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Downtown Des Moines Living: What to Expect from the Neighborhoods, Schools, and Amenities

Downtown Des Moines Living
Photo Credits: Canva


Welcome to the heart of Iowa, where downtown Des Moines buzzes with life, character, and endless possibilities for those seeking a place to call home. It's not just a location; it's a vibrant community that welcomes everyone, regardless of whether you're a young professional, a family with kids, or someone enjoying the sweet serenity of retirement.

If you are looking for a diverse, and convenient place to live in Iowa, you should consider downtown Des Moines. Here you can find a home that suits your needs, preferences, and budget. In this blog post, I will tell you what to expect from the neighborhoods, schools, and amenities in downtown Des Moines, and why you should consider living there. You can also watch the video below where I gave a tour of downtown Des Moines.

Popular Neighborhoods in Downtown Des Moines

There are several distinct neighborhoods in downtown Des Moines. Each with its own character and charm. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Historic East Village: This is a trendy and eclectic neighborhood that features historic buildings, boutique shops, art galleries, restaurants, bars, and cafes. It is also home to the State Capitol, the Iowa Historical Building, and the Simon Estes Amphitheater. If you want a lively and creative atmosphere, you will love living in the Historic East Village.

  • Western Gateway: This is a modern and cultural neighborhood that features contemporary architecture, public art, museums, and parks. It is also home to the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, the Des Moines Public Library, the Des Moines Art Center, and the Temple for Performing Arts. If you are looking for a sophisticated and elegant atmosphere, you will enjoy living in the Western Gateway.

  • Gray’s Lake Area: This is a scenic and recreational neighborhood that features a beautiful lake, a trail, a beach, and a park. It is also home to the Des Moines Water Works, the Blank Park Zoo, and the Fort Des Moines Museum. If you are looking for a natural and relaxing atmosphere, you will appreciate living in the Gray’s Lake Area.

  • Historic Court District: This is a vibrant and entertaining neighborhood that features historic landmarks, nightlife venues, sports arenas, and festivals. It is also home to the Polk County Courthouse, the Wells Fargo Arena, the Principal Park, and the Iowa Events Center. If you are looking for a fun and exciting atmosphere, you will have a blast living in the Historic Court District.

You can also find the best urban, suburban, or rural places in the Des Moines metro area, each with its own history, culture, and attractions.

A Great Place for Education

Downtown Des Moines is served by the Des Moines Public Schools district, which is the largest and most diverse district in Iowa. The district offers a variety of educational options for students of all ages, abilities, and interests, such as:

The Best of Downtown Des Moines’ Services and Facilities

Downtown Des Moines also offers a lot of amenities and services for its residents. Here are some of them:

  • Transportation: This vibrant town is well-connected and accessible by various modes of transportation, such as buses, light rail, bikes, scooters, and cars. The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) provides bus service throughout the city and the region, including a free shuttle service called D-Line that circulates downtown. The Des Moines Transload Facility provides light rail service to and from downtown. The BCycle program provides bike-sharing stations throughout downtown. The Bird and Lime programs provide scooter-sharing options throughout downtown. The city also has several parking garages, lots, and meters for car owners and drivers.

  • Shopping: Downtown Des Moines has a lot of shopping options for its residents, ranging from grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, to specialty shops, boutiques, and malls. Some of the shopping destinations in downtown Des Moines are the Downtown Farmers’ Market, the Fourth + Court Hy-Vee, the Gateway Market, and the Outlets of Des Moines.

  • Dining: Downtown Des Moines also has a lot of dining options for its residents, offering a variety of cuisines, styles, and prices. Some of the dining destinations in downtown Des Moines are the Centro, the Django, the Fong’s Pizza, the Malo, and the Zombie Burger.

  • Entertainment: This great location has many entertainment options for its residents, featuring a variety of arts, culture, sports, and events. Some of the entertainment destinations in downtown Des Moines are the Civic Center, the Hoyt Sherman Place, the Science Center of Iowa, the Iowa Cubs, and the 80/35 Music Festival.

Why You Should Consider Living in Downtown Des Moines

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider living in downtown Des Moines:

  • It is affordable: The cost of living in downtown Des Moines is lower than the national average, and the median home price is $235,000, which is lower than the national median of $295,300.

  • It is convenient: In downtown Des Moines you can walk, bike, or take public transportation to most places, and you can access everything you need within a short distance, such as work, school, shopping, dining, and entertainment.

  • It is diverse: You can meet and interact with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles in downtown Des Moines, and you can enjoy and appreciate the variety and richness that they bring to the community.

  • It is fun: Living in downtown Des Moines is more fun than living in other areas in the city or the region. You can experience and participate in the many events and activities that it offers, such as festivals, concerts, parades, and markets, and you can have a great time with your friends, family, and neighbors.

Learn More About Downtown Des Moines Living

If you are interested in living in downtown Des Moines, or if you want to learn more about it, you can watch this vlog where I gave a tour on the different aspects of downtown Des Moines living, and what makes it a special and desirable place to live. You should also explore the pros and cons of living in Des Moines to know if it is the right place for you to settle.

If you have any questions or concerns about downtown Des Moines living, or if you need any assistance or guidance, you can also book a free consultation with me. As a trusted realtor in Des Moines, I will be happy to help you find your dream home, and make your home buying process as smooth and easy as possible.

Downtown Des Moines living is a great option for anyone who is looking for a vibrant, diverse, and convenient place to live in Iowa. It offers a lot of benefits for its residents, such as affordable housing, accessible transportation, diverse neighborhoods, quality schools, and abundant amenities. If you are looking for a new home in Iowa, you should consider living in downtown Des Moines, and see for yourself what it has to offer. 


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