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Best of Des Moines Guide

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Des Moines
Today the capital city and cultural center of Iowa is revitalized. A versatile destination everyone will enjoy, Des Moines has an itinerary for almost every interest. Culture and art enthusiasts may want to roam through the Des Moines Art Center, spend the weekend museum-hopping or attend a Broadway-caliber performance at the Civic Center. Golfers can spend their time and energy teeing up at any of the area's fine championship courses. The Blank Park Zoo and the Iowa State Fairgrounds should be on the list for families. And gardeners will savor the fantastic blooms at the Botanical Center and the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden. Mix it up a little and sample all this "big city with a small town heart" has to... more Today the capital city and cultural center of Iowa is revitalized. A versatile destination everyone will enjoy, Des Moines has an itinerary for almost every interest. Culture and art enthusiasts may want to roam through the Des Moines Art Center, spend the weekend museum-hopping or attend a Broadway-caliber performance at the Civic Center. Golfers can spend their time and energy teeing up at any of the area's fine championship courses. The Blank Park Zoo and the Iowa State Fairgrounds should be on the list for families. And gardeners will savor the fantastic blooms at the Botanical Center and the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden. Mix it up a little and sample all this "big city with a small town heart" has to offer. less

All things to do » Things to do

Capitol Building
Capitol Building
Attraction type: Government Buildings
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Iowa State Fairgrounds
Iowa State Fairgrounds
Owner description: The internationally acclaimed Iowa State Fair is the single largest event in the state of Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the... more Owner description: The internationally acclaimed Iowa State Fair is the single largest event in the state of Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country. Annually attracting more than a million people from all over the world, the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines is Iowa’s great celebration, a salute to the state’s best in agriculture, industry, entertainment and achievement. It is the true heartbeat of the Midwest, unequalled and unduplicated.The Iowa State Fair, the inspiration for the original novel “State Fair” by Iowan Phil Stong, three motion pictures and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway musical, is without a doubt the country’s most famous state fair. National media frequently rank the Fair as one of the top events in the country. In 2004, USA Weekend named the event the #2 choice for summer fun in America, topping New York City’s Times Square, Cedar Point Amusement Park Resort in Ohio and Disneyland in California. Midwest Living magazine named the Fair one of the “Top 30 Things Every Midwesterner Should Experience.” The Fair is also included in the New York Times best-selling travel book 1000 Places to See Before You Die and the subsequent travel book, 1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. and Canada Before you Die. Join us August 7-17, 2014. less
Attraction type: State Parks
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Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Pappajohn Sculpture Park
Owner description: Open to visitors since September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park features artwork by 22 of the world's most celebrated artists. The 4.4 Acre park, located within... more Owner description: Open to visitors since September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park features artwork by 22 of the world's most celebrated artists. The 4.4 Acre park, located within a major crossroads of the urban grid, creates a pedestrian friendly entranceway to downtown Des Moines. This accessible setting, coupled with the skilled landscape design and caliber of the art, makes it unlike any other sculpture park in the United States. The Pappajohns' contribution of 28 works for the park is the most significant donation of artwork ever made to the Des Moines Art Center. less
Attraction type: Parks
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Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo
Owner description: A wide variety of animals are housed in natural settings at this 25-acre, relatively small zoo, dedicated to caring for the over 800 animals, educating the public about different... more Owner description: A wide variety of animals are housed in natural settings at this 25-acre, relatively small zoo, dedicated to caring for the over 800 animals, educating the public about different species, and generating fun experiences for children, such as crawling through simulated prairie dog tunnels and feeding, petting and riding animals. Open 9 am - 5 pm, May 1 - Sept 30. Open 10 am - 4 pm, October 1 - April 30. less
Attraction type: Zoos
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Gray's Lake Park
Gray's Lake Park
Attraction type: Parks
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All places to eat » Places to eat

Fong's Pizza
Fong's Pizza
Ranked #1 of 538 Restaurants in Des Moines
Price: $3 - $25
Cuisines: Pizza, Asian, Gluten Free
Good for: Dining on a budget, Bar scene, Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Smokey D's BBQ
Smokey D's BBQ
Ranked #2 of 538 Restaurants in Des Moines
Cuisines: American, Barbecue
Good for: Dining on a budget, Families with children, Local cuisine, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Drinks, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Private Dining, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Wheelchair Accessible
Centro Restaurant
Centro Restaurant
Ranked #3 of 538 Restaurants in Des Moines
Price: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, American
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Brunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Django Restaurant
Django Restaurant
Ranked #4 of 538 Restaurants in Des Moines
Price: $20 - $40
Cuisines: French, Gluten Free
Good for: Business meetings, Bar scene, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
Ranked #5 of 538 Restaurants in Des Moines
Price: $5 - $13
Cuisines: American, Bar
Good for: Dining on a budget, Bar scene, Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Drinks, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer

All accommodations » Where to stay - Budget

Nearby recommended accommodations:

Value Place Des Moines
2.5 of 5
Value Place Des Moines
$49 - $228
Ranked #5 of 13 Hotels in Ankeny
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All accommodations » Where to stay - Midrange

DoubleTree by Hilton Des Moines Airport
3.5 of 5
DoubleTree by Hilton Des Moines Airport
$124 - $211
Ranked #3 of 48 Hotels in Des Moines
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Baymont Inn & Suites des Moines Airport
2.5 of 5
Baymont Inn & Suites des Moines Airport
$102 - $171
Ranked #4 of 48 Hotels in Des Moines
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Days Inn & Suites Des Moines Airport
2.0 of 5
Days Inn & Suites Des Moines Airport
$83 - $149
Ranked #6 of 48 Hotels in Des Moines
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All accommodations » Where to stay - Luxury

Nearby recommended accommodations:

Hotel Renovo
4.0 of 5
Hotel Renovo
$146 - $166
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Urbandale
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.