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State Historical Museum

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Address: 600 E. Locust St., Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone Number: 515-281-5111
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Visitor rating
  • 35
    Excellent
  • 18
    Very good
  • 8
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Excellent

Free to the public but we were compelled to leave a donation because it's so good we wanted to contribute. Very well laid out, great exhibits and so much to see! We spent hours... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 30, 2015
Cynthia M
,
Harrison, Arkansas
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64 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Harrison, Arkansas
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2015 NEW

Free to the public but we were compelled to leave a donation because it's so good we wanted to contribute. Very well laid out, great exhibits and so much to see! We spent hours looking through everything. We especially enjoyed the Civil War and animal sections. So much history about Iowa and highly recommend for children. There was an entire... More 

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RHODE ISLAND
Top Contributor
406 reviews 406 reviews
101 attraction reviews
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2015

not a thing not to like. Gave a broad overview of Iowa and it was laid out nicely so it was a great education and had some really nice items to look at. Good for the whole family. not expensive to get in.nice,clean, good place to visit.

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Council Bluffs, Iowa
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
9 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2015

Great displays on the Civil War and the history of the Iowa Coal mining industry. Well worth the trip and it's free!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Ankeny, Iowa
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2015

If you enjoy history and/or museums, this is a great place. I especially enjoyed learning about the Civil War - I'll definitely go back.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Des Moines, Iowa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

Very wide ranging exhibitions including now the Civil War battle flag restorations. Laid back museum that is friendly to seniors and kids with convenient restaurants and located in the middle of the East Village near State Capitol.

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Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
35 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

I must say that I have been to more impressive history museums, but this one still had a nice selection of exhibits. Best of all....it's free! I particularly enjoyed the "Hollywood in Iowa" and Civil War Exhibits. I do wish they had better signage, as we got kind of lost wandering through one exhibit and went through it backwards. I... More 

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Norwalk, Iowa
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015

Since our children were little, every year we made a summer trip to the State Historical Museum. Each year they would discover old favorites and find new one. Each year they add a new exhibit. Our children are in their twenties now, busy with their young lifes. Yet, they always want to make a time to go together in the... More 

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Dubuque, Iowa
Top Contributor
194 reviews 194 reviews
128 attraction reviews
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015

From its permanent displays to those it changes, the museum is a MUST SEE in Des Moines. You don't need to be a history fan to appreciate the museum. Be sure to see the jars of colored sand fashioned into pictures from the late 1800s. Thousands of items on display and a wonderful library too.

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Blue Grass, Iowa
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
49 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

We saw a lot of interesting things during our 4 day stay in Des Moines, but this was easily the most interesting. Superior Exhibits on Iowa farming, mining and industry. The civil war exhibit should not be missed. Our favorite exhibit was "Hollywood in Iowa".

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Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
31 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2015

As a history buff, I recommend this museum to anyone interested in history. When I first walked in to the very large building, it seemed rather empty and very open, and was somewhat disappointed until I entered the civil war exhibit and realized this place had so much to offer!!! And not to mention, it's free!

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?