One great thing about Des Moines is that it's only a day's drive from Chicago, presenting the perfect opportunity for day trips to the windy city. Of course, you won't want to miss everything Des Moines has to offer, such as free festivals, outdoor concerts, and a happening art scene. You can find events going on all year in this laid-back Midwest city. If possible, try to book a hotel connected to the skywalk so you don't have to drive as much.
Des Moines is also known for its fabulous farmers markets. You can attend one every Saturday morning from May to October. Plus, there are indoor farmers markets during the winter on a smaller scale. One of the best things about the farmers markets in Des Moines is that you can buy everything from fresh produce and flowers to farm-raised meat and ready-to-eat meals, like burritos. If you've never been to Des Moines, the farmers market is one thing you have to experience.
When to Visit Des Moines, IA
People travel to Des Moines year-round for various reasons. However, the most popular time to visit this city is during summer because of the warm weather in the mid 70s to 80s. Several festivals happen in Des Moines between July and August, and you can take advantage of the biking trails and parks without the need for a jacket. The East Village is always a great place to visit.
Fall is also a wonderful time to visit Des Moines because of the foliage. There are several gardens and parks throughout the city that have flowers and other plants on display. You can spend hours taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful landscape. Most people don't visit Des Moines during the winter, but there are skiing and snowmobiling options for those who want to do that.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Des Moines, IA:
Des Moines, IA: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below are 3 charts illustrating avg. nightly cost trends by star rating class in Des Moines, IA. Browse these illustrations to calculate the best time period to stay in Des Moines for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Des Moines, IA
4 Star Average Prices: $115.28
Most of the hotels in Des Moines are on the affordable side because the city is not a major tourist destination. However, you can find luxury options, such as the Des Lux Hotel. It is centrally located to downtown and a favorite pick of people looking for a romantic night because of the spa options. Guests can also enjoy the bar lounge area, 24-hour fitness facilities, and free breakfast. Plus, Des Lux Hotel is centrally located for convenience.
Another great place to stay if you're looking for luxury is the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and it is a landmark of the city. The inside exudes luxury and the hotel is conveniently located on the climate-controlled skywalk for easy access to the Iowa Events Center, Civic Center, and Wells Fargo Arena in Downtown Des Moines. Many people choose to stay at the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel because it offers 12,000 square feet of space for conferences and other events, such as weddings.
Affordable Hotel Options in Des Moines, IA
3 Star Average Prices: $114.88
The cost of living in Des Moines is relatively low in comparison to most of the U.S. However, that doesn't mean all the hotels have low prices. You still want to shop around for the best rates. If you're willing to drive to downtown instead of staying in the city center, you can find the best deals on hotels. Of course, if you don't plan on driving, a hotel in the center of the city can save you money since you can walk to a lot of attractions. You'll have to decide the best hotel option for your situation.
Some of the lowest-cost options include the Rodeway Inn Des Moines, Cozy Rest Motel, and Extend A Suites. However, don't expect grand accommodations at these hotels. Look for hotels that offer free breakfast to give you the best bang for your buck.
One of the most affordable hotels in Des Moines is the Days Inn & Suites that serves the airport. It is business friendly and family friendly, with free Wi-Fi and a continental breakfast. The rooms at the Days Inn & Suites are standard but comfortable with all the amenities you truly need. Since the hotel is near the airport, you can easily rent a car to get to downtown, too.
Ramada offers two affordable hotels in Des Moines: The Ramada Hotel Des Moines Airport and Ramada Tropics Resort and Conference Center. The Ramada at the airport is also near Blank Park Zoo and gives you all the amenities you need to relax after a busy day. The Ramada Tropics Resort offers similar accommodation a little outside the city in Urbandale.
2 Star Average Prices: $81.74
Where are the real discounts in Des Moines
If you're an AAA member, a senior citizen, or you serve in the armed forces, you can receive discounted rates at certain hotels in Des Moines. Discount options are available from the Embassy Suites Hotel, Residence Inn by Marriott, Quality Inn & Suites Event, and Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Downtown. Of course, you can ask any hotel where you want to stay if they offer special discounts — it doesn't hurt to ask. Check out HotelPlanner.com for a quick list of hotels that offer these types of discounts.
