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1 - 13 of 13 Comments Last updated Jul 30, 2008

Since: Aug 07

Chicago, IL

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#1
Dec 10, 2007
 
Have your own suggestions for visiting Des Moines? Share your tips with other readers.
John

United States

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#2
Dec 10, 2007
 
Good place, lived there for 4 years before coming to Chicago. Visit the Sherman Hill neighborhood, catch a show at the Hoyt Sherman Theater if you can. The Val-Air balroom is a good place too. There is a suprisingly good art museum. The botanical gardens are small, but well done and worth a visit. Downtown isn't that great, but the nightlife has really improved in recent years. Blues on Grand has some decent acts, worth a visit if you like live blues. The Iowa Cubs are a fun place to watch a game, and hey you cannot beat getting to buy a ticket for less than $10! Beers are cheap too - it was something like $5.50 for a QUART-sized cup. Might have gone up since I lived there but still...good deal compared to the outrageous prices in Chicago.

For some good eats you have to check out the Big Steer steakhouse...all I will say is it has a life-sized statute of a bull in the front, the food is great, and the portions are enormous. You will wait for a table, they don't take reservations, but it is worth it. For breakfast be sure to hit the Waveland Cafe.

Hopefully these give everyone some places to start.
a blinkin

United States

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#3
Dec 26, 2007
 
I've spent a lot of time in Des Moines. Or maybe it just seemed like a long time. Nice place, lovely people. Ranks slightly above Peoria as a travel destination.
ElKabong

Lombard, IL

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#4
Dec 26, 2007
 
Anderson-Erickson Dairy products. Hand-packed cottage cheese and the best chip/veggie dip you've ever eaten.
Dairy HQ is on East University Avenue, just off I-235 on the way to the State Fairgrounds. Look for the giant cow and calf.
ElKabong

Lombard, IL

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#5
Dec 26, 2007
 
Des Moines is more of a nice place to live than a nice place to visit.
I lived there for almost 25 years. It's where I grew up. Loved the city, hated the suburbs, which are plastic and hard to drive through. Traffic is DM is easy going, but a pain in WDM, Urbandale, Clive. In DM, it's easy to get anywhere. Wide, straight streets, limited stoplights. Traffic moves easily along Douglas, Hickman, University, Ingersoll, Grand. Real estate is reasonably priced. Plenty of decent restaurants. Great schools.
EEE

Tinley Park, IL

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#6
Mar 17, 2008
 
Ah, Des Moines. My home town. It's a great place to be from.

Gotta agree with ElKabong about the AE Dairy - best Dairy anywhere I've lived (IA, MN, CO, AK, IL)

The Botanical Center in DM is nice.

And the housing is CHEAP!!! My sister just bought a 3BR 2.5BA house with a large yard and a 2 car garage for under $175K.

Public transportation leaves a lot to be desired and pedestrianism isn't really encouraged...
MMMmmmmm Des Moines

Denver, CO

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#7
Mar 18, 2008
 
Yeah, a real vacation spot. When with USWest / Qwest, I had (oops, I mean I was "privileged") to go there all the time.
Corn, grey weather, and boredom ... who could ask for more. The poor man's Minneapolis.
Jayhawks

AOL

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#8
Mar 25, 2008
 
Can't miss the Urbandale 4th of July parade and fireworks - awesome!

The State Fair

George's Chili King - gotta get the Fat Man's Special (go JW)

Jordan Creek Mall and all the restaurants

Swimming at Camp Dodge

Great place to live and raise a family. Good schools, fantastic recreation and outdoor activities, nice people.
EEE

Tinley Park, IL

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#9
Mar 26, 2008
 
Jayhawks wrote:
Can't miss the Urbandale 4th of July parade and fireworks - awesome!
The State Fair
George's Chili King - gotta get the Fat Man's Special (go JW)
Jordan Creek Mall and all the restaurants
Swimming at Camp Dodge
Great place to live and raise a family. Good schools, fantastic recreation and outdoor activities, nice people.
I don't know about the Jordan Creek Mall - it seems pretty soulless and homogenized to me.

Valley Junction, however, is charming.
Jayhawks

New Lenox, IL

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#10
Mar 26, 2008
 
EEE, I do agree that Valley Junction is charming. The few times I've been to Jordan Creek I've found it easy to shop, catch a movie and a grab a tasty bite to eat.

Also, Big Creek/Saylorville Dam is pretty interesting.
EEE

Tinley Park, IL

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#11
Mar 26, 2008
 
Jayhawks wrote:
EEE, I do agree that Valley Junction is charming. The few times I've been to Jordan Creek I've found it easy to shop, catch a movie and a grab a tasty bite to eat.
Also, Big Creek/Saylorville Dam is pretty interesting.
Ah... I still remember mushroom-hunting and fishing at Big Creek when I was little.
Jayhawks

New Lenox, IL

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#12
Mar 27, 2008
 
How 'bout The Ledges? Loved hiking there.

AE Dairy - the best eggnog

Mama Lacona's pizza

Ragbrai (okay, okay - I know it affects the entire state)
MLN

Westfield, IA

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#13
Jul 30, 2008
 
I enjoy the Farmer's Market during the summer, get there early for a breakfast burrito or I prefer the pizza. "Peoples" is a great concert venue on the top floor above Legends and Liar's Club. Johnny's Hall of Fame is fantastic to watch the game or relax after the work day. Stroll over to the East Village for some tapas and drink at The Continental. Browse the unique shops along Locust. Stop by the Grand Piano Bistro for dualing pianos for a night of fun. I could go on and on. I think Des Moines has a lot to offer and that's why I moved here after 5 years of in Chicago. It's much more affordable too. Oh yeah, the Iowa State Fair is the best!!!! Aug 7-17th. U gotta love it!

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