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Old 05-10-2019, 11:21 AM
28 posts, read 28,878 times
Reputation: 39


Originally Posted by Okey Dokie View Post
Ifyou decide on Omaha, remember I-29 is closed from St. Joe to (I believe) Council Bluffs. It’s not supposed to reopen for several months. You can work around it by taking U.S. 36 west from St. Joe to U.S. 75 then north.
I-29 is back open.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:22 PM
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The drive from KC to Des Moines I find to be beautiful rolling hills. There is a quaint Amish store at the Lamoni exit, in Bethany there is a lovely store called The Peddlers Post. The Iowa welcome center is a great place to stop and stretch and walk around. Des Moines is a great place to visit. It has a huge farmers market during the summer on Saturday mornings, much larger than KC's. Make sure you get there early. Downtown has a sculpture park, the court avenue district has a night life and restaurants. East Village offers unique shopping and restaurants. West Des Moines has Valley Junction which has antique shops, unique stores and restaurants. Just north of Des Moines is the high trestle trail which is worth the drive at night, the trestle bridge is a light up and a piece of art. It is about a mile walk from your car to walk out to the trestle bridge. The Iowa State Fair is amazing and you could spend days there going to all the free events, not to mention all the fried food on a stick. Des Moines has a lot of great restaurants and you can usually catch an outdoor concert. The Capital with it's gold dome is beautiful, and the capital grounds are beautiful. You can schedule a visit to the Better Homes and Garden test garden. There are tons of things to see and explore in and around Des Moines. It is a beautiful city. Almost forgot to mention the beautiful Principal river walk with the amazing pedestrian bridge, and artwork.
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:21 PM
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Default Des Moines and Omaha

Probably a hair late to the party but maybe it will help others:

I lived in Des Moines and we used to drive to Omaha a lot on weekends so I have a pretty good handle on both.

Des Moines is large enough to have many cultural amenities of bigger cities, but with less of the sprawl and commuting issues. There are 2 main sections for restaurants and nightlife. One is in the west area and the other is mainly in the Court Avenue portion of downtown, though there are nice pockets of restuarants and entertainment all throughout. In the summer weekends, the Court Ave. section will have block party atmospheres with live music. There is a good theater to catch plays and musical entertainment and a choice of some clubs, bars, and brewpubs. Plenty of good hotel choices as well. Prairie Meadows is a nice casino out in the eastern side (technically Altoona) There are great bike trails and a few pleasant parks to hike or just relax in......plus, YES, the Iowa State Fair is a true "city" unto itself during that time of year. I "worked it" several days for the radio station I was with during my time there and doubt even I saw all of it over that time. A nice diversion is a trip to Winterset just outside of the metro to the west to check out the actual "Bridges of Madison County (as seen in the film with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep) It is very peaceful, especially in the one that spans a small stream.

Omaha has been undergoing a lot of revitalization in the past 20 years. A lot of formerly dismal old buildings are now quite chic loft apartments and hotels. There is the whole Plaza area downtown and plenty of great club, restaurant and bar choices on the main streets. There is a casino on the Iowa side in Council Bluffs, although we never visited when we lived in the area. Omaha is home to great steakhouses and some diversified dining from other cultures as well. It is worth a drive into the Regency section to see the actual home that Warren Buffet lives in. He bought it in 1959 and it is surprisingly modest considering his massive wealth. (Probably an early key as to why he HAS it) There is a neat feeling I get from almost any place in the metro at night of the city lights. Despite the reputation of Nebraska being flat (and much of it IS), Omaha has many gentle rolling hills and elevated areas and the lights of the city seem to engulf you from every angle 360 degrees. It is pretty easy to navigate around, save for frequent construction. Most of the city is laid out in north-south or east-west grid patterns so there is little of that crazy sprawl found in other larger cities that often gets tourists lost. Henry Doorly Zoo beats the pants off many larger city zoos I have seen and they also have an Imax theater on the grounds. I am a railfan as well so there is PLENTY you can do (just like in KC) in terms of witnessing the railroad activity in real time, if you are into that.

My experiences were always VERY pleasant in terms of eating, safety on foot, overall cost for a weekend trip, and general enjoyment for BOTH cities. Either one is a nice diversion for a weekend. I was in KC many times as well and if I were to draw comparisons: ALL have their good and bad points. In general both Omaha and Des Moines just seem to cram more into smaller populations and geographic area. That is nice if you don't wish really long drives between sightseeing.

Last edited by Tookeypete; 08-29-2019 at 10:30 PM..
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