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April 2009 Email this to a friend

Des Moines

By Staff reports

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NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded Des Moines article click DailyXtraTravel

The Jewel of the Midwest, Des Moines, Iowa is located in the middle of the heartland. An exciting place to visit, the metro area functions as the political and cultural capital of Iowa. In the heart of the city you can find the Iowa State Capital, the Iowa Historical Building, a beautifully restored Court Avenue and Fourth Street and many historical hotels.

Downtown offers the most diverse dining in the city from upscale dining to great deli sandwiches. The Civic Center (221 Walnut Street, 515-243-0766) entertains downtown with Broadway shows, and the Des Moines Symphony (221 Walnut Street, 515-243-1140) offers up your favorite concerts. Yes, even Boy George and Culture Club will be in Des Moines later in October. Downtown has a complete sky-walk system connecting you to a variety of unique shops vending clothing, cards, jewelry, art, and more.

Just minutes from the downtown area is The Loop, or the "Fruit Loop" as many refer to it, an under 21 and after bar hang-out.

For those wanting a bed and breakfast in a city setting, the Kingman House (2920 Kingman Blvd, 515-279-7312) is the place for you. Located minutes from the bars, the Kingman House offers comfort and convenience.


The Blazing Saddle (416 East 5th Ave, 515-246-1299) is the city's oldest and continuously running same-owner club, now in its 27th year. This great hangout for everyone has dancing, drag nights, Imperial Court pageants, and latin nights. A Sunday $5 beer bust, for charity, takes place weekly from 2-6pm. For a place always full of men, this is your best bet.

Beechwood Lounge (416 E Walnut) neighborhood sports bar, great outdoor patio.

The Garden (112 SE 4th St) is recognized as one of the Midwest's best dance clubs. With four bars, a dance floor, show bar, and patio. Their "dancer cages" often feature out of town strippers and porn stars. This is the club to go if you are looking for those nearby Drake University boys. Sundays' "Teen Show" is open from 5pm to those 13 and older for performance shows at 6pm and dancing until 8:30pm.


For an adult book shop Bachelor's Library (2020 West Euclid) offers a wide variety of novelties, adult videos, CD-roms and DVDs along with leather and lingerie apparel, magazines, and books. Also an adult video arcade.


Cafe di Scala (664 18th St) is located just minutes away from the clubs and offers fine contemporary Italian cuisine, Calabrese style in an elegant setting. Reservations are not required, but suggested.

Java Joe's (214 4th St) is the young and alternative crowd's hangout before The Loop or the clubs. With live entertainment on the weekends, great coffee and sandwiches, Java Joe's in a good start to a night of clubbing.

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