Top Ten views of Downtown Des Moines

View from the Shattered Silence sculpture #3

Do you want to know the secret spots that only the locals know about?  There are a few of those here, and a few that are a little more well known.  Either way these spots should give you some good spots for photos.

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1.Looking west from the Capitol Building – This is a great spot to view downtown, in fact it is the view that is on the front page of this website.  With the east village in the foreground and downtown in the background, you get quite a bit of the city in one picture.  I think a little bonus is that the American, and Iowan flag can be included in the picture.

2.MacCrae Park (southside) – This is one of those spots that only the locals know about.  If you drive into MacCrae park take a right on the circle drive.  There is a steep hill you will ascend quickly, look out to your right and you will have a great view of downtown.  Most people don’t know about this place so you will usually have it to yourself.

3.The shattered silence sculpture (by the Judicial building) This is a great spot to showcase some public art and get a great view of downtown.  Park in the Judicial builings parking lot and walk over to the sculpture. (Pictured above)

4.The view looking east from the Pappajohn sculpture garden (downtown) – From the sculpture garden you can get views of downtown with some great public art in the foreground.  The garden itself is also worth some time looking at and taking some photos.

5.The view from/around the new pedestrian bridge over the center street bridge (downtown) –  There are many good views of downtown here from and around the pedestrian bridge. Crossing the bridge is a great spot, as is standing on the east bank of the river and getting the bridge in the foreground.

6.The view from the Scott street bridge (southside)- There have been many a picture taken from this bridge.  There have also been many a catfish caught at this bridge.  With Principal park in the foreground and downtown just behind it, this is a great spot for a photo.  If you don’t want to deal with cars, you can head over to the pedestrian bridge just a bit upstream.

7.The 2nd Avenue parking garage during the Farmers Market (downtown) – If you would like a good view of the farmers market, and the throngs of people on a Saturday morning, I think this would be the best choice.  Just head south on third avenue and take a left into the parking garage just before Court.  Parking here is also free here on Saturday.

8.Driving into downtown from Indianola Avenue (southside) – The skyscrapers of downtown seem to be very tightly packed from this vantage point.  I think this is one of the most scenic ways to drive into downtown.

9.Looking down Court Avenue at the Polk county courthouse – This spot is all about timing, and the farmers market would be the best time.  Court is full of people and stands with brick buildings on both sides and the courthouse in the background.  I think this would be a good spot at night as well with all of the bar lights, and people out.

10.Driving along MLK (just south of downtown) – I think this is a nice drive for visitors to the city.  MLK skirts the south edge of downtown, and you get a nice view of downtown over several blocks.  There are many photo opportunities along this route.





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