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14 Best Places to Live in Des Moines Metro

Updated: Jan 4

best places to live in Des Moines metro
Des Moines City Map. Photo Credits: Canva

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Are you looking for a new place to live in the Des Moines Metro area? Whether you are planning to buy a house or rent an apartment, you might be wondering which neighborhoods are the best for your lifestyle, budget, and preferences. Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in Iowa, and it offers a variety of attractions, amenities, and opportunities for its residents. However, not all neighborhoods are created equal, and some might suit you better than others.

Let's explore some of the best neighborhoods in the Des Moines Metro in this article. We will also provide some tips on how to find the right neighborhood for you and your family in the video below. By the end of this post, you will have a better idea of where to live in Des Moines Metro and what to expect from each neighborhood.

How to Find the Best Neighborhood in Des Moines Metro?

While these are some of the best neighborhoods in Des Moines Metro, they might not be the best fit for everyone. Depending on your personal preferences, needs, and goals, you might prefer a different neighborhood that matches your criteria.

Here are some tips on how to find the right neighborhood for you in Des Moines Metro:

  • Do your research: Before you decide on a neighborhood, make sure you do some research on its characteristics, such as its location, demographics, amenities, schools, crime, and housing market. You can use online tools such as AreaVibes, Niche, and Zillow to compare different neighborhoods and see their ratings, reviews, and statistics. You can also use Bing to search for more information and news about each neighborhood.

  • Visit the neighborhood: Nothing beats seeing the neighborhood for yourself and getting a feel of its atmosphere, culture, and vibe. You can visit the neighborhood at different times of the day and week, and observe its traffic, noise, cleanliness, and safety. You can also talk to the locals and ask them about their opinions and experiences living in the neighborhood. You can also check out the local businesses, restaurants, and attractions, and see if they appeal to you.

  • Consider your budget: One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a neighborhood is your budget. You need to find a neighborhood that you can afford, whether you are buying or renting a home. You also need to factor in other expenses, such as utilities, transportation, groceries, and entertainment.

  • Think about your lifestyle: Another important factor to consider is your lifestyle and preferences. You need to find a neighborhood that suits your personality, hobbies, and interests. For example, if you are a nature lover, you might prefer a neighborhood that has many parks and trails. If you are a foodie, you might prefer a neighborhood that has many restaurants and cuisines. If you are a family person, you might prefer a neighborhood that has many schools and family-friendly activities.

Below, I’ve Identified the Best Neighborhoods in Des Moines

Des Moines Metro, with its vibrant community and diverse neighborhoods, offers a plethora of options for those seeking the perfect place to call home. Whether you're a young professional, a growing family, or someone looking to retire in peace, there's a neighborhood just for you. Let’s explore each of them to help you navigate the cityscape and find your dream home.

1. Historic East Village: A Fusion of Old and New

Situated on the eastern fringe of downtown Des Moines, the Historic East Village seamlessly blends historic charm and modern vibrancy. With boutiques, cafes, and art galleries, this area stands out as a cultural hub, earning its place among the best places to live in Des Moines metro.

2. West Des Moines: Suburban Charm with City Convenience

West Des Moines remains a premier suburb, boasting top-notch schools, family-friendly parks, and diverse dining and shopping options. Its meticulously planned neighborhoods and excellent amenities make it an ideal choice for families looking for a welcoming community.

3. Beaverdale: Where Quaint Meets Friendly

Known for tree-lined streets and a welcoming atmosphere, Beaverdale exudes a small-town feel within Des Moines. The local shops, parks, and community events create a tight-knit neighborhood, making Beaverdale an inviting choice for those seeking community connections.

4. Waukee: A Growing Suburb with a Hometown Feel

One of the fastest-growing suburbs in Des Moines Metro, Waukee strikes a balance between hometown charm and modern conveniences. Excellent schools, recreational facilities, and a thriving community make Waukee a standout choice for families seeking the best places to live in Des Moines metro.

