by Allen J. Sheinman | June 01, 2017

ART ON A GRAND SCALE
One of the crown jewels of downtown Des Moines is the John & May Pappajohn Sculpture Park, featuring 28 majestic pieces of art on 4.4 beautifully landscaped acres (pictured: "Nomade" by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa). Visitors can schedule a guided tour or wander the site on their own; local food trucks provide the nosh. The park can even be reserved for private events.


WALK THIS WAY
Enjoy the spectacular mix of historic and modern architecture in downtown Des Moines via the Iowa Architectural Foundation, which offers monthly walking tours each summer. Leave your high heels in your hotel room.  


MEDITERRANEAN À LA MIDWEST
When it comes to Mediterranean-inspired fare enlivened with the flavors of North Africa, Iowa's capital city in an unlikely but fine source, thanks to Eatery A, a cozy, affordable restaurant from James Beard-nominated chef and Iowa native Jason Simon. Enjoy the patio, a fun happy hour, a delicious brunch (try the Wild Crab Benedict) or dinner.


MORE THAN A MARKET 
It's called the Downtown Farmers' Market, but it's really a big, colorful street festival featuring some 300 vendors spanning nine city blocks. Enjoy food, art, live music and entertainment, home décor and more; open May through October.