A Guide to Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines (pronounced “de Moyne”) is Iowa’s capital city and a thriving host of the arts, cultural interaction, business and government activities. The metropolitan population is close to 500,000 and Des Moines proper is close to 200,000. Des Moines offers friendly compassionate neighbors, excellent public and private services, and some of the top educational programs in the nation. If your trip to Des Moines is for vacation or relocation you could not have picked a better place to visit, live, and work.

Some of the businesses located in Des Moines are:
� American Republic Insurance
� Anderson Erickson
� ATT Communication
� Bankers Trust
� Barilla Group
� Bridgestone/Firestone
� Caseys General Stores
� Citi Credit Cards
� Communication Data Services
âÂ?¢ Dahl’s Supermarkets
� Deere & Company
� Des Moines Register
� Electronic Data Systems, Corp
� EFCO Corporation (Best Value & Lowest In-Place Concrete Costs)
� Farm Bureau Financial Services
� Fisher Controls
� Hy-Vee Food Stores
� IFMC (Iowa Foundation for Medical Care)
� ING Financial
� Iowa Department of Transportation
� Iowa Health Systems
� Iowa Packing (Pinnacle Food Group)
� ITA Group
� Krause Gentle Corp (Kum and Go Stores)
� Mary Greeley Medical Center
� Maytag Corporation
� McFarland Clinic
� Meredith Corporation
� Mid American Energy
� Nationwide Insurance (Allied)
� Pella Corporation
� Pioneer Hi-Bred International
� Principal Life Insurance Company
� Qwest Corporation
� RUAN Industries
� Sauer-Danfoss
� Sears Credit
� Shazam
âÂ?¢ Tone’s
� Titan Tire
� United Parcel Service
� Wellmark, Inc. (Blue Cross)
� Wells Fargo Financial
� Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
� Yellow Corporation
� Younkers Department Stores

Hospitals and Medical Centers:
� Broadlawns Medical Center
� Des Moines Veterans Hospital
� Lutheran Hospital
� Mercy Medical Center
� Methodist Medical

Colleges and Universities
� Des Moines Area Community College
� Des Moines University
� Drake University
� Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary
� Grandview College
� Iowa State University (Ames)
� Upper Iowa University (Des Moines Campus)
� University of Iowa
� University of Northern Iowa
� William Penn College (Des Moines Campus)

Attractions and things to do in Des Moines:

Des Moines Art Center is an internationally celebrated museum, which houses works by 19th and 20th century artists such as:

� Edward Hopper
âÂ?¢ Georgia O’Keefe
� Henri Matisse

The museum offers art classes and comprises three buildings designed by I.M. Pei, Eliel Saarinen, and Richard Meier.

The Iowa State Fairgrounds is sometimes spoken of as being the Classic American State Fair offering local and traditional competitions, food displays, agricultural events and many livestock exhibits. This 400-acre facility is open year around hosting outdoor shows, inside shows, baseball games, and more. It also boasts a 160-acre campground.

Blank Park Zoo is one of your smaller zoos with a wide variety of animals. Set in a 22-acre natural setting you can visit the 800+ animals very easy in a long morning or afternoon. They have many areas for children; you might say this zoo leans more towards the enjoyment and learning pleasure of children. You can walk through a habitat with Wallabies hopping around your feet and other animals for up close pictures and experiences. You can watch the different shows, feedings of the animals, crawl through prairie dog tunnels, pet animals, feed giraffes, and ride a camel it is a definite place to visit when in Des Moines.

Des Moines’ Botanical Center is well known for its large collection of Midwestern native and ornamental plants as well as over 1000 exotic plants from across the world. The center resides on 14-acres along the Des Moines River. You will also find one of the most beautiful bonsai collections in the United States, tropical plants, and a very nice herb garden.

Adventureland is “Iowa’s Largest and Most Complete Family Resort Complex” situated in northeastern Des Moines. It is a fun place with something for the whole family including a campground with pool, hookups, and all the standard features and an Inn featuring trolley service to Adventureland. The amusement park has over 100 rides and attractions. The roller coasters and thrill rides are some of the best in the States. And if you are not quite into the thrill-seeking rides you will find some more tame rides and a large assortment of water rides and children’s rides. Adventureland is a must see place for the entire family.

White Water University is a fun and safe place for the entire family featuring two tube slides, two waterslides, a children’s cannon ball slide, a wave pool, lazy river, children’s play area, and more. They also have a go-kart track and miniature golf course.

The Hoyt Sherman Place was built in 1877 by Hoyt Sherman. It is a manor style home featuring a museum and performing arts center. On display are 17th, 19th, and 20th century artwork, artifacts (many ancient and rare) and furnishings.

Living History Farms is just what the name suggests a living story of how Iowans turned the Midwestern prairies into some of the most productive farmland in the world. The area consists of 600-acres allowing visitors to tour at their own pace through five historical time periods that span over 300 years.

The Salisbury House modeled after the King’s house in Salisbury, England is a 42 room mansion housing beautiful art work and history. It sits on ten acres of pristine woodlands built by Carl and Edith Weeks in 1923 taking a little over five years to complete. The house has genuine 16th century English oak, rafters, and flint works some of which date back to Shakespeare’s era. The Salisbury House is listed as a “national treasure and has been featured on TV in the “America’s Castles” series on A&E and “Christmas Castles” shown on HGTV.

Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden is located right in the heart of downtown Des Moines covering half a city block. This garden is actually an area of mini-backyards featuring 2.500 perennials, shrubs, and trees, over 500 annuals that change on a regular basis, and 17,000 bulbs all within 22 gardens. This test garden is used for photographers to shoot landscape designs and also for company entertaining.

