A Weekend in Des Moines
Last weekend Josh and I headed to Des Moines, Iowa for a weekend away.
A short two-hour drive from Omaha, Des Moines is a fun little city that has a ton of charm and a surprising amount of swag. We spent Saturday exploring the city as a couple and then on Sunday I met up some of my best girls while he explored the area’s famous breweries.
We had a blast and are already planning our next trip back. Two days simply is not enough to fully explore the city, but we managed to do a lot.
I thought it would be fun to recap our weekend in Des Moines with helpful tips on where to stay, where to eat, what to see, and where to shop.
Where to stay
While browsing hotels in the Des Moines area, I stumbled upon Hotel Renovo and knew it would be the perfect hotel for our weekend getaway. This is the hotel that I want to be my house. It is beautifully decorated, with every nook and cranny screaming for an Insta snap. There’s a bar with weekly specials, a fabulous breakfast complete with gorgeous dining room, multiple outdoor lounge spaces, and an indoor pool!
When we arrived a group of high schoolers were using the lobby and yard as the backdrop for their prom pictures. Kids have definitely stepped up their game since my photos in the front yard prom days. 😉
I snapped so many pictures of this hotel because everything was so photogenic! If you’re visiting Des Moines you definitely will not regret a stay at Hotel Renovo.
My favorite travel partner. 😀
I truly think everyone needs this jacket! It goes with everything!
I wanted to buy all the Beekman products. These are the toiletries they use in the room and they smell so good!
Where to eat
Josh and I plan our trips around food, and Des Moines was no different. That said, I had gotten my braces on two days before this trip so chewing of any kind was a brutal experience. We nixed some of the restaurants we originally wanted to try and picked places based on their offering of soft foods. This meant a weekend of subsisting entirely on cheesy carbs and I loved every minute of it.
If you are in Des Moines you have to check out Hessen Haus. A German bier hall, this place is so cool, with such an incredibly fun atmosphere. Plus it has a ton of beers on tap and delicious food. I mean, how can you go wrong?
Me with my half a liter of cider. I tried to order a boot without knowing how large it was and thankfully was given this instead. I wish they made little boots, I really just want to drink out of one! haha
The mac and cheese spaetzle was everything.
Southern food is my spirit animal, so when I heard about Bubba I knew we had to go. The menu is loaded with juleps, biscuits, grits, fried chicken (next time!!), and all the fixin’s. Heads up that you need reservations to get a table here but it is so worth it.
Every time I hear, “bless your heart” I interpret it as a giant, “eff you.” Does anyone actually use that saying in the polite sense?
My meal. 😀 Mashed potatoes and cheesy grits for the win!
One day, when my mouth is fully operational and I can chew things like a normal human being again, I am going to go to Zombie Burger and get a burger. They are supposed to be unreal.
In the meantime, we went there for cake shakes and vegetarian poutine late on Saturday night. I need to find a way to get them to open up an Omaha location. I feel like Josh and I would personally keep them in business. Their zombie bride wedding cake shake is all the heart eye emojis.
Josh and I heard that for a great bar with a killer view we needed to check out The Republic on Grand. It was the perfect place to watch the sun set and enjoy some delicious cocktails.
Josh enjoyed a smoked whiskey that was such a cool experience three couples around us ended up ordering one.
I not only fell in love with my drink but the glassware it was served in. They have an oval base and a circular top and feel absolutely incredible to hold. I managed to find them on Amazon and order them on the spot.
Sunday morning I met up with Hannah, Jordan, and Joanna at Centro for brunch. We haven’t all been together since Jordan’s baby shower last summer! Girl time was way overdue. My pasta wasn’t anything special but it still felt good to eat. And the company was the best!
Our last meal in Des Moines was at Eatery A and boy was it a good one! If you like pizza and pasta, I can’t recommend this place enough!
We worked up an appetite critiquing art and shopping!
What to see
With Hannah being pregnant, Jordan bringing along Lydia, and Joanna having two little ones at home, this was not a weekend to go wild and crazy. We planned on good food, taking in some art, and shopping.
The Des Moines Art Center fit the bill perfectly. It has a ton of gorgeous art in a wide variety of styles. We had fun oohing and ahhing over the beautiful pieces and laughing and shaking our heads at the ones we just did not get. Art experts we are not, but we had a great time.
Where to shop
Des Moines has some great shopping. If you are from Omaha, it’s worth a trip to Des Moines just to go to their Nordstrom Rack. (One day Nebraska will get a Nordstrom!) For more unique shops with local flair you have to check out East Village. The stores all have such personality and there’s a lot of fun bars and restaurants in the area so you can really make a day out of your time here.
I love a good wall mural.
Tacopocalypse is a restaurant on my once I can chew again food list.
All the yes.
It was such a fun weekend with some of my favorite people. I love every chance I get to explore a new place, try new foods, and see new things. Even better when it’s an awesome city like Des Moines. We will definitely be back!
Questions of the Day: Have you been to Des Moines? What stood out to you most about this trip? What is the last weekend road trip you went on?
Thanks to Hotel Renovo for hosting us in Des Moines!