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Said no one ever. Until recently…. ly known for corn, deep-fried anything, its state fair, and as the one spot for U. Its leaders got together with innovators in the private sector and started to organically embed cultural amenities throughout the city. Aside from being one of the up-and-coming music and culture centers in the US, Des Moines aka, DSM also took some national titles in the socioeconomic arena: best place for young professionals, families, renters, and millennial homebuyers Politico.
Combined with a 3. By some important measures, Des Moines is way ahead of its cooler coastal cousins. Cities in transformation usually have a grassroots art scene that is popping, and Des Moines is the perfect example. In , another block was added, creating an internal sculpture court. The center is home to an impressive collection, with an emphasis on contemporary art. Saved from demolition back in , this borough has since become the quintessential neighborhood of Des Moines. Not only is lot of what follows in our handy guide located in this environment, but it has transformed into the epicenter of all things cool in the city.
Besides dining and nightlife, we love this pedestrian-friendly area for its galleries and stores! After all, what better way to understand the local artist scene than to get a good glimpse at their wares. Domestica, an indie homemade shop, is a charming space featuring accessories, jewelry , posters, stationary, and more, all deed by independent artists. Located a few steps away from Domestica is Sticks, one of the pioneers in an area once thought unapproachable for locally owned and operated businesses.
Started by Sarah Grant in , Sticks is acclaimed for their distinctive lines of furniture and accessories. No hipster city is hipster without its local letterpress. And this one is no stranger. Located in downtown East Village, you can pop in and watch owner Sarah McCoy deing and printing in her studio. And no hipster city is hipster without its succulents of course! This space is a hidden haven for houseplants, succulents, ceramic pots, planters, and gifts, and holds biweekly events bringing us people together with those plants. Located downtown, plant lovers and newer to the genre can spend an afternoon getting DIY creative with old plant pots.
An interesting mix of mid-century modern and art deco building with Queen Anne-style housing and neoclassical touches, Des Moines is a patchwork, in the best sense of the world. Oh yea. Built at the end of the 19th century, this neoclassical statehouse is the only five-domed capitol building in the country. You can easily get lost in this Hawkeye State gem, taking in all the details, materials, and simply in the grandeur of it all. Insider tip: In the winter, sledding at Capitol Hill is a must.
David Chipperfield Architects broke the mold. There is a noted lack of rigidity to the project and its relationship to the surroundings. Who are these women of achievement you ask? Des Moines is at a literal and metaphoric musical crossro, nestled between routes 80 and 35, and as such, has always served as a stop-over for musicians traveling the county. As the theme goes, up until recently, there were never really venues for them to do more than sleep.
With large crowds year after year and several world class acts launching their career at DSM venues, we can say with confidence Des Moines is a formidable music town. Vaudeville Mews, a smaller yet charming club in downtown Des Moines, is notable for launching the careers of acts such as Decemberists, Devendra Banhart, and Of Montreal — expect nothing short of pure stoke at this venue. The Simon Estes Amphitheater is located in the Historic East District, along the banks of the Des Moines river, and provides a backdrop for some world-class acts.
With a capacity of up to 2,, this venue has seen the likes of Barenaked Ladies, John Butler Trio, and Slightly Stoopid, among other famous acts. Objective reached! Outdoor lovers will also enjoy with various activities on tap including arts, camping, and crafts. Beyond art, de, and music, here are some of our other pics for must-visit spots in lovely Des Moines.
The market is open every Saturday morning from mid-May through early October, rain or shine. The market proudly connects urban and rural communities while supporting nearly local entrepreneurs, including farmers, producers, bakers, and artists that represent 50 counties across Iowa. This organization is moving the needle for the younger generation of Des Moines by providing safe spaces to discuss issues facing their community as well as a platform for these teens to foster change. A pillar of the DSM community, they run something called Movement which has something for everyone — from spoken word poetry at Des Moines Social Club, to color control graffiti writing and breakdancing.
Probably the most quintessential expression of what culture means to Des Moines, this renovated, historic art deco firehouse is at once a social, cultural, and art center. Plus, there are a myriad of workshops open for all ages dancing to poetry to cooking to guitar lessons and acting and daily events live music, trivia night, theater productions, and more.
A smorgasbord of visual art, live music, film, interactive art, and performances, this art festival echoes the spirit of Des Moines. For updates on when Lemonade will launch renters and homeowners insurance in your state, see Lemonade Goes Nationwide. Here are 3 easy tips to stay organized and stress-free for your next move. The honeymoon phase is officially over.
The result? Nothing less than delightful. Art Cities in transformation usually have a grassroots art scene that is popping, and Des Moines is the perfect example. Pic: meanzchan. Pic: samfathallah. Pic: janet. Team Lemonade Follow TwitterDev. Be the first to know! Subscribe to our exclusive mailing list and get the freshest stories from the Lemonade team. Forget everything you know about insurance Incredible prices, monthly subscription.
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The Cool Guide to Des Moines