Des Moines Area Golf courses:

� Beaver Creek Golf Club, 18 hole, 6779 yards, Par 72
� Briarwood Golf Course, public, 18 hole, 7019 yards, Par 72
� Copper Creek Golf Course, public, 18 hole, 6338 yards, Par 71
� H. Blank, public, 18 hole, 6715 yards, Par 72
� Echo Valley Country Club, private, 18 hole, 6891 yards, Par 72
� Grand View Golf Course, public, 18 hole, 5422 yards, Par 70
� North Course, public, 27 hole, 5550 yards, Par 70
� Otter Creek Golf Course, public, 18 hole, 6458 yards, Par 71
� Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, public, 9 hole, 1074 yards, Par 27
� South Course, public, 27 hole, 2411 yards, Par 34
âÂ?¢ Tournament Club of Iowa, public, 18 hole, 5039 – 7059 yards, Par 71
� Wakonda Club, private, 18 hole, 6959 yards, Par 72
� Waveland Municipal, public, 18 hole, 6437 yards, Par 72

Vaudeville Mews is a theater/club offering a wide range of entertainment ranging from theatre to film, hard rock to country, film; comedy, and performing arts (recitations and dance). They feature a smoke free bar and dress is casual.

Terrace Hill is Iowa’s governors mansion and a historic piece of Iowa’s history. Over 50,000 people visit Terrace Hill each year. The mansion was designed by William Boyington for Benjamin Franklin Allen. The 18,000-square-foot home built in 1866 took only three years to complete at a cost of $250,000. The property covers 30 acres. Because of its modern conveniences (indoor bathrooms, hot and cold running water, an elevator, and gas lights) for that time is was called “The Palace of the Prairie.”

Saylorville Lake is a flood control project in the greater Des Moines area. On December 22, 1944 Congress authorized the project due to the flooding of the Des Moines River which is the largest river in central Iowa. Saylorville Lake was eventually constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers 11 miles upstream of Des Moines. The Des Moines River flows from Lake Shetek in southwestern Minnesota near Pipestone traveling 525 miles joining the Mississippi River 2 miles southwest of Keokuk, Iowa. Near Humboldt, Iowa, the river is known as the West Fork and the East Fork and Raccoon River are principal tributaries. The work on Saylorville took a little over 12 years. In 1985 the permanent conservation pool was raised from 833 feet to 836 feet and forms a lake of about 5,950 acres spanning some 17 miles upstream from the dam, which is 6,750 feet long, 105 feet high, and 44 feet wide. It has the capability to release a maximum outflow of 21,000 c.f.s. In 1984 the project was truly tested as the lake reached 889.29 feet. m.s.1 with water flowing over the spillway for 16 days. The erosion below the spillway gave a glimpse into Iowa’s geological past. Not only does the lake provide flood control but it is also able to provide a steady water supply to Des Moines in times of drought, and an abundance of leisure activities. Over one million people visit the lake yearly. Sail boating and power boating are two of the main activities. Other activities include camping, biking, hiking, fishing, sledding, cross country skiing, swimming, and more. The wildlife is abundant with migratory waterfowl including over 10,000 beautiful white pelicans that rest here in September.

Parks, trails, and beaches:

� Barnes Creek Trail is 1.2 acres of natural trails and a walking path.
� Cecil Powell Park is a 0.2 acre play area and picnic area.
� Des Moines Creek Trail consists of 9.58 acres of natural trails, walking and bicycle paths, and a creek.
� Des Moines Beach Park has 19.6 acres of play area, , restrooms, trails, picnic areas, creek, art, and historical areas.
� Field House Park is 5.2 acres of play area, ball fields, basketball and tennis courts, scenic views, skateboarding, and restrooms.
� Grandview Park offers an off leash dog area, trails, benches, and more.
� Kiddy City Park has 3.2 acres of play area, picnic areas, natural trails and walking paths and a creek.
� Wooton Park offers 2.3 acres of picnic and play areas, basketball, walking paths and trails, and natural views.

The State Capitol of Iowa is Des Moines and the beautiful Capitol is home to Iowa’s legislative branches, Supreme Court, and governor’s offices. The Capitol grounds cover 165-acres and the building has four corner domes that encircle a remarkable 23-karat gold gilded center dome. The architectural detailing is stunning and includes an open rotunda, marble stairway and several monuments and statues:

âÂ?¢ Allison Monument was erected in 1917 by friends of Senator William B. Allison who was a substantial figure in Iowa’s Republican party serving Congress for 43 years and nominated twice for president.
� Christopher Columbus Memorial was given to the state by the Italian-American community of Iowa in 1938.
� Japanese Bell and Bell House was given to the state in 1962 in appreciation of the efforts put forth by Iowans during the 1959 typhoons that severely damaged crops, homes, and farmlands of the Yamanashi prefecture in Japan. Iowans sent feed corn, breeding hogs and more to Japan to help rebuild their agricultural structure.
� Korean War Memorial was dedicated by Governor Branstad in 1989.
� Liberty Bell was given to the state by the Federal Department of Treasury in 1950.
� Lincoln and Tad was sculpted by Fred and Mabel Torey of Des Moines and presented to the state in 1961.
âÂ?¢ Peace Officers’ Memorial is a monument honoring Iowa’s peace officers.
âÂ?¢ Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument was dedicated in 1945 in honor of Iowans who fought during the Civil War.
� Statue of Liberty was given to the state in 1950 by the Tall Corn Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
� Vietnam War Monument is similar to the national memorial was dedicated in 1984.
� World War II Memorial Plaza was dedicated in 1997 in honor of all who served during WWII.

From State Fairs to farmer’s markets Des Moines is truly a place to visit or live. It is a big city with a nice touch of country. The people are friendly, crime is below average, and it is country living with a taste of big city life.

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