Des Moines Iowa Real Estate and Community Information

Des Moines Iowa Real Estate and Community Information

Serving as the capital city of Iowa, Des Moines is the most populated city in the state, with over 600,000 residents living in the metro area and 203,000 in the city limits. Set along the Des Moines River, the city is home to major insurance companies such as the Principal Financial Group, EMC Insurance Companies, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Major financial institutions are also located here, including Wells Fargo and Voya Financial. Due to the fact that data processing facilities have been built here by Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Facebook, Des Moines was ranked as the "Wealthiest City in America" on 2014 by NBC and as the "Best Place for Business" by Forbes in 2010 and 2013. Des Moines is also an important player in the presidential races dues to it being the site of the first caucuses during the elections.

The Des Moines River has been home to indigenous people for thousands of years, which evidence of has been found in the area, especially in the downtown area and during the construction of the wastewater treatment plant. Archeologists found thousands of artifacts and graves at that site. Modern day Des Moines began as a fort built in 1843 at the merging of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers. In 1846, after the fort was abandoned, settlers occupied the fort and the surrounding area.

In 1851, the town of Des Moines was destroyed by a massive flood that wiped out all of the crops and homes. Despite the complete destruction, the settlers rebuilt the city, and it was incorporated in 1851.

Des Moines Shopping & Dining

Being the “wealthiest city in America” certainly bodes well for an exciting shopping and dining scene. In downtown Des Moines, you’ll find all manner of boutiques and shops. Just west of the State Capitol, East Village is home to over 85 shops and places to eat. Elsewhere in the city is where you’ll find the shopping malls and chain stores, such as Southridge Mall, which contains Target, Sears, and a large array of smaller stores. Merle Hay Mall, Brass Armadillo Antique Mall, Valley West Mall, and Jordan Creek Town Center, Iowa’s largest mall, round out the shopping scene in Des Moines.

Finding a great place to eat in Des Moines is certainly not a challenge. You’ll be in BBQ heaven at Smokey D's BBQ, “winner of over 75 state championships and 800 local, regional, and National BBQ Awards.” For the best Italian cuisine in Des Moines, there’s Centro Restaurant, located in downtown. Fong's Pizza offers a unique twist on the pizza scene with “Chinese pizza.” They feature pizza choices such as Crab Rangoon, Thai Chicken, Egg Roll, and other Chinese based selections. Other restaurants not to be missed in Des Moines include Skip's, Flying Mango, Buzzard Billy's, and Exile Brewing Company.

Parks & Recreation in Des Moines

There is a vast array of parks, attractions, and things to do in Des Moines. Major attractions include the spectacular Iowa State Capitol building. Towering 275 feet high, the dome is covered in 23-karate gold leaf. There are a number of monuments on the grounds, along with the West Capitol Terrace and “people’s park.” Another major attraction is the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, one of the largest collections of tropical plants in the Midwest.  In addition to the 15,000 exotic plants located indoors, there are large gardens surrounding the main structure. Adventureland Park features more than 100 attractions and rides, including several roller coasters.

History is important to Des Moines residents. As such, there are a number of museums located in the city.  There’s the Des Moines Art Center, Fort Des Moines Museum and Education Center, Salisbury House, World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, Science Center of Iowa, and State Historical Society of Iowa, among others.

Cultural events are also a staple of the Des Moines lifestyle. There are a number of popular events each year including the annual Des Moines Arts Festival, Iowa State Fair, Metro Arts Jazz, and the World Food & Music Festival. Residents of Des Moines also enjoy other events such as ArtFest Midwest, Festa Italiana, Blue Ribbon Bacon Fest, Festival of Trees and Lights, Des Moines Beer Week, World Food & Music Festival, Oktoberfest, Des Moines Renaissance Faire, and Wild Rose Film Festival.

Education in Des Moines

The students of Des Moines attend schools in the largest school district in Iowa, the Des Moines Public Schools district. The district manages 63 schools in total with a combined student body that averages around 32,000 students. There are small parts of the city that fall within other school districts, which consist of Carlisle Community Schools, the Southeast Polk Community School District , Johnston Community School District, and the Saydel School District.

There are also three private colleges located in Des Moines. Grand View University, Drake University, and Mercy College of Health Sciences all have their main campuses in the city.  ITT Technical Institute, Kaplan University, and Vatterott College also have campuses in Des Moines. The community college in Des Moines is Des Moines Area Community College.

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Contact Information

Kim Polder & Dave White
RE/MAX Real Estate Group
6600 University
Des Moines IA 50324
Kim: 515-271-7713
Dave: 515-271-8270
Fax: 515-271-8273