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State Historical Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 600 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50319-1006
Phone Number: 515-281-5111

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 118 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 68
  • 29
    Very good
  • 14
  • 2
  • 4
I am the Group Leader of a Diamond Tour bus trip with 44 passengers.

This was the last museum we visited on our return home after a 9-day bus trip to Mt. Rushmore. I would have thought everyone would have been tired of museums by this time, but we... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Flint, Michigan
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118 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 117: English reviews
Flint, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This was the last museum we visited on our return home after a 9-day bus trip to Mt. Rushmore. I would have thought everyone would have been tired of museums by this time, but we ALL so enjoyed visiting this museum. I was most impressed with the Mammoths display.....it was awesome! The Civil War exhibit was most impressive. Everyone said... More 

Thank DianeDemersCASC
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
663 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Well laid out and engaging collection covering many aspects of state history. Personally enjoyed section on films made in Iowa. 4 star museum, but extra star for the great building and for the museum charging nothing.

Thank BatGuano30
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This modern building is not that old, but a proposal to tear much of it down due to water leaks has been made. It has too much wasted space and never was suitable as a museum. Many of the items that should be displayed are not due to all the wasted space. A waste of taxpayers money.

Thank Fred-Marlene S
Level Contributor
42 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2016 via mobile

This is an amazing Museum. FREE admission! A neat variety of exhibits. Probably the best display of civil war memorabilia we've ever seen.

Thank GMRPennsylvania
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2016

We didn't get to enjoy the exhibits because we were busy, however, we were able to enjoy the location because it was the site of a wedding reception. The cafe terrace has such a beautiful view of the State Capitol building - we too so many family photos there on a bright sunny afternoon. The guests were able to enjoy... More 

1 Thank cupfar b
Smyrna, Tennessee
Level Contributor
61 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2016

Spent several hours here learning all about Iowa. All the exhibits were very good examining Iowa over the centuries. The exhibit on film in Iowa was especially good showcasing the many films that were filmed in Iowa many of which are classics such as "State Fair" and "Field of Dreams". The "First in the Nation" exhibit was also very educational... More 

1 Thank lost_in_itasca
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2016

First, I admit that I love museums and find them fascinating. But this place exceeded expectations by far! It is engaging, interactive, emotionally moving, and informative. I learned a great deal about the history and people of our adopted home state, and was really fascinated by what I learned. I particularly loved the exhibit about Iowa and the movies (who... More 

1 Thank IA M
Johnston, Iowa
Level Contributor
57 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2016 via mobile

This museum is housed in a beautiful building that has not been maintained. The staff is minimal and signage for visitors is almost non-existent. The displays are well done, but written descriptions are not well lighted. The museum is free and so is the parking if you can find it. This museum has loads of potential. The day we went,... More 

Thank Dalekd2013
Saint John, Indiana
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2016 via mobile

The museum was free accept for parking. The museum was cool but not amazing. It had a lot of cool stuff from Iowa in the civil war and some other stuff from other things like Iowa being first to be in the election for president and people in Hollywood from Iowa. If you have free time in the Des Moines... More 

Thank ddog2016
Level Contributor
36 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2016

The museum is not large but fun to walk through. There is no charge, but we enjoyed the tour so much that we left a donation in the box. The staff was super friendly and helpful with suggestions for other attractions to see.

Thank prelucir

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?