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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

Read all 60 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 32
    Excellent
  • 17
    Very good
  • 8
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Excellent State museum

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... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 18, 2015
RamJets
,
Des Moines, Iowa
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60 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
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
63 reviews 63 reviews
32 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 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
5 helpful votes 5 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
169 reviews 169 reviews
120 attraction reviews
65 helpful votes 65 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
118 reviews 118 reviews
39 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 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
78 reviews 78 reviews
29 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 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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Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2015

Can't beat a free admission. It's a good way to pass a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon. Several floors of exhibits. I was most interested in the natural history section highlighting hunting and farming. Short walk to the capitol building if you have extra time to incorporate a tour there into your trip.

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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2014

The price of admission is free and it reflects what is provided to the visitor. I frankly thought the museum was closed as I walked into this huge empty space. I didn't see one person! As I was walking back out a staff person was coming in. He pointed me to where the exhibit were. The directional signage is lacking... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Des Moines
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
15 attraction reviews
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2014

I would have loved to have seen Floppy. The guide said they had a Duesenberg but I could not find it.

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minnesota
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
36 attraction reviews
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2014

The museum is not what you typically think about when you consider a historical museum. All of the displays are newer and up to date. The exhibit areas are a bit dark and it can be hard to see some of the exhibits with such a low light level, but otherwise it is worth the time and effort, And it... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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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?