Des Moines Travel Guide

  • Des Moines
    by wanderingbtrfly
  • Des Moines Marina at sunset
    Des Moines Marina at sunset
    by wanderingbtrfly
  • Waterland Festival at Sunset
    Waterland Festival at Sunset
    by wanderingbtrfly

Des Moines Hotels

  • Marina Inn

    22300 Seventh Ave. South, Des Moines, Washington, 98198, United States

    Satisfaction: Average

    Good for: Business

  • Valu Inn Sea Tac

    22246 Pacific Hwy, Des Moines, Washington, 98198, United States

    Satisfaction: Terrible

    Good for: Solo

  • Garden Suites Inn

    22845 Pacific Highway South (former Americas Best), Des Moines, Washington 98198, United States

    Satisfaction: Terrible

Des Moines Restaurants

  • by breakfast101 Written Sep 24, 2007

    I'm not really much of a seafood person but I really enjoy Anthony's Homeport in Des Moines. They always serve warm bread with their meals and their clam chowder is thick, creamy and delicious which is an option with most of their entrees.
    This restaurant has an incredible view of the waterfront. The restaurant is tiered which helps everyone in the restaurant to have an amazing view.
    This restaurant has incredible service, wonderful food and amazing views.

    Favorite Dish: The crab cakes on their entree menu are my absolute favorite. It's served with two different sauces and pickled ginger. These are the best crab cakes that I've ever had. Nobody elses even compares to Anthony's.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • by meal_ticket Written Oct 5, 2002

    Anthony's on the pier
    Salty's Redondo (music most nights) on the water
    Mandarin Garden for chinese- personal service from owners
    Casa Vallarta for mexican
    The Yardarm for pool, good bar food

    Favorite Dish: happy hor at Anthony's and Salty's

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  • Des Moines Hotels

    3 Hotels in Des Moines

Des Moines Nightlife

  • wanderingbtrfly's Profile Photo

    by wanderingbtrfly Updated Mar 2, 2004

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Des Moines is a small town, therefore it has no nightlife- sorry! The only place in town that is open late would be Red Robin, and most locals come here to eat and chat. If you are familiar with the Red Robin restaurant chain, this one is exactly like the rest- fun and friendly atmosphere with good food.
    Most people who live in Des Moines will go to the surrounding towns for nightlife, although there aren't many other non-restaurant options. My advice, if you find yourself in Des Moines, Kent or Federal Way and you are looking for nightlife, head north to Seattle. There's plenty of nightlife there!

    Dress Code: Casual attire

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

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Des Moines Local Customs

  • wanderingbtrfly's Profile Photo

    by wanderingbtrfly Written Feb 27, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    UPDATE FEB 2005: The Waterland Festival is currently on hold. The city of Des Moines lost the funding for this event; they are considering having a similar festival, but it will most definitely be smaller and very different. I hope that circumstances will change so this small town carnival is not lost forever.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

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  • wanderingbtrfly's Profile Photo

    by wanderingbtrfly Updated Jun 17, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Every year, during the last week of July, the small town of Des Moines is transformed for it's Annual Waterland Festival. Although it is just a small carnival to outsiders, to the young people of Des Moines, it is one of the most anticipated events of the summer.
    From Wednesday to Sunday, the marina is converted into a place of rides, games, eateries and highschoolers having fun. On Saturday afternoon (occasionally Sunday), the main street of Des Moines is closed off for the parade.

    Most folks in Des Moines try to make it to the festival at least once, and that is for the fireworks on the first night of the festival. Keep in mind that the days are long here in the summertime. The fireworks start at 10:00pm, just after dark.
    If you go to see the parade, go early. There is a lot of room to sit along the street, and no matter where you end up, you will probably get a good view. But it never hurts to arrive early to avoid any people jams. Keep in mind that the parade is set up on Marine View Drive- most of the entire road is closed, so you will most definitely have to park in a nearby neighborhood and walk. Des Moines is a city of hills, so be prepared to walk up and down hills!

    If you are looking for a hometown, uncrowded carnival, go to Waterland during a weekday. You will be one of the only people around and will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. At night, however, local highschoolers take over the carnival. So, if you are looking for the only opportunity all year to see bustling nightlife in Des Moines, I suggest arriving at 7pm and staying until closing (11pm) on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights.
    In the past two years, the city has added an admission charge for the carnival. The cost is $2. This small fee tends to keep the nightly crowds down to a managable limit.

    Waterland Festival at Sunset
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Study Abroad

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  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Des Moines Warnings and Dangers

  • wanderingbtrfly's Profile Photo

    by wanderingbtrfly Updated Feb 27, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When driving down Marine View Drive in Des Moines, don't speed!! The speed limit is 30 MPH and is strictly enforced. Even if you cannot see any police around, there are many hiding spots all throughout the town.
    Another main speed trap in Des Moines is the road by the library (on 216th). The speed limit changes from 35 MPH to 25 MPH for a few hundred meters- don't go over 25!
    Resist the urge!!

    UPDATE FEB 2005: The speed limit on 216th by the library has been updated. The short zone where the speed limit drops down to 25 MPH is even smaller now. Watch for speed limit signs and don't change your speed until you pass the signs!

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Business Travel

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