If you were to peer down from an airplane or the top of a hill, the capital of Iowa would look like a cluster of office towers popping out of a green corduroy landscape. Downtown straddles the confluence of two rivers—the Raccoon and the Des Moines. The skyline of historic buildings and modern structures faces granite government buildings and a classic gold-domed capitol across four bridges. Although hardly a glittering metropolis, Des Moines is a relatively hassle-free city with a number of museums, historic districts, and parks, as well as Drake University.
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Things You Can't Miss
August brings the Iowa State Fair, one of the country’s largest and oldest. Check out the midway and the pie-eating and cow-chip-throwing contests.
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The Iowa Speedway in Newton was designed by NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace. It hosts the Iowa Corn Indy 250 and lots of year-round racing events.
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