Downtown Des Moines

Do a trip report here....go to another city and want to relate it to what KC is doing right or could do better? Give us a summary in here.
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dangerboy
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Downtown Des Moines

Postby dangerboy » Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:29 am

Great Friday night in Downtown Des Moines...  Tens of thousands of people on the streets everywhere.

1) Des Moines Art Festival.  Like the Plaza Art Fair, a top-10 nationally recognized event.  Amazing location along the bridges over the DM River in the heart of downtown.  It attracts 250,000 people over the course of a weekend - more than half the population of the whole metro area!

2) 3 blocks south - a packed Sec Taylor baseball stadium for an Iowa Cubs minor league game and a brand new Science Center of Iowa building with Imax.

3) 3 blocks west  - a packed event at the Civic Center, a 1970s theater that is big enough to host any Broadway tour, including the Lion King in 2006

4) 3 blocks north - the almost-finished Iowa Events Center with the 17,000 seat Wells Fargo Arena and 150,000 sqf HyVee Hall convention center.  Home of the Dallas NHL farm team and probaby a new Arena Football team soon.

5) 6 blocks west - brand new public library and combined higher ed campus for several area universities.

This city really "gets" the importance of putting it's regional faciities in one central location.  It really is quite a site to be in the middle of a natioanlly acclaimed art show and also be surrounded by a new arena, a baseball stadium, new lofts and townhomes, a beautiful riverfront, and all the other new investments and developments.  All this in a city where more than 50% of the workforce works downtown (compared with 10% in KC).

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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby mister816 » Sun Jun 26, 2005 9:58 am

okay.... what is with this des moines kc thing...  i know no one takes that serious... if it was kc vs stl maybe, but des moines... really... you must have some kind of little man complex or something.  If des moines people think they are better than kc, so be it, but keep that bullshit up there!
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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby KCK » Sun Jun 26, 2005 11:41 am

KC's new arena, PAC, Entertainment district, convention center, not to mention lofts and condos, and new library are all in the loop. Stop whining and trying to make KC look bad.
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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby Thrillcekr » Sun Jun 26, 2005 11:46 am

mister816 wrote:okay.... what is with this des moines kc thing...  i know no one takes that serious... if it was kc vs stl maybe, but des moines... really... you must have some kind of little man complex or something.  If des moines people think they are better than kc, so be it, but keep that bullshit up there!
WTF? Where did that come from?  I think it's quite obvious that wasn't the intent of his post.  Come down off the hashish.  It will improve your reading and comprehension skills a bunch.  :lol:

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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby KCN » Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:36 pm

mister816 wrote:okay.... what is with this des moines kc thing... i know no one takes that serious... if it was kc vs stl maybe, but des moines... really... you must have some kind of little man complex or something. If des moines people think they are better than kc, so be it, but keep that bullshit up there!


what on earth? :lol:

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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby dangerboy » Sun Jun 26, 2005 3:06 pm

How bizarre. I  was just reporting on a nice visit in another city.  I wasn't bashing KC.  Just because it's smaller doesn't mean there aren't things we can learn from it.  If a city of this size can build an arena, ballpark, PAC, and riverfront - then it means it's well within the abilit of KC to do it as well.

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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby grovester » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:03 am

Decided to breakup a road trip to Chicago by staying a night in downtown Des Moines, which we had never done. It was a very nice time, staying at the Hampton at Water St. and Court Ave right on the river. This area of downtown is about 3 square blocks of bars and restaurants, wide sidewalks and lots of patios. There was a bit of a college town vibe, I got the feeling things got loud after a certain hour.

The river and adjoining pathways are very well organized and seem to be very utilized. Good signage and maps showed this trail system went all through the city. There was at least one ped only bridge near our place.

Their Farmers Market is quite a spectacle and frankly makes ours look a bit small. Theirs has a State Fair flavor mixed in with the standard produce aspect. All of the streets are shut down and all of the bars/restaurants open and serving food or drinks. Great people watching.

We had dinner/beers at El Bait Shop which has a Grinders type vibe and brew selection. Food was upscale bar, but interesting. Breakfast the next morning at Royal Mile a british pub. Dark wood, dark beers and lots of whiskey.

We’ll be back for sure with the bikes and will add Des Moines to the out of town music search.

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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby brewcrew1000 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 12:26 pm

grovester wrote:We’ll be back for sure with the bikes and will add Des Moines to the out of town music search.


I am starting to fall in love more and more with Iowa each time I visit. Stayed at my dads weekend place in SW wisconsin/ on WI/iowa border and happened to stop in Decorah Iowa, what a great town. It has a small college (Luther) but the downtown for a town the size of 8000 is great. They have an amazing brewery called Toppling Goliath, they have lots of little boutique shops and even a whole foods like Co-Op store. The outdoor amenities are amazing in that town.

I think the #1 reason why Iowa is great is the people, everyone is so welcoming and friendly. They do the bike thing called RAGBRAI and I think it would be great to stay in all the small town. If they tried to do a RAGBRAI across Oklahoma or Mississippi it would never happen because everyone is somewhat unfriendly and unwelcoming to outsiders and they hate bikers. I would really consider living in Iowa one day.

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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby grovester » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:31 pm

Thanks for the tip, we do the KC to Chicago/Wisconsin pretty regularly. And you are absolutely right, more hellos and nods than you see in other towns, particularly for a downtown.

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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby brewcrew1000 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:16 pm

grovester wrote:Thanks for the tip, we do the KC to Chicago/Wisconsin pretty regularly. And you are absolutely right, more hellos and nods than you see in other towns, particularly for a downtown.


We do it a lot as well and I'm getting sick of the drive. I'm starting to go different routes now, I would like to do the full CKC route and see if its actually the fastest. The stretch of 35 from KC to Des Moines is just brutal to me now, i think its because of the lack of towns and lack of good restaurants in this stretch but I hate this section with a passion

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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby grovester » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:26 pm

We came back across 36 from Hannibal, pretty nice alternative.

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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby chingon » Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:49 pm

brewcrew1000 wrote:I am starting to fall in love more and more with Iowa each time I visit. I would really consider living in Iowa one day.


Iowa is Missouri's Canada: clearly smarter, better...and less interesting.

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Re: Downtown Des Moines

Postby grovester » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:14 pm

Spent yesterday and this morning here. Stayed in the "Historic East Village", which I did not know was a thing. That Embassy Suites is a TRIP, brutalist waterfall features, glass elevators and "The Shining" floor coverings.

Cocktails and small plates at "The Continental Lounge", shot gun space that wouldn't be out of place in the river market, more substantial fare and beers at the Iowa Taproom. Four solid pages of Iowa brews on tap, could Missouri match? Scenic Route for coffee and sweets in the morning.

Very happy to find this area, as our last foray to the west side of the river was ok, but seemed a bit party central.

We are looking forward to taking the bikes up when the weather gets warmer.


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