Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines is the energetic capital of Iowa, situated in the heartland of America. Here, you can sample the best of rural America in a mid-sized city environment. Attractions are varied, with good museums, an extensive zoo and an appealing amusement park and you can see this and more via car rental from Des Moines. In addition, look for national travel deals in Des Moines online.

Getting there

Des Moines International Airport is the state's largest and offers daily flights to and from Memphis, Chicago, Atlanta and Minneapolis. Additionally, Des Moines is on Amtrak's Chicago-San Francisco run. National travel deals can reduce rates significantly.

For those travelling to Des Moines with a rental car, I-35 arrives from Minneapolis and Duluth and then continues to the south, going as far as New Orleans. From Illinois, I-80 passes through Des Moines and Iowa City and heads all the way to Oregon. On the western side of Iowa, I-29 comes down from Dakota and Canada and goes on through Kansas City (Missouri). I-80 goes as far east as Newark (New Jersey), just south of New York City.

Key attractions

The Heritage Gallery, the Des Moines Historical Museum and the Arts Center are all in Downtown Des Moines аnd offer a great opportunity for all those interested in the history of the Midwest and the art of the region. A fascinating attraction just northeast of Des Moines is Effigy Mounds National Monument, boasting North America's most extensive array of effigy mounts. Massive mounds in the shapes of eagles, falcons, bison, deer, turtles, lizards, and bears are dotted across the area, and were created over a thousand years ago.

Out and about

Ten miles west of Des Moines by car rental is Urbandale, where you'll find the Living History Farms, a 243-hectare outdoor museum which traces the development of agriculture on Iowa's prairie lands. Fun for the family is to be found at Adventureland Park, Altoona. The park features over 100 rides, shows and attractions, including three exciting roller coasters which are certain to get your adrenalin flowing.

Leisure options

TheC and the nearby Botanical Center are good places to view the local flora and fauna as well as some exotic animals from around the world. Alternatively, the Raccoon River Valley Trail is a 55-mile long, asphalt-covered cycle and recreational trail. You can get to various points via rental car from Des Moines. Here, you'll find multiple points of historical and natural interest, including the Guthrie County Historical Village in Panora. Nightlife in Des Moines is punctuated by the usual assortment of restaurants, bars and a few nightclubs.


Travelers should be careful when driving long distances through deserted areas and make sure they have a full tank and bring along water in case of a breakdown. Those participating in outdoor activities may also be placing themselves at greater risk of accident and injury. It is advisable to take out travel insurance before you visit Des Moines.


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