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Living in Des Moines, Iowa:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

12 local experts

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Des Moines, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 12 people living in Des Moines what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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12 comments on “Des Moines”

“No one wants to go to Iowa because there is nothing to do.” Then you’re missing out. This little city has been on many top 10 lists over the last few years and has so much to offer. It’s also Midwest friendly, so when you come here you are welcomed with open arms.

Careful not to move under or near a flight path. SeaTac airport has 3 runways operating intermittently. High crime rates in vicinity of route 99. The closer to the water the better.

Des Moines is Iowa’s vibrant, fast-growing capital. The city boasts several historic districts with diverse architectural styles, as well as numerous public parks and green spaces. The burgeoning art scene is evident in the many public sculpture installations dotted throughout the city, most notably the Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The thriving culinary scene, affordable housing options, and plethora of business opportunities make Des Moines the ideal city to live and work in.

Mengqi, says: 2020

Des Moines is located in Iowa, in the middle of the United States. It is in the heart of the Midwest. We are known for number one production in corn, pork, and soy. I feel there is a fairly low crime rate, and is a safe place to raise a family.

Des Moines is a bustling city with a tremendous nightlife experience. Bars range from arcade bars, local small-town ones, and clubs. The city loves to think of itself as a growing one for artists. Coming to visit is well worth it, though the expensive renting and housing are subpar, to say the least.

Lauren, says: 2020

When moving to Des Moines, you should look at the price of living. It is quite cheap. Des Moines is a good city for young families because of all the parks and places to visit.

Clayton, says: 2020

Des Moines is the capital of Iowa. It’s a large city with a small-town feel. The capitol building is quite beautiful, and is something a visitor to our city should see. Our downtown is growing and thriving, and our old main library building has been transformed into the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.

Larica, says: 2020

Des Moines, Iowa, is one of the best places for young professionals to move to because the cost of living is so low. Des Moines offers an abundance of bike trails, art, music, restaurants and minor league sports. There is so much to experience in Des Moines, but the draw is that everything is more affordable and accessible than in bigger cities.

The downtown section of Des Moines is filled with many business buildings and has many good places to eat. There are multiple murals and sculptures downtown, making it very beautiful in some parts. As for driving downtown, it can be a little tricky. There are many one-ways that can be inconvenient.

Shauna, says: 2020

Des Moines is so much more than just a flyover city. There are thriving scenes for food, music, art, outdoor living, and more. Our downtown farmer’s market is one of the best in the country, and offers a vast assortment of produce, meat, baked goods, coffee/tea, and specialty foods, and jewelry and home goods. We have a gorgeous sculpture park downtown, beautiful lakes where people can swim or rent boats, and a impressive system of trails for walking, biking, and hiking.

William, says: 2020

If you are moving to Des Moines, Iowa, know the extreme weather. There are four distinct seasons and winters can be bitterly cold. Summers can be hot and humid, however spring and fall are pleasant. Also, the weather can change in an instant, so it is never boring.

Natalie, says: 2020

We are the capital of Iowa and a sprawling area for new people moving in. We have minor league sports teams that participate in various sports in the area. There are many surrounding suburbs that make Des Moines, IA an ideal area to live in and raise a family. I absolutely love the nature trails, lakes and people!

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