Most people I come across ask me, “what’s in Iowa?” While many individuals consider the Midwest fly-over country, I beg to differ. There are many interesting cities and towns within the central states, and one that has become a favorite of mine is Des Moines, IA. It’s not too big, but still has plenty to do. The best time of year to visit is the spring through fall, so hurry and book your trip before the snow starts falling!
How to get around:
BCycle offers several bicycle kiosks located all over downtown Des Moines making it easy to get from place to place. First download the BCycle Now App, join, pull up the map of the kiosks, grab a bike and go. And did I say it’s only six dollars for an all day pass? It’s that easy to get around this city!
What to do:
Located just southwest of downtown, Grays Lake Park is the place to be if you’re interested in getting some fresh air and working out at the same time. As you walk, bike or run round the 2 mile paved path encircling the lake, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere the calm lake and trees provide and the view of the small downtown Des Moines skyline. The trail is lit at night and worth stopping by to view the multicolored lights lighting the bridge and reflecting off the water.
Get lost wandering in and among the sculptures at Pappajohn Sculpture Park located downtown. There are 28 pieces featured at the 4.4 acre park. Maybe pack a picnic like many others and enjoy the art over lunch or dinner. There are walking tours available, but if you’re not one for group tours and want your freedom call 515.657.8264 for your own personal audio tour.
There are several excellent breweries located in the city, such as Confluence Brewing Company, Madhouse Brewing Company and Exile Brewing Company to name a few. Exile is located right in between Grays Lake Park and Pappajohn Sculpture Park, so after a quick workout or walk among the sculptures take a break and enjoy a pint of their GiGi or Hannah – two of my favorites. Enjoy sitting inside the industrial warehouse in the beer hall with clear views of the brewing process. If it’s a warm day and the doors have been rolled-up, take a seat out on the patio in the sun. If you happen to wander in on a Saturday between 3pm and 4pm then plan on joining the tour group and learn a little something about the beer you’re drinking. Click on the links to the other breweries I mentioned to find out when their tours are scheduled.
Zombie Burger + Drink Lab is obviously a zombie themed restaurant, so if you’re into that you will definitely want to check out this “post apocalyptic chic” setting. Even if you’re not part of the whole zombie craze that has taken over the last few years, you will still want to make plans to eat here at least once. Try one of the delicious gourmet style burgers with special Zombie sauce or one of the sinful cereal or cake shakes. Um, want to meet me there right now!?
Where to Drink:
I find El Bait Shop to be very impressive because they offer the world’s largest selection of american crafts beers. I believe 180 to be exact. Need I say more?
So there you have it. These are a few reasons enough for me to visit Des Moines, IA. I’m already looking forward to my next visit. Why don’t you join me?