City Spotlight: Des Moines

Frontdesk welcomes you to Des Moines, IA! The “Hartford of the West” is the most populous city and the state capital of Iowa. Des Moines (DSM) is most well known for hosting the Iowa State Fair and the country’s first caucuses during election season. This city has a lot to offer to both locals and visitors alike. Keep reading to learn more about what to do, where to eat, and how to get around Des Moines.

Things to do in Des Moines

There are many fun things to see and do in Des Moines. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there is a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy.

Iowa State Capitol

Iowa State Capitol Building

The iconic gold dome is a symbol of the city, but nothing compares to visiting it in-person. Free tours are available Monday through Saturday, where you can see the house of representatives, admire the amazing architecture of the dome, and explore the huge five-story law library, which houses more than 100,000 volumes!

Des Moines Botanical Garden

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is home to thousands of plants and flowers, with a greenhouse dome, plus seven acres of outdoor gardens. They are known for their Bonsai collection but have more uncommon plant species as well. The Botanical Garden hosts many events, from blues concerts to yoga and more.

Downtown Farmer's Market in Des Moines Iowa

Downtown Farmer’s Market

This isn’t your average farmer’s market. From May to October, between 25,000 to 40,000 visitors come each Saturday for great food, fresh produce, flowers, handmade crafts, and more! The Downtown Farmer’s Market even hosts events year-round, so you can join in the fun no matter what time of year you visit!

Des Moines Art Center

Des Moines Art Center

Des Moines Art Center has an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, modern art, and mixed media by the likes of Grant Wood, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frank Hopper, and more. It also includes the famous Pappajohn Sculpture Park. Even better? It’s completely free!