Terrace Hill

Terrace Hill, Des Moines

Terrace Hill
4.5
Historic Sites • Government Buildings
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Tuesday
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Wednesday
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Thursday
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Friday
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Saturday
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
About
Historic Governor's mansion.
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4.5
52 reviews
Excellent
30
Very good
17
Average
4
Poor
1
Terrible
0

J T
Gray, TN436 contributions
Stopped by to see the splender
Sep 2020
I always stop by when I'm in Iowa, it is something special in the middle of Des Moines. Grand Ave it's self is worth driving through South of Grand is what the locals call OLD Money. The group Slipknot live in this area. FYI
Written October 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ksufan88
Wichita, KS3,916 contributions
Spectacular house
Jul 2020
Currently, tours are limited to one family at a time. Dates and times are on their website. We were fortunate to visit on Wednesday, July 8th (one day after their reopening). You must book a tour in advance and can only walk on the grounds around the house if you have a tour. You first watch an introductory 12 minute video and the a tour guide (we had Gary) walked you through the first floor of this amazing home. The woodwork and furnishings are fabulous. Our tour took a full hour and we learned much about the house, families that have lived here, and some of the interesting artifacts in the home. The second floor is not currently open for tours.
Written July 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RachelKWanders
Memphis, TN30 contributions
Beautiful building, slightly boring tour.
Mar 2020 • Couples
This is a lovely home with a fascinating history. However, the tour is longer than necessary for the size of the building. Most, if not all, of the interesting information can be learned via the plaques and the video they show. I found myself getting bored waiting for the tour to move from one room to another. I’m also saddened a bit that the carriage house was modernized instead of preserved as it was originally, though I understand why that was done; I feel the sane way about the swimming pool. The highlight of the home is the magnificent stained glass. I would recommend checking it out, especially if you love old buildings, but for me it was a one-and-done experience. I don’t intend to go back for a second tour.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KittyKat
Sevierville, TN10 contributions
The millionaire built it, lost it and lived next door a pauper!
May 2019 • Friends
Too beautiful for words. Beautiful gardens, excellent tour guides, so much history and a Windsor in the mix no one can explain. Such a mystery! Where did she hide during the war?
Written July 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

James F
36 contributions
An Iowa gem
Aug 2018 • Business
This 150-year-old home (built in 1869) is now the governor's official residence. But they do tours and it's well worth your time. It truly is a set back in history. One suggestion: Do a bit of research on it before you go; it makes it much more meaningful that way.
Written July 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RetiredTravelerTN
Nashville, TN3,769 contributions
Interesting Tour of Beautiful Governor's Mansion
Apr 2019 • Couples
Whenever we visit a capital city, we always visit the state capitol building. If our days in the city coincide with tour days at the state governor's mansion, we make plans to also tour the mansion. We love the history, architecture, and art that is part of these tours as well as the opportunity to interact with locals who love their state and history.

Check the Terrace Hill website to learn of tour days and times. At the time of our travel, the fee for the mansion tour was $5 -- certainly reasonable and fine with us to pay a small fee to help maintain the beautiful, historic structure.

Prior to the tour, we took a look around the carriage house building which now houses staff, displays, and a small gift shop. An excellent video was shown as an introduction to the tour. Our excellent guide, Patty, walked with us to the mansion and imparted more details and stories about the mansion as we toured inside and out.

The day was a little rainy, and umbrellas were provided for the short walk from the carriage house to the mansion. Street parking and handicapped parking is available on Forest Drive, which is on the west side of the property. Additional parking is located in the Terrace Hill parking lot off of Grand Avenue at Forest Drive.
Written May 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Todd D
52 contributions
Educational history of Iowa and Des Moines
Oct 2018 • Family
It was like a living museum. As the residence of the governor, people actually live here and events are held in the rooms, so it's not a dusty museum. However, there is quite a bit of history to learn. Small group tours are great.
Written November 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Charles P
New Port Richey, FL303 contributions
Definitely worth $5
Oct 2018 • Couples
It is a beautiful 150 year old mansion currently used as the governor's residence. You receive an hour long tour of the home and a local history lesson.
Written October 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Adventurer2day
Antigua and Barbuda336 contributions
Beautiful building, and interesting history
Aug 2018 • Friends
Some of the history of Des Moines preserved in this building. Nice to see it is well cared for, and worth the trip.
Written August 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pamela Cuthbertson
Leamington Spa, UK434 contributions
Fascinating history and beauty
Jul 2018 • Couples
The background story to the building is fascinating. The house itself is also intriguing and tells a story of its own. Wonderful design features, impressive woodwork, furniture, parquet floors and much more. Well worth the time to visit.
Written July 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Terrace Hill

Terrace Hill is open:
  • Tue - Sat 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM