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Urbandale is a bedroom community of Des Moines, Iowa on the periphery of the city. This tiny city was formally incorporated in 1917, back when it was in possession of four large coal mines that served as the backbone of the local economy. Since then Urbandale has transitioned into a lovely suburb of Iowa’s capital city, where many residents commute to work on one of the many public transit options like the commuter train line that connects the metro area.
Although Des Moines attracts more attention and much of the spotlight, it is Urbandale that is consistently recognized as a hidden gem, and one of the best places to live in the country. The beautiful city parks, historic buildings, diverse cuisine, and the town’s proximity to one of the largest population centers in the state of Iowa, make Urbandale a great place to rent an RV.
When you book an RV in Urbandale, you will enjoy the flexibility to explore the countryside and craft your next adventure. Interstates 35 & 80 flow through Urbandale and Des Moines, so the options are limitless when you decide where to take your Urbandale camper rental next.
One of Urbandale’s greatest features is its amazing capacity for recreation and outdoor activities. Almost 1,000 acres of space and over 30 miles of recreation trails have been allocated by the town to serve the general public and ensure that everyone has access to the public spaces and playgrounds in town. Northview Park has several baseball diamonds and a snack shack to serve spectators of the many baseball games that take place on site. Parks like Walker Johnston Park are much smaller but still full of fun for all. The skatepark is one of the best in the region.
When you rent an RV in Urbandale, you might be wondering where to head when you seek to adventure outside the city. There's really no answer to this question because every direction carries with it many awesome possibilities to hike, camp, and explore. Saylorville Lake to the north of town is an excellent place to start, particularly if you want to swim, boat, or go fishing. This popular weekend destination enables people to unwind and relax, and enjoy the great outdoors. Jester Park on the shores of Saylorville Lake has some scenic views of the water and is a prime place to watch sunrise and sunsets over the lake. The nature center at Jester Park teaches and informs park visitors, and even rents paddle boards, kayaks, and other outdoor gear.
Big Creek State Park is also located on the lake opposite Jester Park and has boardwalks along the water’s edge, as well as a wooden kingdom playscape for kids of all ages. Camping is not permitted at Big Creek but there are several places to camp nearby in your Urbandale RV rental.
Cordova Park and Elk Rock State Park can be found to the southeast of Urbandale, and are fantastic places to go camping in the summertime. Both parks sit on the shores of Lake Red Rock where guests like to cool off when the weather is hot, and the observation deck at Cordova Park provides stunning views of the world around it.
You can also find some amazing recreation spots and conservation areas by driving east in your Urbandale motorhome rental. Between the cities of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, there are several unbelievable outdoor spots and wilderness areas perfect for exploration and recreation. Lake Macbride State Park has two campgrounds, a majestic lake, and a bevy of delightful nature trails to explore the edges of the lake. The sandy beaches are great for lounging and acquiring a tan, and you can even rent boats at the park too. You could also bring your Urbandale RV rental to West Overlook Campground, Sugar Bottom Recreation Area, and Hawkeye Wildlife Management Area which are all located adjacent to one another.
Many people head into downtown Des Moines to see the big city attractions and eat at one of the many amazing restaurants found there, but Urbandale has some cool attractions of its own worth checking out.
Paragon Prairie Tower is an iconic piece of artwork in the heart of Urbandale that towers over its surroundings at several stories tall. The tower sits in the center of a large outdoor waterway that frames it perfectly for photos. The tower is covered in artwork with prairie imagery to pay homage to the land of Iowa; the surface of this tower is made up of almost two million Italian glass mosaic tiles.
Living History Farms adequately depicts life in Iowa hundreds of years ago in the suburbs of Des Moines. This outdoor living history museum has farms from different time periods in the nation’s history, and a town with late 1800’s imagery and actors making for an original and informative experience.
If you head into Des Moines, there are several places to view incredible works of art, like Des Moines Art Center, an internationally acclaimed museum that houses works by Matisse, O’Keefe, and many other legendary artists. The buildings that contain the art are works of art themselves, designed by famous architects Richard Meier, I.M. Pei, and Eliel Saarinen.
The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a lovely park space with around five acres of large sculptures created by visionaries from around the globe. This pedestrian-friendly viewing space seamlessly blends an aesthetically pleasing outdoors landscape with an assortment of masterpieces.
Visitors to the area will be happy to learn that there are quite a few places to camp with the motorhome rental near Urbandale. Island Park & Campground is maintained by the neighboring city of Adel, and has a dog park, archery range, some ballfields, a pavilion, and an array of hiking trails.
Griff’s Valley View RV Park & Campground has a fitness center for guests to use, a recreation hall full of fun games, and a fully stocked fishing pond that also doubles as a swimming area. Des Moines West KOA is located near many local stores, shops, and restaurants so you will never go hungry. The pool is open in the summertime, and the park even has rental bicycles to help people explore the city.
The Iowa State Fair takes place each year in the state’s capital, so there is a large campground for people to use while the weather permits it. The best time to stay here, of course, is during the State Fair that is held each August.