Des Moines Marriott Downtown is one of the more upscale hotel offerings in the city, but you can stay there affordably if you can get a discount. It is family friendly and business-friendly. Plus, it is part of the Marriott Rewards Program, so you can save money if you are a member. Also, ask about AAA discounts and discounts for seniors. Many of the rooms at the Marriott provide great city views, along with all the deluxe accommodations you'd expect from a hotel. The earlier you book this hotel, the more money you can save.
Best Value Options in Des Moines, IA
If you're looking for a midrange hotel that offers great value, the Hyatt Place hotel is located in downtown Des Moines. This gives guests easy access to downtown's skywalk system, as well as the East Village. The location of the Hyatt Place definitely adds value to this hotel. The furnishings and decorations at the Hyatt Place are modern and comfortable and guests will enjoy the on-site amenities, including a pool and fitness room.
Another best value option in Des Moines is the Embassy Suites hotel in the downtown area. All of the rooms feature kitchenettes with microwaves and refrigerators, as well as sofabeds, LCD TVs, Wi-Fi, and other nice amenities. The Embassy Suites hotel also has an on-site restaurant, fitness center, and indoor pool to make your stay better. You can order breakfast for free and enjoy the bar and lounge area in the evening. The Embassy Suites hotel takes care of everything for you, so you don't have to worry about a thing.
Top Des Moines, IA, Destinations
Even though Des Moines is not a top destination for tourists in the Midwest, there are still plenty of attractions to keep you busy and having fun. Championship golf courses abound, and there are tons of bike trails within the city limits. Des Moines is truly a beautiful place to visit. If you have time during your stay, take a stroll through Better Homes and Gardens' Test Garden and the Botanical Center. Iowa State Fairgrounds is also beautiful and a fun place to go if events are going on.
The art scene in Des Moines also provides plenty of opportunities for tourists. For instance, the Des Moines Art Center displays tons of contemporary artwork, and there is a beautiful landscape outside the door where you can take nice pictures. The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park also features artwork from around the world. The park is in the middle of downtown and an easy walk from many of the hotels in Des Moines.
If you're looking for more things to do, you can attend a performance at the Civic Center, visit Blank Park Zoo, find some fun wineries and breweries, or check out some trendy restaurants. The Django restaurant gets rave reviews and Zombie Burger is definitely fun.
Des Moines offers a variety of hotel options to make your stay perfect, whether you're traveling on a tight budget or you're looking for deluxe accommodations that put you in the center of all the action. For convenience, pick a hotel near the downtown area. This will give you the most time to explore all that Des Moines has to offer.
Verified reviews of the city of Des Moines
Below are reviews of the city of Des Moines, IA from an actual visitor's perspective.
"Near Des Moines"
Score 5.0 / 5
Ankeny is a nice town...spread out, nice scenic countryside and little traffic.
"Always Enjoy Coming Back"
Score 5.0 / 5
Been here lots so nice town
"A Likable Place"
Score 4.0 / 5
Many excellent restaurants are nearby, there is a great shopping area nearby and the city has nice museums and sightseeing venues.
"When in Des Moines"
Score 4.0 / 5
Very friendly city with lots to do and great places to eat.
"Full of Life"
Score 4.0 / 5
There are excellent restaurants and many things to see and do. This city has numerous outdoor activities and beautiful, well maintained public parks, running trails and bike paths.
"Something to love about"
Score 4.0 / 5
The downtown area is something to love about. It is within walking distance to so many eateries and shops.
"Des Moines IA is great for car shows."
Score 5.0 / 5
I was at the Goodguy's Car Show. I had a great time, and I plan on going back.
The average traveler rating of the city of Des Moines, IA shown above is 4.4 out of 5 based on 7 reviews