Over the past 10 years, Des Moines has transformed into a vibrant, cultured city. Station 121 residents can walk down the street for an evening at the Des Moines Social Club, catch an Iowa Cubs game at Principal Park, watch a Broadway show at the Civic Center, attend a festival in Western Gateway Park, visit the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market and much more.
Downtown Des Moines has grown into a business and cultural center that consistently receives national attention. In 2014, Fortune named Des Moines the #1 city with an up-and-coming downtown and Politico wrote an in-depth report on how Des Moines went from "dull" to "cool." Des Moines is attracting a broad spectrum of people because the city holds something for just about everyone, which the city’s many recent national media mentions illustrate.
- #3 Top City for New College Grads -SmartAsset, 2015
- #2 Best City for Jobs in 2015 -Forbes, 2015
- #2 Top Under-the-Radar Tech Hub -SpareFoot, 2014
- #4 Most LGBT-Friendly City -Huffington Post, 2014
- #6 Best City for Raising a Family -Forbes, 2014
- #2 Best City to Start a Business -Forbes, 2013
- #2 Best City for Business and Careers -Forbes, 2014
- #5 Best City for Retirement -Bankrate, 2015
- #6 Best City to Grow Old In -MSN Money, 2012
Downtown is the heart of Des Moines. It’s where business thrives alongside a flourishing cultural and social scene. Here are just a few reasons downtown is the place to be and live:
For Your Health
Who needs rush hour traffic? Downtown Des Moines is easily navigated on foot or by bike, so your daily commute can not only be healthy but also relaxing. You can also walk or bike to the Downtown Farmers’ Market (which The Daily Meal named America’s second-best farmers’ market!).
For Efficient Living
Living downtown greatly reduces the need for a car (and the payments, maintenance, fuel, and parking costs that come with it). Many urban dwellers also find that they don’t need as much square footage in their homes because the wealth of nearby amenities lets them treat the city, to an extent, as their living room. Additionally, many of the newer downtown apartment communities are incorporating many appealing amenities on site, essentially extending residents’ living space into the communal areas.
Downtown Des Moines is experiencing a cultural boom. Once regarded primarily as a business center for the insurance industry, downtown Des Moines is now being touted as a hipster haven, and world-renowned musician David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) has sung its praises. Of the Des Moines Social Club, housed in downtown Des Moines’ renovated art deco firehouse, Byrne said, Western Gateway Park serves as another important cultural center for the city. Each year, the 80/35 festival draws indie and rock musicians such as Wilco, Cake, Weezer, David Byrne, and the Wu-Tang Clan. It’s also the location of the Des Moines Arts Festival, winner of the International Festivals & Events Association’s Golden Pinnacle Award for best festival, and it’s adjacent to the stunning Pappajohn Sculpture Park.
For Great Food and Nightlife
Fine-crafted coffee at Horizon Line Coffee, award-winning martinis at The Lift, locally sourced shared plates and craft cocktails at RoCA, attitude-free French delectables at Django, and inventive Latin American cuisine at Malo are just a few of the abundant choices in the Western Gateway downtown neighborhood. The choice is yours.