Passing through Des Moines I decided to check out the capitol on a whim. Parking was free and there is a great view overlooking the skyline. And the building itself is incredibly beautiful, it reminded me of a Russian cathedral with all its domes and the colors. There are regularly scheduled guided tours (free) but as this wasn't a planned stop, I picked up a brochure and toured the building on my own. It is marvelous inside as well - and make sure you check out both the dome and the library. It is just such an impressive and ornate building. After going through the building I talked with one of the guides at the gift shop, and she told me that the Iowa State Capitol was voted the second most beautiful state capitol in the nation - after Pennsylvania. So now I'm trying to go to Harrisburg PA, because I can't even imagine what would be more impressive than this!