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West Des Moines is a suburb of the better-known city Des Moines, a large, bustling city at the heart of Iowa. Sitting at the confluence of two major highways, Highway 30 and Highway 80, this town has everything a traveler passing through could possibly need. With direct routes to and from Minneapolis, MN, Chicago, IL, Kansas, KS, and even Denver, CO, this town is attainable, no matter where you will be venturing from.
For an area that is considered to be relatively built up, there are a surprising amount of green spaces dotted throughout. The city also has a great advantage in being in close proximity to Des Moines. Here, there are countless museums, galleries, restaurants and other cultural opportunities for you to explore.
West Des Moines, IA has the best of both worlds. Being a suburban town, located at such a major intersection of highways, it has every convenience that a traveler could wish for. Coupled with beautiful open spaces, convenience to major intersections, and jaw-dropping landscapes, West Des Moines is the perfect place to visit in your RV rental.
When you rent an RV in West Des Moines, it doesn't matter what time of the year you visit. During the summer months, expect temperatures of up to 86 degrees, perfect for picnicking in the parks, or cooling off in the scenic lakes. Throughout the winter months, temperatures rarely dip into the minuses, and the numerous trails in the area look even more beautiful layered in the morning frost!
Racoon River Park is one of the largest recreational parks in town. Here you can find an activity to suit everyone. With a peaceful river running through the park, a riverside beach, archery ground, and a children’s playground, you could easily spend away a whole day here. Walnut Woods State Park is just around the corner and well worth going, to check out the huge collection of black walnut trees that are native here. Bring your binoculars and maybe do some birdwatching as well.
If you are keen to get those legs moving whilst in the area, there are several scenic trails that work their way through West Des Moines. The most popular is the Clive Greenbelt Trail, an 11-mile urban trail that starts in Clive, and ends close to Windsor Heights. A less popular option for tourists, and arguably a more beautiful walk is the Great Western Trail. This heads south from Des Moines and follows the old railway line, that was first constructed in 1899. An interesting and educational stroll should you seek some peace and relaxation.
You will find that two large bodies of water, are easily accessible in your motorhome rental from West Des Moines. Dale Maffitt Reservoir and Clive Lake are both a small drive outside of town and are ideal for cooling down on a hot summers day. The reservoir comes highly recommended for a successful day of fishing, with species such as giant largemouth bass up for grabs! If fishing isn’t your thing, grab a kayak and enjoy a few hours on the river.
When you book an RV rental in West Des Moines, you will need somewhere to park it up for the night. Luckily, there are plenty of options scattered around town to suit every type of traveler!
You will find the closest campground in Walnut Woods State Park, just a five-minute drive outside of town. There are over 50 sites here as well as modern restrooms and a dump station. Unfortunately, there are currently no showers available to the public. However, it is well worth spending a few nights here to observe the unique bird wildlife in the area and explore the serene Raccoon River.
If the idea of not having a shower is just too much, head further out of town to either Timberline Campground or West Des Moines KOA Holiday. Both campgrounds provide full, modern and clean facilities as well as full hookups for your Des Moines luxury motorhome rental.
Not only is West Des Moines a great stopover, it is also the perfect place to stock up on fuel and groceries. Should you find yourself in need of a quick overnight stay, there are several huge superstores within a 10-minute drive and camping may be allowed at these locales. Just always check with a manager before you set up for the night.
If you have been unlucky enough to catch West Des Moines on a bad-weather day, there are plenty of interesting indoor activities to keep the whole family occupied!
The most educational and thought-provoking in the area has to be Jordan House. This historical building was built in 1850 as a residential home and, later on, played a huge part of the underground railway network. Today, the house is a museum that retells the story of the underground railway and everyone who was a part of it. Tours are lead by volunteers and last just over an hour. They are incredibly informative and well worth the small fee.
For a more child-friendly experience, head into Des Moines and stop off at the Children’s Museum. The games and exhibitions are suitable for children between the ages of 1-10; however, older children and parents may also get involved. The exhibitions are a wholly immersive experience for the children, with the aim of encouraging their natural curiosity.
If you want an activity that can involve the whole family, head ten minutes north of West Des Moines, to the Living History Museum. This is an outdoor museum that aims to educate people of all ages on Midwestern rural life. All activities are hands-on and require the whole family to get involved, so you are guaranteed a fun day for all!
If you are looking for an Iowa town that you can leave you feeling both relaxed and cultured, rent a motorhome in West Des Moines. Take the kiddos to a museum, hike along the many trails, watch a sunrise, and enjoy the beautiful landscape. Rent a travel trailer in West Des Moines, IA and see what all the Hawkeye State offers!