5 Reasons You Should Visit Des Moines

5 Reasons You Should Visit Des Moines

The greatest city in the universe


"Is this heaven?" "No, it's Iowa." - Field of Dreams

Perhaps I am biased, having lived in Des Moines for the first 18 years of my life. However, I am fully convinced that the 515 is the place to be. For me, growing up in this Iowa city was my own version of heaven. And at the time I did not realize this, but once I moved away to college I quickly found myself proudly displaying Iowa stickers across my laptop and telling anyone who would listen how amazing my hometown is. So now I will tell you, too. Here are the top five (although, I could name many more), reasons why Iowa should no longer be thought of as a fly-over state.

1. Accessibility


Des Moines is the perfect size to have a big city feel with small city access. At a greater metropolitan population of 209,000, Des Moines always has lots going on from farmer's markets to museums to concerts. And the wonderful thing about a smaller city is that you can actually go to all these attractions. It takes me seven minutes to travel from my house to the heart of downtown and only 30 seconds to find a parking spot. I regularly attend sporting events, arts festivals, fairs, and concerts by the river. After living in a much bigger city the past few years, I certainly do not take for granted how accessible the smaller city of Des Moines is. The city offers so much, from shopping and amazing restaurants to local tea shops and bakeries. And I have access to it all.

2. Professional Growth


Let me provide a few rankings for the city of Des Moines. In the past few years, Des Moines has been named: one of five up-and-coming tech spots, one of 25 best cities for young entrepreneurs, the 10th best city to live and work, the 4th best mid-sized city for making a living, the best city for the middle class, the 4th best city for young adults to get rich, and the 6th best up-and-coming town for college graduates. If all of these rankings are not enough to convince you, perhaps visit the city yourself and see all the countless business, communication, and entrepreneurship opportunities it has to offer. Deemed the "capital of insurance," Des Moines is the perfect place to start a professional career and raise a family.

3. Emerging Arts/Cultural Scene


A few more rankings for you: the Des Moines Arts Festival named one of the best art fairs in America, Des Moines named one of the six best new beer cities to visit, Des Moines ranked in top 10 places to live in the country, and Des Moines ranked in top 10 hippest mid-sized cities in America. Des Moines is cool (I promise). The Civic Center brings in countless Broadway acts every year, from Hamilton to Wicked to The Lion King. The Des Moines Arts Festival is one of the biggest arts festivals in the country and takes over downtown for an entire weekend. The middle of our downtown is home to the Pappajohn Sculpture Park (there is literally a sculpture garden in the center of downtown, and if that is not artsy enough I don't know what is). After visiting Des Moines, you'll see for yourself all the culture our small city can hold.

4. Coffee Shops (And Restaurants)


My favorite places in the entire world are local coffee shops. So every time I travel to any city, I always visit the best coffee shops it has to offer. Because of this, I can confidently say that no coffee culture compares to that of Des Moines. From spending all my high school evenings studying in Smokey Row, to some of my first dates in Zanzibar, to life chats in Horizon Line; the coffee shops in Des Moines are superior to those anyplace else. Be sure to check out all the local shops when you visit (because by now, you have to come visit).

5. Hidden Gems


Finally, Des Moines is home to countless hidden gems. The Des Moines Botanical Garden is a seven-acre public garden in the heart of the city. The Des Moines Art Center is free to the public and hosts rotating exhibits from acclaimed artists, as well as offers art classes and workshops. Nitefall on the River is a concert series hosted outside in an amphitheater on the edge of the river and brings in artists like Fitz and the Tantrums and Michael Franti. There are so many wonderful little gems in the city and upon exploring for a few days, you could discover them, too.

Des Moines truly is the greatest city in the universe. It is definitely worth a visit and even worth considering upon graduation as a place to work and live. After all, who would not want to check out one of the hippest cities in the country? Next time you plan on flying over Iowa, think about stopping in Des Moines and giving the 515 a chance. You might surprise yourself.