5. Urbandale: Balancing Business and Recreation

Urbandale's mix of commercial and residential areas caters to professionals and families alike. The city's commitment to green spaces and recreational facilities adds to its allure, solidifying Urbandale as a top contender in our list of best neighborhoods in Des Moines metro.

6. Clive: A Tranquil Retreat with Accessible Amenities

Nestled west of Des Moines, Clive is a peaceful suburb known for well-maintained parks and trails. Quiet streets and proximity to shopping and dining options make Clive an attractive choice for those seeking a suburban retreat without sacrificing convenience.

7. Johnston: A Growing Community with a Strong Identity

Johnston's rapid growth is a testament to its appeal, offering residents a thriving community with excellent schools and recreational facilities. With a strong sense of identity and community spirit, Johnston is a great choice for those looking to invest in a neighborhood with a promising future.

8. Ankeny: A Hub of Activity and Community Engagement

Consistently ranked among the best places to live in Iowa, Ankeny offers a dynamic community with activities for residents of all ages. From parks and trails to community events, this neighborhood has earned its reputation as a welcoming and engaging city.

9. Pleasant Hill: A Hidden Gem on the Eastern Edge

Nestled on the eastern edge of Des Moines, Pleasant Hill is a picturesque suburb known for its community-oriented atmosphere. Offering a variety of housing options and easy access to outdoor activities, Pleasant Hill is an excellent choice for those seeking a peaceful yet convenient lifestyle.

10. Norwalk: Small Town Charm with Metro Proximity

Adding to the allure of Des Moines Metro, Norwalk stands out as a hidden gem. With its small-town charm and close proximity to the metro area, Norwalk provides residents with a welcoming community feel. Explore local shops, parks, and community events while being just a short drive away from the heart of Des Moines.

11. Grimes: Growing Community with a Distinctive Character

A thriving community northwest of Des Moines, Grimes boasts a distinctive character and a welcoming atmosphere. With well-planned neighborhoods and a range of amenities, it is an ideal choice for those seeking a growing community with a close-knit feel.

12. Glen Oaks: A Haven of Elegance and Tranquility

Glen Oaks, known for its upscale living and golf course community, offers an unparalleled blend of elegance and tranquility. Nestled in the western part of the metro area, this neighborhood attracts those seeking a luxurious lifestyle in a serene setting.

13. Altoona: Excitement and Comfort in Equal Measure

Altoona is situated in the eastern part of Des Moines Metro. It combines excitement and comfort seamlessly. Home to the Adventureland amusement park and Prairie Meadows Casino, Altoona offers a vibrant community with diverse entertainment options.

14. Adel: Charming Small Town Appeal

Located just north of the metro area, Adel exudes a charming small-town appeal. With its historic downtown, community events, and proximity to outdoor recreation, it is an excellent choice for those desiring a quaint lifestyle with easy access to city amenities.

Are You Considering Des Moines Metro Your Home Today?

As you embark on the thrilling journey of finding your perfect home in Des Moines Metro, these 14 neighborhoods and suburbs offer a rich array of amenities, community spirit, and convenience. Each area boasts its unique charm, catering to a variety of lifestyles. Whether you're captivated by the historic allure of East Village, the suburban tranquility of Waukee, the small-town charm of Norwalk, or the elegance of Glen Oaks, Des Moines Metro has the ideal neighborhood waiting for you.

Explore and discover the best places to live in Des Moines Metro. Watch this video to learn everything you need to know about these amazing cities.



Find out what makes Des Moines a great or not-so-great place to live by knowing the pros and cons in this post.


If you're considering making Des Moines your home, we're here to assist you in finding your dream house. The Grantham group is ready to guide you through the process and help you discover the perfect property tailored to your needs and preferences.

To start your journey to homeownership in Des Moines, feel free to book a call with me. I am passionate about helping individuals and families make Des Moines their ideal home, and I am just a call or email away to answer your questions and kickstart your real estate adventure.


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