The reaction is usually the same. Anytime I tell someone I go to school in Des Moines, Iowa there’s a pleasant smile and a generic comment such as “Oh, nice” as if I stated that I was thinking about getting a fish or that I like chocolate ice cream. For most people, the mention of Iowa is a non-starter that conjures images of Field of Dreams, and well, just fields. So my favorite discussion is when I meet someone who’s been to Des Moines, who knows that on the other side of the fields is one of the coolest, most accessible, and most exciting cities in the Midwest. Here are my top 3 greatest things about Des Moines that nobody knows:
1. It’s a Big Small Town
Downtown Des Moines is beautiful and usually pretty active day or night. But unlike some of the other cities in the Midwest, it’s an accessible place to get around. While St. Louis, Chicago, and Kansas City all kind of sprawl outwards, Des Moines is centered and easy to navigate. I mean, I still get lost occasionally, but at this point, it’s really my own fault.
2. Young Professionals Are Everywhere
Des Moines has all the best aspects of a college town with young people, job opportunities, and activities. The city always feels energetic because there are so many young people doing whatever it is that hip young professionals are supposed to do.
3. City on the Rise
From the music scene to the food to the art, so many homegrown Des Moines products are making it national. And for good reason too. Culturally, this is a city that has a lot to offer, and it’s only going to continue to grow as more and more people realize that.