Moving to Des Moines? What you need to know

Des Moines is an exceptional place to live. In fact, it’s recently made news as the most affordable place to live and buy your first home. Not only that, but it’s been rated the top city in the Midwest for young people, based on culture, jobs, commute time, and more.

If you plan to move to Des Moines, or just recently moved here, below is a useful list of local businesses, attractions, schools, and much more.

Of course, if you have any questions about your move, or need help finding a place to live in Des Moines or surrounding areas, please contact us. We’re here to answer your questions and help you every step of the way.

Where to stay

Whether you are looking for one night in an economical hotel, several nights in a suite, or a place to live for a month or two, you’ll find an abundance of options in the Des Moines area. In fact, there are too many to list here, but below are two great resources to help you find the lodging that best fits your needs.

For a great resource on hotel options, check out the Catch Des Moines hotel guide.

If you need an extended-stay alternative, check out this list of extended stay options in the area.


Looking for something to keep the kids busy? Or do you just want to see what fun and adventures you can find in Des Moines?

Over the past decade, downtown Des Moines has experienced a revival. Enjoy sculptures and art, festivals, and the Downtown Farmers’ Market. Or listen to a band, have an amazing dinner, and stroll along the river.

Whatever it is you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in Des Moines.

Check out our list of the Best Things to Do and See in the Des Moines area!


If you’re bringing your furry friends to Des Moines with you, you might need a safe and comfortable place for them to stay, whether it’s overnight or just a few hours. Below are just a few of the many boarding and pet sitting options available.

Dogwoods Lodge 515-986-PETS
Avondale Pet Resort and Spa 515-262-7297
4 Paws Unleashed 515-987-7918
Fetch Pet Care (pet sitters) 888-229-5721
Downtown Doggy Day Care 515-288-0957
Ankeny Bark Avenue 515-444-5112

24 Hour Emergency Vet Care:

Iowa Veterinary Referral Center (IVRC) 515-727-4872
Iowa Veterinary Specialties 515-280-3100


There’s no shortage of shopping in the Des Moines area. Here’s a short list of the more extensive, popular shopping areas.

Jordan Creek Town Center (West Des Moines)
Merle Hay Mall (Des Moines)
Valley West Mall (West Des Moines)
Southridge Mall (Des Moines)
East Village (Downtown Des Moines)
West Glen Town Center (West Des Moines)
Park Fair Mall
Outlets of Des Moines (Altoona)
Downtown Farmers’ Market (Downtown Des Moines)
Brass Armadillo (Antique Mall)
Raygun (Downtown Des Moines)


Temperatures in Des Moines Iowa

*From U.S. Climate Data


If you’re flying into the Des Moines International Airport, you will have several options for transportation once you arrive. With rental cars, shuttles, taxis, buses and, of course, services such as Uber, you’ll get where you need to go.

The Des Moines Area Regional Transit (DART) is the main provider of public transportation in and around the Des Moines metro area. DART operates over 150 buses traveling 15,000 miles each day, with stops at all the major business, residential and shopping areas in the region. No matter where you’re headed, DART can get you there.

If you prefer getting around town by bicycle, Des Moines has a great bike trail system. Seek out the tree-lined trails to enjoy nature’s beauty. Or find a trail to simply get you from point A to point B.


Des Moines Public Schools continues to be the largest school district in the area, but surrounding districts have experienced record growth in recent years. No matter where you live, you’ll find a quality school nearby.

Area Public Schools

Des Moines
West Des Moines

Higher Education

The Des Moines area also offers a wide variety of higher education opportunities. Four-year colleges include Drake University, Grand View University, Simpson College (Indianola), and Iowa State University (Ames) is just a short drive away. Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) is a two-year college with locations throughout the community. For those specializing in the medical field, Des Moines University is an osteopathic medical school located in the heart of Des Moines.


In 2015, Forbes voted Des Moines #2 on their list for best city for jobs. More recently, it’s been touted as one of the best places to live in the country, based on culture, affordability and a thriving job market. In fact, it’s predicted that Des Moines will rank among the “Top 12 Cities For Tech Hiring In First Half Of 2018”.

In Des Moines, insurance and finance corporations’ annual payroll adds up to $3 billion.1 And that figure is from those sectors alone. When you add in the many health-care, agricultural, and tech employers in the area, job opportunities abound.

Other relocation resources

The Greater Des Moines Partnership offers free relocation packets and other relocation information on their Moving and Relocating to Des Moines page, including a Cost of Living Calculator.

City-specific relocation information (including utilities)

Altoona Resident Information
Ankeny Resident Guide
Clive Resident Information
Des Moines Services Information
Grimes FAQs
Johnston Resident Guide
Urbandale Resident Guide
Waukee New Resident Guide
West Des Moines New Resident Guide


Whether you’re selling or buying a home, the process can feel intimidating and overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to. At Coluzzi Real Estate, we answer all your questions and simplify the process. We’re there for you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Des Moines Partnership: Major Employers

Photo credit: Pixabay


About the Author:

Amanda has lived in the Des Moines area since 1999, where she and her husband have bought and sold a handful of homes over the years, including a recent flip. Amanda enjoys writing, obsesses about personal finance and is fond of looking at houses. She loves sharing useful tips and info to make life easier for anyone wanting to buy or sell a home. In her spare time, Amanda cherishes time with her family, volunteers with IHYC, gardens, hikes, and practices TaeKwonDo. You can read more of her writing at whywemoney.com