When I started thinking about seven things I love about Des Moines, I had a broader sense of all the great things about this city: the food, the scenery, the opportunities to get involved, the arts. I could go on about the great growth and changes we have seen over the years and how thankful I am for the opportunities we now have.
But to save you from reading a novel, I have pulled a few specific things – and places – I love about Des Moines.
Americana. I love the local Des Moines restaurant (and patio!) scene, and one of my favorite things to do is try new restaurants with the hubby. But hands down, our favorite place to eat in Des Moines is Americana. Find out why here. Whether it’s for brunch, lunch or dinner, it is our go-to date spot.
The Art Festival. Summer in Des Moines is my favorite season because not only do I love the weather, but I also get to enjoy my favorite event of the year. Find out my top 5 reasons why, here. Des Moines has an amazing art scene, and I love visiting the Art Center, Sculpture Park and Market Day.
The cost of living. I love how affordable it is here – which is probably one of the reasons why we were voted one of the best places to raise a family. Living in Des Moines helps me support my frugal living habits (thank you Aldi!) so I can splurge on fun things now and then, too.
Live music. From Jazz in July to Nitefall on the River to enjoying a concert at Wooly’s or the Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines does not have a shortage of great venues for catching live music. There is nothing more perfect than taking in a show with great friends or the hubby.
The Downtown Farmers Market. There’s something about feeling like you’re jam-packed in a can of sardines with thousands of others on an early Saturday morning in the blazing heat of summer. I love it. Samples, supporting local farmers, trying new food and listening to some emerging local musicians. When you have a toddler alarm clock on Saturdays, it helps getting down there early to beat the crowds.
The Iowa State Fair. Okay, this may just be on the list because I’m excited to go this month. I haven’t been for the past couple years, and I am really looking forward to taking my daughter. She is going to have a blast people watching, trying foods on sticks and checking out the animals. Personally, my favorite part of the fair is checking out the art and photography exhibits (along with the food, of course).
The people. Come to Des Moines for the amazing things to do and ways to get involved. Stay for the people and the friends you’ll make. I met my husband here at Drake University – and we’ve been here ever since. We’ve made some great friends while living in Des Moines – in college, at our church and through ways we’ve gotten involved for the past decade, through organizations like the Young Professionals Connection and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network.
No matter where you meet people, it seems we are a very friendly city. Whether I am receiving smiles from others while out and about with my family or hellos from passerby on the walking path, you can see the amiable nature of the people in Des Moines. It rubs off, and it makes me want to be friendly to others I meet as well. The people I share this city with make it a great place to live, work and raise a family.
There are so many great things I love about Des Moines, and I look forward to discovering more in the years to come.