines Civic Center and Des Moines Community Playhouse are regular hosts of spectacular theatre productions.
Some of Iowa’s best shopping opportunities can be had in Des Moines. From expansive shopping malls to quirky independent stores, the city is ample with chances to acquire all manner of gifts, trinkets and treats. The historic East Village is one of the best areas where you can get lost amongst the shops it facilitates. In fact, the East Village is a highlight when it comes to finding one of a kind retailers – whether you are in the market for charming jewellery, handmade beauty goods or even fine art. Although if you’re seeking a destination that has a large collection of well-known establishments within a centralised place, the Merle Hay Mall is a top pick with many. Standing for more than 50 years and also boasting entertainment facilities, this mall has close to 100 stores and restaurants overall. Alternative shopping centre experiences in Des Moines are also possible at either Valley West Mall or Southridge Mall.
Food & Drink
Des Moines is a great option when it comes to dining out. Although before getting into the scrumptious and abundant restaurant choices that the city has at its disposal, one haven for food junkies is the Downtown Farmers Market. Open every Saturday between May and October, this market contains an endless range of fresh and tasty local produce to enjoy. As for the eateries that populate the area, there is an exciting mix to get your teeth stuck into. From sophisticated fine dining to casual food joints, from the best in national cuisine to exotic global flavours, the city is packed with options that will get you taste buds salivating. In need of a setting where you can unwind until late into the night? Well, Des Moines is also regarded as having one of the best nightlife scenes in the Midwest. Sports bars. Trendy nightclubs. Upscale win bars. All of these – and much more – can be found within the city, with over 50 bars situated in the downtown area alone!