Taking the wife to Des Moines
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    Taking the wife to Des Moines

    Hey all,

    I have taken my wife to Ames a handfull of times per year since we've been married, but have never really had a chance to show her Des Moines. And since Des Moines is really the only city I would be able to convince her to move to in Iowa, I find it necessary to at least introduce her to the city and show her around a bit. Now, it has been over 10 years since I was really familiar with Des Moines, so I am asking for you fanatics help in planning a quick introduction to the city for my wife.

    We will be heading there on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, and leaving for home (STL) sometime Monday afternoon - so it is a very short trip that I need to pack some highlights into. The advice I am looking for pertains to the following things I would like to accomplish:

    1. Nice hotel in a 'exciting' area of town - close to nice restaurants, downtown, and other sightseeing
    2. Restaurant. I would like to treat her to a nice, romantic meal that Sunday night
    3. 'Must do' of Des Moines. What are some key things that I should be sure to do during the ~24 hours we are there? My wife loves things like tours of local famous things. For instance, in Memphis we did Graceland, Sun Studios, etc. In Atlanta, we did Coca-Cola. So things like that would be great!
    4. Nightlife. I realize we won't be there on a nightlife kind of night, but I would like to at least show her the fun nightlife areas (i.e trendy bars, cultural, theatre, etc).

    Thanks in advance for all the great ideas. Like I said, this is designed to be a quick 'taste' of the highlights, which will hopefully lead to increased interest on her part.



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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    Stay downtown, in the vicinity of Court Ave. The Rennaisance Savery Hotel or Hotel Fort Des Moines are good choices. Go to Centro or Django for dinner. Check out the bars in that vicinity like El Bait Shop, High Life Lounge, Royal Mile, Shorty's, etc. Head over to the East Village as well. Lots of shops which would be popular with women.


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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    Suites of 800 Locust is a guaranteed win as far as a hotel goes. Des Moines Hotel Elegance - Suites of 800 Locust

    For a great/expensive meal go to 801 Steak and Chop House (one block from Suites of 800 Locust).
    801 Grand Ave # 200
    Des Moines, IA 50309-8093
    (515) 288-6000

    El Bait Shop has the best beer selection as far as night life + good beer goes.

    Go to the Botanical Gardens. See the Capital. Go to the Living History Farms. Go to the Machine Shed for at least one dinner. You might stop by Jordan Creek Mall to show her the areas shopping potential.


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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    That's a good plan Al, while the Helgos are dressed up and enjoying a fine dining experience at Centro be sure to walk through the new Pappajohn sculpture park next door and then drive over to the new foot bridge on the north end of the river walk for a stroll.


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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    I'll echo what Colby had to say about Jordan Creek.

    Since you haven't been around for 10 years I would recommend going through West Glen Towncenter and the Jordan Creek area one night. It will probably give you a better idea of where you would be living if you ever moved here since very few people live downtown. By all means stay downtown (ft dsm or Savery) and check out Court Ave and the east village, but Don't write off going out to the West Side.

    West Glen Town Center | Des Moines Iowa Premiere Shopping and Entertainment Destination

    Entertainment and dining options at west glen/jordan creek are pretty solid IMO. Blue Moon Piano bar is a pretty solid place for a good time. The funny bone is there now (no smoking these days). Some trendy places to eat like Graze. Then after that it's right down the road from all the dining options at Jordan Creek like Flemmings, On the Border, PF Changs, Cheesecake Factory, Joe's Crab Shack.


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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    If you want something a bit more low-key you could always check out some of the recreational paths in the area. DSM is starting to get recognized nationally for all of its parks and recreational paths. Maybe bring your bikes up for the trip or rent some from a bike dealer for an afternoon. At the very least, take a stroll around Gray's Lake at night when it's all lit up.


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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    Good additions, Splendid. The sculpture garden and Center St bridge are great.


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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    Savery is a good choice, but the downtown Marriott is also in a good location. Just down the street from the sculpture park, and really good views of downtown if you get on one of the upper floors.

    Centro is a can't miss. Guaranteed you'll like it. While you're around there you can walk by the library (right next door), then down another couple blocks to the sculpture park and towards Meredith. If you have time when you're here you might also check out Gray's Lake park just south of downtown.

    Take a look at Downtown Des Moines, you might find some ideas there that trip your trigger.



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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by Al_4_State View Post
    Stay downtown, in the vicinity of Court Ave. The Rennaisance Savery Hotel or Hotel Fort Des Moines are good choices. Go to Centro or Django for dinner.
    This.

    Keep in mind though that Sunday night is going to be pretty slow.


    Last edited by dmclone; 08-08-2010 at 09:16 PM.

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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    Thanks for all the great ideas all! I appreciate it, and I hope that the wife is impressed with what Des Moines has to offer. fingers crossed!



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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    Honestly, DSM is twice the city STL is unless you have to have professional sports. I spend alot of time in STL and I really do not find it to be a city I would want to ever live in. I have a good time when I am there, but I just could never envision living anywhere around there.



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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by isuno1fan View Post
    Honestly, DSM is twice the city STL is unless you have to have professional sports. I spend alot of time in STL and I really do not find it to be a city I would want to ever live in. I have a good time when I am there, but I just could never envision living anywhere around there.
    i have lived in STL for 6 years now, and have never really warmed up to it. I lived in KC for 2 years prior to that, and loved every minute of it. STL has just never really worked for me. Unfortunately, all of my wife's family is here, making any thoughts of leaving a tough sell.



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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHelgo View Post
    i have lived in STL for 6 years now, and have never really warmed up to it. I lived in KC for 2 years prior to that, and loved every minute of it. STL has just never really worked for me. Unfortunately, all of my wife's family is here, making any thoughts of leaving a tough sell.
    Also may want to do here:Salisbury House & Gardens

    And here is also cool:Welcome to TerraceHill.org

    And definitely take her here:Des Moines Art Center

    If you go East Village, Alba's is a great metro style restaurant. Grand Piano Bistro is very close to there on Grand, with fun live music too.

    If you want some serious points, go to here: B & B Grocery Meat & Deli - Killer Sandwiches - Butcher Shop - Google Maps and get a nice lunch to go, then eat it down at Gray's Lake park, just south of downtown.

    Hope those ideas help. My GF has lived in Seattle, KC, Chicago, and Houston, and she loves Des Moines. So there is hope.


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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    For dinner, take her to Lucca in the East Village. Everything on the menu is fantastic.

    Basil Prosperi's Lucca Restaurant and Bar



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    Re: Taking the wife to Des Moines

    Quote Originally Posted by joefrog View Post
    Also may want to do here:Salisbury House & Gardens

    And here is also cool:Welcome to TerraceHill.org

    And definitely take her here:Des Moines Art Center

    If you go East Village, Alba's is a great metro style restaurant. Grand Piano Bistro is very close to there on Grand, with fun live music too.

    If you want some serious points, go to here: B & B Grocery Meat & Deli - Killer Sandwiches - Butcher Shop - Google Maps and get a nice lunch to go, then eat it down at Gray's Lake park, just south of downtown.

    Hope those ideas help. My GF has lived in Seattle, KC, Chicago, and Houston, and she loves Des Moines. So there is hope.
    For the love of God do this! If she doesn't like B&B, you may want to consider filing for divorce.


    In 1984, I was hospitalized for approaching perfection.

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