Top Ten Prettiest Streets in the Des Moines area

      The view from Locust avenue with downtown in the background.

      Locust Ave – (Downtown)  With a view of the sculpture garden and downtown in the background this is our number one prettiest street.  The Grand/Locust loop is the main thoroughfare east to west through downtown.  Locust is especially nice in the holiday season when the small trees that line the street are covered in blue lights. For more information on the sculpture garden.

    2. Fleur Drive – (South Side)   When the flowers are in bloom in spring and summer its hard to beat Fleur.  The entire median is covered in flowers for a couple of miles from the airport to downtown, creating a welcoming path to the city center.  As an added bonus Fleur takes you by Grays Lake with the large cottonwood trees, bridge, and bike path.
    3. Polk Blvd – (Des Moines West north of Art Center) This street is lined with huge trees and divided with a median.  The trees create a canopy over the road which gives a nice tunnel effect.  The houses here are stately as well adding to the feel of an established prosperous neighborhood.
    4. 5th street (West Des Moines)  The main drag through Valley Junction is lined with antique shops and restaurants, and gives a small town feel.  Horse cart rides are offered and the street is lit up for the Christmas season.
    5. Thompson Ave (East Side Des Moines) – Huge trees line this eastside street much like Polk Boulevard.  Thompson Avenue is just to the east of East 14th south of Grand View University.  The summer would be the best time to check out this street, when the leaves create a canopy over the cars below.
    6. East Grand Avenue (Eastside Des Moines) – If you drive down Grand Avenue on the east side eventually you will drive right into the main gate of the Iowa State Fair.  During the off season there is usually very few people here.  (Depending on if there is something going on)  Driving right by the grand stand and varied industries building is a pretty good photo opportunity.
    7. Ashby Avenue, (Beaverdale) – Ashby Avenue is a great example of the Beaverdale neighborhood, and the cute brick houses there.  I would recommend driving around Beaverdale beyond just Ashby though, there are a lot of interesting houses here.  For more reading on Beaverdale go to
    8. MLK Jr Parkway (Southside of Downtown) – The main attraction to this spot is the views of downtown.  However, the street itself has been redone in recent years and has bike paths and nice landscaping.
    9. Indianola Avenue, (south of Jackson Elementary)  Indianola Avenue winds through a residential area, then through the large Ewing Park.  Ewing Park has a stream that runs through it, a disc golf course, and a lilac garden.  Indianola Avenue is prettiest when the lilacs are in bloom in spring.
    10. 18th Street Sherman Hill  (Northwest side of downtown Des Moines) – Sherman Hill is a historic neighborhood just northwest of downtown.  There are many rules in place to protect these houses and structures to keep their historic look and feel.  18th street is my favorite, its definitely worth a drive or walk through.
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