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East Des Moines - Attractions

The 411 on what's in Des Moines' Historic East Village

Des Moines, IowaDes Moines, IowaYou won't find any big-box stores here, so stop reading if you're a die-hard Wal-Mart disciple. The East Village in Des Moines is an eclectic grouping of specialty shops, boutiques and restaurants.

  • Start off with a filling breakfast at Baby Boomers Restaurant at 313 Locust St.
  • Get your caffeine fix at The Village Bean at 400 Locust.
  • Learn something about Iowa's history at the State of Iowa Historical Museum, 600 East Locust.
  • Meander through the unique shops in the East Village for the afternoon.
  • Enjoy lunch or dinner at any one of the local eateries. Lucca, The Continental and The Grand Piano Bistro all have excellent menus.

Still got time to kill? Check out these ideas:

Botanical Center: Tour the vast collection of indoor and outdoor gardens that showcase Iowa's native plants and flowers. Allow 45 minutes to an hour for dome visits and additional time for the exterior Botanical CenterBotanical Centergardens. 909 East River Drive.

Des Moines Art Center: Not only will you find an interesting assortment of art inside the Des Moines Art Center, but you'll also love the grandeur of the architecture. Features include an emphasis on contemporary art. 4700 Grand Avenue.

Brenton Skating Plaza: Experience Des Moines' newest outdoor ice-skating rink, located in the heart of downtown overlooking the Des Moines River. Not up for the cold? Scoot inside for warm drinks and hot food. 520 Robert D. Ray Drive.

Science Center of Iowa: Experience the Science Center of Iowa through hands-on learning with interactive exhibits and live programs. The museum features a 216-seat IMAX Dome Theater, a 175-seat Adventure Theater and a 50 ft domed Star Theater. 401 West Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.

Historical Tours: Closet history buff? Book a tour of the Iowa State Capitol and find out everything you've been dying to know about Des Moines. East Ninth and Grand Avenue.

Terrace Hill Historic Site: Take a tour of the historic Iowa governor's mansion, which was built in the 1800s. 2300 Grand Avenue.

Need more help making your Des Moines trip memorable? Look at what else we have:

  • Getting to Know Des Moines
  • West Des Moines Attractions
  • Des Moines Hotel Recommendations
  • Des Moines Nightlife
  • Going to Des Moines? Let us in on your discoveries!

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