Popular Right Now

Top 50 Things You'll Hear A Southern Say


For those of you who may need a little help understanding the slang of a southern, I made a list of the top 50 phrases and sayings, along with their translations.

1. Bless your heart.

My favorite saying. It is an empathetic phrase that is usually uttered when the speaker believes the recipient to be sweet, but misguided or stupid. It can also be used if the speaker believes the recipient needs to grow up and deal with it, when the speaker says it in a sarcastic tone.

2. Barking up the wrong tree.

Means being misguided or mistaken.

3. Aren't you precious?

Mostly this saying is used in a sarcastic tone in response to someone being offensive.

4. Britches.

Pants or underpants.

An example would be, "Your britches are too short, you can't wear those".

5. Coke.

Regardless if it's Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, or another carbonated beverage, it's called Coke here in the South.

6. Fixin' to.

Simply means that you are about to do something.

7. Get the short end of the stick.

This phrase means that you basically got an unfair deal or cheated out of something.

8. Give Me Some Sugar.

Simply means give me a kiss.

9. Hissy Fit.

A hissy fit is a grown-up version of a temper tantrum that is as bad as one that a toddler would throw.

10. Hold Your Horses.

Be patient.

11. Holler.

When you say "holler" you are basically letting the other person know something.

Example: Holler at me when you are ready to get something to eat.

12. If the creek don't rise.

This saying simply means that if nothing bad happens, everything will go as planned.

13. You're as slow as molasses in the wintertime.

This phrase means that you are being EXTRA slow.

14. Muddin'.

Off-road four-wheeler riding with the intentions of getting mud everywhere and possibly losing control.

15. Skat Cat.

A phrase that can be used instead of saying "God bless you" when you sneeze.

16. There's Not A Pot Too Crooked That A Lid Won't Fit.

There is someone for everyone.

17. Pitcher.

We mostly mean a plastic container that holds sweet tea, not the position of a guy on the baseball team.

18. Reckon.

When you say "I reckon", you believe that something is true.

19. Hoot With The Owls, Soar With The Eagles.

This simple phrase means that if you are going to stay up all night, you should be able to get early in the morning.

20. Too Big For Your Britches.

Simply means that you take yourself too seriously.

21. Stompin' Grounds.

Your hometown or where you grew up.

22. Back In The Day.

Back in the day could be a month ago, a year ago, or 20 years ago.

23. You're A Spitting Image Of (Insert Family Member).

Yes, I know I'm a spitting image of my mother. "Spitting image" simply means that you look just like someone.

24. "Darlin, Sugar, Sweetheart"

These words are simply terms of endearment.

25. Buggy.

A buggy is a cart/basket at the grocery store.

Example: Who wants to push the buggy?

26. Quit Crying Or I Will Give You Something To Cry About.

This phrase simply means to quit crying and if you didn't then more than likely you got a spanking,

27. Where You Raised In A Barn?

If you are from the South, you have probably been asked this more than once, especially when you left a door open.

28. Close The Door. You Are Letting All The Good Air Out.

This southern heat is nothing to play with. It simply means to keep the door closed so the air (or heat if its winter) stays inside.

29. You Are Going To Make Me Lose My Religion.

When you say this phrase to someone, it more than likely means that person has done something to irritate you or made you mad. Thank goodness Jesus saves.

Example: You are going to make me lose my religion.

30. You Look Like A Chicken With Your Head Cut Off.

This is said when you are running around like a crazy person. It can be said if you are looking for something that you are searching for or if you are just really busy.

31. Y'all.

The southern way to say "you all".

32. You Can't Carry A Tune In A Bucket.

If you've ever been told this, it means that you can't sing.

33. Have Their Feathers Ruffled.

You normally have your "feathers ruffled" when you are pouting.

34. Two Peas In A Pod.

When you and someone else are "two peas in a pod", it means that either you almost always together or that you two are almost identical in the way you think and do things.

