Des Moines, the capital and largest city of Iowa, is often overlooked by travelers and tourists who prefer more glamorous destinations. But for those who live in Des Moines, or are curious about what it has to offer, there is much more to this city than meets the eye. Des Moines is a city of surprises, with a rich history, a vibrant culture, and a diverse community. In this article, we will explore some of the aspects that make Des Moines a unique and enjoyable place to live.
History and Heritage
Des Moines was founded in 1843 as a military outpost at the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers. The name Des Moines comes from the French word for “the monks”, referring to the Trappist monks who lived in a nearby settlement. The city grew rapidly as a center of trade and transportation, especially after the arrival of the railroad in 1866. Des Moines became the state capital in 1857, and was incorporated as a city in 1851.
Des Moines has a rich and diverse heritage, reflecting the various waves of immigrants and settlers who came to the city over the years. Some of the notable groups include the African Americans, who established a thriving community in the early 20th century, the Italians, who brought their cuisine and culture to the city, the Germans, who contributed to the brewing and banking industries, and the Latinos, who have added their flavor and flair to the city’s identity. Des Moines also has a strong Native American presence, with several tribes having historical and cultural ties to the area.
Des Moines has many landmarks and attractions that showcase its history and heritage, such as the State Capitol, the Salisbury House, the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, the Iowa State Fairgrounds, the Des Moines Art Center, and the Iowa Historical Museum. According to Des Moines Public Library, the city also offers unlimited access to the New York Times online for its card holders, allowing them to stay informed and connected to the world.
Culture and Entertainment
Des Moines is a city of culture and entertainment, with a wide range of options for every taste and preference. The city has a vibrant arts and music scene, with many venues, festivals, and events that showcase local and national talent. Some of the popular venues include the Des Moines Civic Center, the Hoyt Sherman Place, the Wells Fargo Arena, and the Wooly’s. Some of the annual festivals and events include the Des Moines Arts Festival, the 80/35 Music Festival, the Des Moines Jazz Festival, and the Des Moines Music Coalition.
Des Moines also has a thriving theater and comedy scene, with many groups and performers that offer quality entertainment and laughter. Some of the notable groups include the Des Moines Community Playhouse, the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Des Moines Symphony, and the Des Moines Social Club. Some of the famous comedians who have performed in Des Moines include Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, and Dave Chappelle.
Des Moines also has a lot of options for recreation and leisure, with many parks, trails, gardens, and attractions that cater to different interests and ages. Some of the popular places to visit include the Blank Park Zoo, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, the Adventureland Park, and the Living History Farms. Des Moines also has a lot of sports and fitness opportunities, with many teams, clubs, and facilities that promote physical activity and wellness. Some of the notable teams include the Iowa Cubs, the Iowa Wild, the Iowa Wolves, and the Des Moines Buccaneers.
Community and Diversity
Des Moines is a city of community and diversity, with a population of about 215,000 people, representing different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. The city has a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, with many organizations, initiatives, and events that foster social cohesion and civic engagement. Some of the notable organizations include the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Des Moines Area Religious Council, the Iowa Asian Alliance, and the One Iowa. Some of the notable initiatives and events include the Capital Crossroads, the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission, the CelebrAsian Festival, and the Pride Fest.
Des Moines is also a city of innovation and opportunity, with a strong and dynamic economy, driven by various sectors and industries. The city has been ranked as one of the best places to live, work, and do business in the country, by various publications and organizations. Some of the notable sectors and industries include finance, insurance, health care, education, technology, and agriculture. Some of the notable employers include Principal Financial Group, Wells Fargo, Nationwide, UnityPoint Health, Drake University, and Microsoft.
Des Moines is a city of surprises, with a lot to offer to those who live in it, or are interested in it. Des Moines is a city of history and heritage, culture and entertainment, community and diversity. Des Moines is a city of one living in Des Moines NYT.