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Best things to do in Des Moines

Discover the city according to locals. Find the best things to do, places to eat, and get priceless advice from the people who live here.

Sculpture Garden
“This Sculpture Park is a lovely (free) walk around a nice area in downtown.”
28local recommendations
Burger Restaurant
$$
“This is a local staple. Out-of-towners, as well as locals, love to stop here for a bite.”
14local recommendations
Neighbourhood
“East Village of DSM is a quaint area full of shopping, night life, and restaurants.”
19local recommendations
Pizza Place
$$
“This place is another Des Moines staple. They just opened a second location in Ankeny. Unique pizzas at a great price. Famous for their Crab Rangoon pizza!”
21local recommendations
Food
“May-October, court avenue in downtown Des Moines hosts a huge farmer's market every Saturday morning, 7am-12pm.”
17local recommendations
Local Government Office
“This is a beautiful building and you can schedule a free tour or just walk in and look around for free! The Capitol grounds are also very nice.”
8local recommendations
Cinema
“Science Center of Iowa is a 2 minute walk from our loft and is great for families.”
15local recommendations
Performing Arts Venue
“The DES MOINES SOCIAL CLUB is an innovative arts and entertainment venue located in a renovated, historic art deco Firehouse in downtown Des Moines. It spans two buildings, multiple floors, an outdoor courtyard and features an art gallery, gift shop, black-box theater, music venue, restaurant, and coffee shop, as well as numerous performance spaces, classrooms, and non-profit office space.”
9local recommendations
Bar
“If you like drinks + arcades, check out this fun little bar in the East Village!”
13local recommendations
Coffee Shop
$
“A great place for breakfast, lunch, coffee, tea, or a snack. It has a nice atmosphere and a good place to do some work on the laptop!”
12local recommendations
Grocery or Supermarket
$$
“Local supermarket in downtown Des Moines. It has most anything you may need, including dry-cleaning service. Free parking in the ramp for the first hour only.”
8local recommendations
Park
“Gray's Lake features a winding jogging trail with rainbow lights that make it sparkle at night. I love jogging here!”
9local recommendations
Italian Restaurant
$$
“Sunday brunch is great and reasonably priced. Dinner entrees are over-priced and mediocre. Hamburgers are very good and reasonably priced. ”
8local recommendations
Brewery
$$
“Exile’s brewed beers are distributed throughout the Midwest. It's a solid place to visit if you’re downtown and in search of a good beer and burger!”
13local recommendations
Clothes Shop
“Iconic t-shirt shop with a snarky attitude. Books, mugs, baby onesies and more.”
7local recommendations
Bar
“Fun concert venue and usually a friendly crowd. Drinks are very decent priced. ”
5local recommendations