35. Well Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit.

This saying can be used when you are surprised or excited.

36. Don't Let The Door Hit Ya Where The Good Lord Split Ya.

When someone say this they typically mean to get out and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

37. You're As Good As Gold.

When you are "as good as gold", it means that you are well-behaved and obedient.

38. It's Raining Cats And Dogs Out There.

This simply means that the rain is really coming down hard. It's not actually raining cats and dogs, people.

39. I'm Full As A Tick.

This phrase means that you ate too much food.

40. I'm Sweating More Than A Sinner In Church.

When someone says this, it means that they are really hot and sweating A LOT.

41. Pot Calling The Kettle Black.

This phrase is used when one person is guilty of the very same thing of which they accuse another person.

42. There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat.

It means that there is anyways more than one way to fix something.

43. Shut Yo' Mouth.

Means to be quiet or hush up.

44. Whatever Floats Your Boat.

This saying means to do whatever you want to do.

45. Slap Yo' Momma.

This phrase means that something is good.

Example: This BBQ is slap yo' momma good.

46. She's Like A Bull In A China Shop.

When you tell someone this phrase, you are telling them that they are clumsy or careless in the way that they move.

47. Cuttin' A Rug.

Cuttin' a rug is used to describe dancing.

Example: Let's go cut a rug tonight.

48. Clicker.

A clicker is another name for a TV remote.

49. Slow Your Roll.

This also means to be patient.

50. You're A Hot Mess.

When you tell someone that they are a "hot mess", you are simply telling them that they don't have it together.

Cover Image Credit: silhouetteamerica.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

11 Ways To Travel More And Spend Less

Airbnb is just the beginning.


Everyone wants to travel, but it can be really expensive, especially if you are in college and have a lot of other expenses. Here are a few different ways you can travel while still staying on budget. These are just some of the ways you can reduce travel costs.

1. Airbnb

A hotel that got four and a half stars in the reviews costs $245 a night in New Orleans, Airbnb has options for as low as $28 a night that has five stars rated by over 130 people. In San Francisco, a five star Airbnb costs $46 a night where a four and a half star hotel costs $199. So if you are comfortable with renting out someone's space for a bit, it's a great option.

2. Get a hotel membership

If you aren't comfortable with staying in strangers' homes, this is another great way to save money. Earn rewards and free visits by sticking to one hotel chain. This might be hard if you travel abroad but it will certainly help in the states.

3. Last minute airline deals

If you want to travel to Florida in two days, take a look because airlines often lower prices and have last minute deals. I would be okay going in two days if the plane ticket price went down to $98. And for New Orleans, the flight price dropped from $400 to $155 for a round trip ticket. If I leave for Dubai in four days, my round trip ticket is $984 instead of being around $1300. So if you can get up and go in a short period of time, look out for deals like these.

4. Round trip vs. one way tickets

Most people just go automatically into booking a round trip ticket, but sometimes it is actually cheaper to get two one way tickets. So just take a look before you book the tickets.

5 . Eating on vacation

It may not be as exciting as eating out every night, but even just bringing enough for your own breakfast and snacks will save you a ton of money by the end of your trip.

6. Eating at home

Or if you really want to go out on vacation, eat cheaper when you are home. Cook more, go out less — this will save even more money than the previous suggestion. Or even better, do both.

7. Get a credit card with points or miles

This way everything you do will help you do more things in the future, while helping pay for what you want to do now.

8. In terms of saving up, ask for money

If you really want to travel, for every holiday and birthday, ask for money or gift cards, then save it up to go away.

9. Use public transportation

Instead of taking an Uber or taxi everywhere, use public transportation.

10. Use apps

If you are going out of the country, use apps to call and text people instead of paying for a very expensive phone plan. WhatsApp is a very popular option.

11. Withdraw money, don't exchange

Many times you can avoid fees or at least minimize them by withdrawing money while in the country you are visiting rather than paying exchange rate fees.


Related Content

Facebook Comments