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State Historical Museum

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Address: 600 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50319-1006
Phone Number: 515-281-5111
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 112 reviews
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  • 64
    Excellent
  • 28
    Very good
  • 14
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 4
    Terrible
Surprising Gem!

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... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 5 days ago
IA M
,
Des Moines, Iowa
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112 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 111: English reviews
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

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 

Helpful?
Thank IA M
Johnston, Iowa
Level Contributor
57 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago 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 

Helpful?
Thank Dalekd2013
Saint John, Indiana
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago 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 

Helpful?
Thank ddog2016
Level Contributor
36 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

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.

Helpful?
Thank prelucir
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2016

great place to visit for a day---by yourself or with family. There are permanent exhibitions and ones they change. Children of all ages will enjoy. Learn about Iowa history.

Helpful?
Thank fe1358
Gadshill
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2016

It is the best one of our travels of Iowa so far. Had a great variety of interest and lots of happening events such as the 8 day bike ride. Location close to state buildings And can be combined as we did tour of both from one spot parking. Getting into centre of city is dry easy especially on a... More 

Helpful?
Thank Eileen L
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
121 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2016

I am a history buff and i thoroughly enjoyed the exhibits at the State Historical Museum. I strolled about at a leisurely pace and saw all that I wanted to see in a couple of hours. Exhibits tell of the hard pioneer life, the Civil War years. But I finished in a light-hearted area devoted to the movies and actors... More 

Helpful?
Thank Isthmuse
Victoria, Texas
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2016

Very interesting spot to spend a couple of hours. I particularly enjoyed the Mammoth exhibit which featured bones excavated in the area. The civil war exhibit was small but had good selection of uniforms, weapons, camp materials, etc. Good exhibit of Iowa's attempts at animal and soil conservation. Very interesting descriptions of early hunters overgrazing and depletion of birds and... More 

Helpful?
Thank SFA71Lumberjack
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2016 via mobile

We came to the Historical Museum after visiting the Capitol. It was average with the exception of the Caucus room. Although small, it was informative.The quilts were nice. The Hollywood in the Heartland exhibit was informative also.

Helpful?
Thank MsAllFiftyStates
Level Contributor
54 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2016

With the exception of the the depiction of the war of northern agression (that's the civil war for yankee readers), this is a great museum. The civil war exhibit is good as well. There are some very uniquely Iowa exhibits with the Ragbrai and Iowa Caucus sections. Admission is free and weekend parking is free. Plan for two or more... More 

Helpful?
Thank D J

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?