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The population of this area of Central Iowa is nearly 200,000.
Give the kids a break from sightseeing and enjoy some quality time together at Adventureland and the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The Living History Farms and Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park are also worth a visit if you're looking for more family fun.
You and the kids will have an awesome time investigating the furry, feathered and scaled creatures at the Blank Park Zoo. If you don't have much time, take a map so you can quickly find the zoo's many highlights.
Visiting wine enthusiasts should consider a trip to the Summerset Winery and the Penoach Winery. Wander through the vineyards, compare your favorite blends, and, to cap off a superb day, buy a bottle or two to take home with you.
Sit back and have a couple of drinks, spin the roulette wheel or simply take in the bright lights at the Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino.
If you want to learn about the local flora, a visit to the Des Moines Botanical Center and the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden is a wonderful idea.
For fresh air and relaxation, grab some lunch and find a shady nook at one of the picturesque urban parks, such as Saylorville Lake and Big Creek State Park. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park and John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park are two more pleasant spots to while away the day over a good book.
Skim a few stones, try to spot some birds and have a bite to eat at Lake Ahquabi State Park.
There's nothing like spending some time out among nature to help replenish a travel-weary soul. When you feel like escaping the hustle and bustle, head on over to Pammel Park.
See the world from a different perspective by visiting one of the area's fascinating exhibition spaces. The Science Center of Iowa and the Des Moines Art Center offer a range of collections that are bound to spark your curiosity. Another two worth considering are the John Wayne Birthplace Museum and the State Historical Society of Iowa Museum.
You can enter a world of artistic symbolism at the Ankeny Art Center.
Even if you're not a history nerd, you'll still enjoy learning about the past at the Fort Des Moines Museum or the Iowa Hall of Pride.
To find out more about the events and people who shaped this place, consider visiting its many historic structures and monuments. Start the local history tour at Salisbury House or Iowa State Capitol Building. When it comes to bygone times, there's always something else to know. Terrace Hill and the Bob Feller Museum are two more insightful places to check out.
Don't miss a visit to Walnut Street Bridge or Roseman Bridge, proud examples of civil engineering. You'll be sure to enjoy the view! Holliwell Bridge and Hogback Bridge are a couple more impressive structures that you may like to add to your to-do list.
Work on your photography skills, go for a stroll and immerse yourself in the contemplative atmosphere at the Temple for Performing Arts.
Before you pack up your bags and head home, ensure you check out some of Des Moines' other attractions. The Des Moines Public Library and the Des Moines Civic Center are well worth a look. If you can fit it in, also think about visiting Cedar Bridge or Sleepy Hollow Sports Park.
The state capital of Iowa features a broad range of convenient places to stay to suit all tastes, styles and budgets. You'll find 102 Des Moines hotel options listed on Expedia's lodging guide.
Situated in the shopping district, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Clive Aquatic Center, Valley West Mall and Mercy Medical Center West Lakes. Living History Farms is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) away.
Situated in Clive, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Clive Aquatic Center, Valley West Mall and Mercy Medical Center West Lakes. Living History Farms is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) away.
Situated in Altoona, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.7 km) from Adventureland and within 6 miles (10 km) of Iowa State Fairgrounds and Grand View Golf Course. Copper Creek Golf Course and Sky Glider East are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Located in the heart of Urbandale, this hotel is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Pioneer Hi-Bred Headquarters and within 6 miles (10 km) of Pump It Up and Buccaneer Arena. Merle Hay Mall and Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Situated in the business district, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Valley West Mall and within 3 miles (5 km) of Buccaneer Arena and Clive Aquatic Center. Val Air Ballroom and Mercy Medical Center West Lakes are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Mercy Medical Center West Lakes and within 3 miles (5 km) of Clive Aquatic Center and Valley West Mall. Living History Farms is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) away.
Situated in Altoona, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Adventureland and within 6 miles (10 km) of Copper Creek Golf Course and Grand View Golf Course. Iowa State Fairgrounds and Sky Glider East are also within 9 miles (15 km).
Situated in the suburbs, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Clive Aquatic Center and Living History Farms. Valley West Mall and Mercy Medical Center West Lakes are also within 3 miles (5 km).