Summer in Greater Des Moines

While the S's in Des Moines may be silent, our summer activities are sizzling. Summer is the perfect time to explore this clean and affordable city and have some fun in the sun! From exciting attractions and peaceful parks to unique cuisines and famous festivals, here are just a few things that will make your summer trip to Des Moines a scream:  

Parks, lakes, and trails 

Love the outdoors? Saylorville Lake is Greater Des Moines' premier spot to make a splash. Rent a pontoon, take a dip in the lake, go fishing, set up camp, or saddle up to one of the two bar and grills situated along the 26,000 acres of water. Or, take a stroll around Gray's Lake, a scenic oasis in the heart of downtown, perfect for picnics and paddleboats. 

For those who prefer to stay dry, check out Greater Des Moines' High Trestle Trail. Known for the spectacular half-mile 13-story bridge that is illuminated at night, this 25-mile trail passes through five Iowa towns, with plenty of places to stop for a bite or brew.

Catch Des Moines - High Trestle Trail Bridge

Drinking & Dining 

Greater Des Moines is fit for foodies and summertime is perfect for pairing the eclectic eats with an incredible view. After a day of shopping at Jordan Creek Mall, sink your teeth into Des Moines' signature dish, Steak de Burgo, on the waterside deck at Fleming’s Steakhouse. Enjoy the best happy hour deal in town at Eatery A, with a patio overlooking Ingersoll's Restaurant Row. Or sip on a carefully crafted cocktail at the Republic on Grand, hanging out on their sixth-floor outdoor lounge overlooking downtown.  

All that food is going to make you thirsty, so you'll want to check out one of over 20 award-winning breweries in Greater Des Moines. Get social with a craft brew at The Hall, known for their beer garden, over 50 taps, and multiple food trucks you can order from using The Hall app. Or enjoy a flight of craft beer at breweries like Confluence, Peace Tree, Exile or Firetrucker; all known for their bike and dog-friendly patios.  

Catch Des Moines - Tursi's Latin King Steak de Burgo

Farmers' Markets

No summertime trip to Greater Des Moines is complete without a visit to one of our outstanding farmers' markets. Support local entrepreneurs at noteworthy markets throughout Greater Des Moines that each offer a unique experience and high quality handmade and locally grown products. 

Catch Des Moines - Events Calendar


The rides scream at Iowa's biggest fun-filled theme park. Consisting of both Adventureland and the adjacent water park, Adventure Bay, there’s plenty of thrills to be had for the young and young at heart. With more than 100 rides, shows and attractions, not to mention those mini-donuts you can’t stop eating, all you need to bring is your sense of adventure and plenty of sunscreen. 



Hear from locals about where to eat, drink, and spend your time while visiting Greater Des Moines. Catch an insider look at events, suggested itineraries, places to shop, and a few of the many delicious restaurants. These are just a few of our recommendations! Check out an entire list of blogs here.

Leisure & Travel Blog