Des Moines, IA

Things to do in des moines

“Is this heaven?”
“No, it’s Iowa”
Me fulfilling a childhood dream

The actual filming location for the movie Field of Dreams is in Dyersville, which is about 3 hours from Des Moines. We couldn’t make it that far out of our way on this road trip, but there was no way I was going to be in Iowa for the first time and not take this picture!  

We only had about 24 hours to spend here, and it’s very possible that we lucked out with the single most perfect day of the year, but we loved it.  The city is clean, and big on recycling.  The people are friendly.  And if you happen to be in town during farmer’s market season, you’ll see just about every resident out and about.  

Did you know?

The city's original name was Fort Raccoon. It was built at the intersection of the Des Moines River and Raccooon River.

Des Moines Highlights

des moines

Downtown Farmer's Market

It has a little something for everyone.   

Stay and Wander

Take some time to explore the murals and street art of Des Moines. You might even be persuaded to follow it up with an adult beverage. 

Court Ave

Walking along this main avenue will definitely give you a Back to the Future clock tower vibe.

How To Get Around

Downtown DSM is super walkable. You can definitely get by without a vehicle, unless you're there during extreme temps.

Pro Tip: If you're parking downtown on a Friday night, be extra careful about no-parking zones. They clear the streets early for the Saturday morning markets. We saw a ton of cars get towed!

Where To Stay

Our (repetative) disclaimer: We tend to stick to Hilton properties, but won't recommend one if it wasn't up to standard. We don't get any kickbacks from them (yet).

Des Moines Hotel Rec:

This was a great location with great views. We were able to walk everywhere we wanted to from this spot. 

things to do in des moines

A few food and drink recs

If the sports bars on Court aren’t your thing, here are a few other spots we’d go back to the next time we visit. 

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