Des Moines is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, and for good reason. Apart from a bustling downtown, and rapidly growing developments, Des Moines also hosts some of the friendliest people in all of the midwest.
People who move or visit Des Moines are usually well-aware of the traditional points of visits including the Capitol Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Gray’s Lake, etc. But here are five not as well known places to visit, that we consider to be some of the best hidden gems of Des Moines.
Juniper Moon sits on Ingersoll Ave in the outskirts of downtown. Known for their top-shelf cocktails, Juniper Moon has some of the best atmospheric vibes you can find in DM. When the weather gets warmer, you can also take your cocktails outside to Juniper’s outdoor patio area. (They also have a fireplace out in their patio too, for those chillier summer evenings.)
As for costs, Juniper Moon can fall on the pricier end, depending on what exactly you purchase. The good news is, they also host a Monday-Thursday happy-hour with 50% off all drinks.
(P.S. Be sure to get yourself their world-famous Juniper Mules while you’re there. ;))
La Tienda Mexicana
If you’re looking for delicious and authentic Mexican food, look no further than La Tienda Mexicana. Besides their riveting street tacos, they also cook mouth-watering burritos and enchiladas.
The best part about La Tienda Mexican? THEIR PRICES! They are extremely affordable, and the provide some of the best bang for your buck.
Be forewarned that the place can get busy at times, and the interior cannot fit that many people. However, it’s still well worth the trip if you’re itching for some Mexican cuisine.
The Salisbury House
If you’re looking to be in awe by an extrodinary architectural landscape while in Des Moines, then look no further than the Salisbury House. The house was actually created to model a house from a King who lived in Salisbury England (hence, the Salisbury House.)
Salisbury House was built in the 1920s by cosmetics magnate Carl Weeks and his wife Edith. The home was modeled after the King’s House in Salisbury, England. The historic home contains authentic 16th century English oak woodwork.
The Salisbury House offers guided or self-guided tours year-round. They also do a picnic-tour option during the Spring and Summer.
You don’t see too many authentic carousels rides around the United States anymore. That’s what makes Heritage Carousel in Des Moines so exceptional. Heritage gives people of all ages the experience of a rustic carousel ride featuring 30 carved animals spinning you around to the playing of an organ.
It should be noted, that the carousel can be found inside of Union Park in Des Moines. Although they usually have pretty generous hours, it’s always good to double-check before making the trek out there.
Irina’s Restaurant & Bar
From the outside, Irina’s looks like an ordinary mid-tier restaurant and bar. But, looks can be deceiving. Irina’s is a Russian-styled restaurant that features the largest vodka bar in Iowa. The interior of the restaurant is stunning, and they just recently opened up a brand new outdoor patio area as well.
As for pricing, Irina’s does tend to be on the pricier end of the spectrum. But it’s still well worth a visit for some delicious Russian cuisine, and a fancy atmosphere.
Do You Have Any Hidden Des Moines Gems?
We’d love to hear about any hidden Des Moines you might have. Use the comment section below to share them!
Gemsman’s Hidden Gems Series
Check out the other cities we’ve featured in our Hidden Gems Series: