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State Historical Museum

History museums, Museums
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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 57 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 31
    Excellent
  • 16
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Most recent review
Welcome to Iowa History

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... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 1, 2015
Randy L
,
Dubuque, Iowa
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57 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Dubuque, Iowa
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
57 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015 NEW

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
28 helpful votes 28 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
65 reviews 65 reviews
24 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 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
16 helpful votes 16 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 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 

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Des Moines
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 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
115 reviews 115 reviews
35 attraction reviews
76 helpful votes 76 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 

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Chesterfield, MO
Top Contributor
227 reviews 227 reviews
126 attraction reviews
267 helpful votes 267 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2014

After visiting the capital I walked down to the historical museum rather than move the car. The museum is free which was nice. It contains a HUGE atrium area. I started on the second floor and worked my way down to the first floor. There are a variety of exhibits and dioramas showing the history of Iowa. I actually liked... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Millersburg, Ohio
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
26 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2014

The State Museum was one of the stops on our bus trip itinerary. We spent approximately 1-1/2 hours here and could have easily spent more time. The Museum is nicely laid out with many interactive displays. It was really interesting learning about the early pioneer life in this fine State.

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La Grange, Illinois
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
26 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014

Great place to learn about products that made Iowa famous as well as the ecological minded people who made this state great. Loved the dioramas, and the special exhibit about Hollywood and Iowa. It is a free museum, but for a Saturday afternoon, there were only a handful of people here. Felt like I had the place to myself. Even... More 

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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?