Best Vacation Spots in Des Moines

  • A young boy shows his pig at the Iowa State Fair
Des Moines is what happens when you combine art, nature, recreation, food, and fun topped off with a warm, friendly vibe. In other words, it makes for a perfect summer trip – especially if you plan on arriving in time for the Iowa State Fair.

Adventureland Resort

This amusement park features old school rides and a nostalgic feel. It’s also home to Iowa’s newest water park, which boasts 20 slides, a 6,000-square-foot swimming pool, a swim-up bar, and Iowa’s longest lazy river.

Blank Park Zoo

Three lion cubs were born at the zoo last fall. While Kali, Asha, and Jabari could only be seen via a special closed-circuit monitor for the first months of their lives, they are now part of the African lion exhibit. Ostrich, parakeet, and giraffe feeding is another favorite zoo experience.

The Iowa State Fair

Time your trip up to be in Iowa from August 9th to the 19th and you’ll be able to see one of the best state fairs in the country. Don’t miss the legendary 600-pound cow carved out of butter. Headliners this year include Reba McEntire; Sugarland; Earth, Wind & Fire; Casting Crowns; and comedian Jim Gaffigan.

800 Miles of Trails

Des Moines trails make for great biking, hiking, running, and walking. Be sure to check out the picturesque High Trestle Trail over the Des Moines River, which is especially beautiful at night.

Tasty Tacos

A Des Moines institution, this local chain of five taco shops is known for serving up Mexican street food made from scratch. Try their deep-fried flour tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.

John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park

A donation of more than two dozen sculptures worth $40 million instantly transformed a downtown green space into a celebration of art.

Bauder Pharmacy

End your trip to Iowa on a sweet note. This old-fashioned soda fountain has been around since the 1920s. Try the fresh strawberry and peach ice cream—or maybe the homemade peppermint bars, which have a hot fudge inside and an Oreo crumb coating. You might just have to make two trips to this Des Moines favorite.

Des Moines Vacations and StorageMart

At StorageMart, we’re proud to be a part of the communities we serve, including Des Moines, where the people are always friendly and there’s always something fun to do. Besides, where else can you see a cow carved out of butter?

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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