Terrace Hill
Terrace Hill
4.5
Historic SitesGovernment Buildings
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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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
54 reviews
Excellent
32
Very good
17
Average
4
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Ellen R
Jefferson City, MO43 contributions
Jul 2022
Enjoyed the tour of this mansion and the history dating back to its completion in 1869. It is a National Historic Landmark., built as a private home but now the governor's residence. It well worth the time to visit this marvelous Victorian home.
Written July 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

aatbender
Dandridge, TN493 contributions
Sep 2023 • Friends
An impressive mansion and well-maintained, and it’s nice that it’s kept open for tours of the first two levels as well as the garden. Quite a testament to 19th century American craftsmanship. We had a small group taking the guided tour which was nice as everyone could get their questions answered without slowing things down. Our guide was good and very knowledgeable. The opening video was long and a bit cheesy.
Written September 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chevy76
Des Moines, Iowa66 contributions
May 2014 • Family
I was a chaperone with a school tour and thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The guides are very knowledgeable and enjoy their jobs. There was no other groups there, so we had the whole house to ourselves. Terrace Hill is the Governor's residence, but was the home of the most wealthy resident of Des Moines in the 1800's--sparing no expense when constructed at the time. They give you the full history of the families who lived in the home and what each room's intended use was. Some rooms are not shown as they are still used by the Governor. Most of the home is restored to the early 1900 style and is in beautiful condition. If you enjoy late 1800 history and homes of that era, this is the place for you. Parking is available on the nearby streets (free). It might be worth calling ahead to make sure you don't show up when a busload of schoolkids is taking a tour. Visit the website for times of guided tours. $5 for adults, $2 children.
Written May 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Darin
Quito, Ecuador401 contributions
Oct 2010 • Couples
Built in the mid-1800's, this multi-story mansion is beautiful, inside and out. As of 1971, this mansion became the home for Iowa's governors. The tour takes you through a video history of the home, followed by the actual tour. You are able to visit several rooms and see the famous stained glass near the staircase.

If you are looking for something free to do in Des Moines where you can take in some history and some gorgeous woodwork, this would be the thing to do.
Written July 30, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LaVontravels
Mesa, AZ317 contributions
Nov 2015 • Friends
It's been a few years since I went, but it's totally worth it. History is cool. I'd see it again. No children
Written October 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jack K
Fayetteville, AR103 contributions
Jul 2016
We watched a 15 minute video and then were escorted on a tour. The lady volunteer was informative and enjoyable. She provided a lot of family information, building details, and interesting events and visitors to the mansion. Parking is near the entrance road just off Grand Ave, so there is a climb up the hill to the offices. I recommend one take the time to see this nice old building. It is period furnished and photography is allowed.
Written August 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dominic Z
La Plata, MD39 contributions
Mar 2016 • Friends
Iowan's should be proud of the work of their historical society to preserve the history. I had the priviledge to tour to Terrace Hill and what architectural marvel. The history behind the building is excellent. It is one of many must see buildings in Des Moines. If you are a history buff you will love this.
Written March 26, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dan C
Fairbank, Iowa17 contributions
Mar 2016
This is a beautiful Victorian home built in the 1880s complete with furnishings from the period. Our family of four were the only people on the tour, so we were able to take our time and ask lots of questions. I was disappointed that we were not able to go into the rooms and see them completely. Although the admission was inexpensive, I thought as state taxpayers we would get a little discount. Did not see the current governor on our tour, but for my family, that was an added bonus.
Written March 4, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jody030
Des Moines, IA26 contributions
May 2015
This mansion was formerly the home for the Hubbell family. They gave it to the State of Iowa and it was made into the Governors home. It takes one back to Victorian times with its wide staircase with a huge stained glass window at the top of the first landing. The home is worth seeing and is open on Sunday afternoons. At Christmas time the Terrace Hill Ladies have a tea with all the elegance of days gone by. The old carriage house has been turned into a gift shop. Definitely a worthwhile stop.
Written February 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

J G
Iowa City, IA35 contributions
Apr 2015 • Friends
Terrace Hill is an interesting home in beautiful condition. The third floor is the private residence of the governor and therefore off-limits. Unfortunately, every room on the first two floors are also off limits. The tour consists of an interesting 15 minute video, and then a walk down the short main hallway on each floor with a peek in each doorway at the rooms beyond. Not a single room is open, just the hallway. No photos are allowed inside, I suspect this is to speed up the tour. Adding insult to injury, our tour guide did not seem well informed at all, to the extent that I doubt the validity of the little information he did manage to impart.

Its a pity that the only way to get a glimpse inside this fascinating old mansion is through such a pathetic tour. I have visited a number of similar places and would say this was the worst of them all!
Written April 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Terrace Hill, Des Moines

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



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Very Good Reviews

17

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