Hey everyone welcome to 601 travels into. the what makes this place great series. where we explore u.s cities and points. of interest and then tell you. our favorite top 10 spots you need to. see. if you’ve ever wondered what there is to. do in des moines iowa then you are in. luck. today we’re gonna see and explore what. makes des moines. a great place. before we get started please hit that. subscribe button to join our travel. community we do top tens just like this. one. plus city tours and highway drives while. you’re watching comment below where you. would like to go. next. the city of des moines has over 200 000. people. and is known as the hartford of the west. located in central iowa right about here. on a map. des moines is iowa’s capital city and. was originally. formed as fort des moines it’s a major. hub in the u.s insurance industry and.
Has been named the best place for. business. numerous times still the city remains. affordable. and relatively safe for its size so. let’s go ahead and take a look at the. top 10 things that makes des moines. a great place. number 10 blank park zoo. opened in 1966 the blank park zoo. is located right in downtown des moines. covering 25 acres of land. built to preserve and educate there are. many exhibits with different themes. that take you on a journey around the. world as you see animals from different. countries. there’s also an aquarium there with an. abundance of sea life. at the african exhibit there are. elephants on display and the australian. adventure has koalas and kangaroos. the blank park zoo is a nice little zoo. that is perfect for families. and too close not to visit. number 9 salisbury house and gardens.
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If you enjoy architecture and english. style houses then you will not want to. miss the salisbury house. it’s a 42room estate modeled after the. famous 15th century. king’s house in salisbury england this. house was built in the 1920s. and features all of the ornate charm. that you would expect. available for tours and events inside. the mansion you’ll find a wealth of. history. including historic documents pertaining. to iowa. memorabilia and musical instruments. there’s also an art museum and a concert. hall inside. this is one of the most grand houses in. iowa and a time. capsule for the 1920s. number eight des moines art center. this building does not look like it. belongs in iowa. it is so modern and futuristic despite. being built in 1948. the des moines art center is styled in. an art deco design. and offers its visitors over 5 000.
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Pieces of artwork. no matter if you’re interested in. paintings sculptures. or any other type of art you’ll find it. here it’s not just a place for adults. either. they are family friendly and also have. activities for children. they have rotating exhibits from. collections around the region and. offer a rose garden with sculptures on. the grounds outside. make sure to stop in if you have a few. hours to see what’s on display. number 7 downtown farmers market. when you think of iowa you generally. imagine things like farming. produce and country living there are a. lot more than that here. but they’re really good at those things. like really good. downtown des moines has a farmers market. that brings over. 300 local vendors together to offer. customers the freshest produce. and artisan items you can expect fruits. vegetables.
Flowers meats and crafts to be sold here. there’s also live music and street. performers. they have different markets throughout. the seasons and on special days. so be sure to check out and see the. schedule of events when you’re in town. number six papa john’s sculpture park. this has nothing to do with the pizza. franchise even though now i’m kind of. hungry. but anyway this papa john’s sculpture. park. was founded in 2009 by john and mary. pappajohn. covering over four acres of land it’s a. quirky little destination in the city. where you’ll find over 20 sculptures by. local artists. all of the sculptures were donated by. the artists and are overseen. by the des moines art center you can. explore the park by yourself. or take a guided tour this is a really. nice way to discover and support local. artists. while in des moines.
Number five des moines civic center. since opening in 1979 this has remained. iowa’s. largest civic center with a capacity of. 2 700 people. you can attend a concert broadway show. ballet and other special events all. right in des moines. no need to travel hours to another. larger city for entertainment. the simple seating layout ensures that. no matter where you are. you’ll have a clear view and great sound. with yearround events scheduled there’s. sure to be something going on when. you’re in town. number four east village. if you’re looking for a walkable area of. the city that’s full of. all kinds of trendy destinations you. found it. the east village is a 150 year old. section of des moines. it has all kinds of unique shops. eateries. cafes and bars that make it a. destination for visitors. and a favorite for people who live there.
You can spend an afternoon. just walking around from place to place. exploring. this section of the city has been. referred to as the brooklyn of iowa. referring to the cultural aspect that it. demonstrates. so whether it’s to shop or eat make sure. to check out east village. number three the greater des moines. botanical garden. iowa is a beautiful state the. countryside and back roads. always seem to deliver exceptional. imagery. the greater des moines botanical gardens. brings nature. right into downtown and makes you feel. like you’re a hundred miles away from. the city. and in the countryside of iowa sitting. on 14. acres you’ll find over 1200 flowers and. plants that do an. amazing job of representing the region. and creating a space you can relax. and enjoy since 1939 they’ve offered. exhibits as well as a place for.
Gardening. enthusiasts and casual visitors to come. together. and enjoy the displays. number 2 science center of iowa. you can tell just by the looks of this. facility. that you’re in for some hightech stuff. a. really cool family destination to visit. while you’re in des moines. inside there’s more than a hundred and. ten thousand square feet of. sciencerelated exhibits and galleries. this is the ideal place for anyone who. likes science. because it offers a lot of handson. opportunities to learn. there are always live science. demonstrations going on. a 50foot planetarium and an imax. theater for over 200 spectators. for education or just having some family. fun you. can’t go wrong at the science center. number one the state capitol. iowa is so full of history and there is. so much to learn about. the best way to do it is to start at the.