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Des Moines, Iowa

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View of Des Moines with the Iowa State CapitolView of Des Moines with the Iowa State Capitol
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Des Moines is the capital and biggest city in Iowa. Spread over Polk County, Warren County and Dallas County, Des Moines covers 77.2 sq mi (200.1 sq km) and has a population of 203,000 (2011 estimate). The Des Moines metropolitan area has a population exceeding half a million people.

The economy of Des Moines is based on the insurance industry. Many of the biggest insurance and financial firms in the United States have their headquarters or operate in and around Des Moines including Principal Financial Group, Wells Fargo, ING Group and Monsanto.

CH Baker Double House, Des MoinesCH Baker Double House, Des Moines
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authorshipJames Steakley

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The city of Des Moines was founded in 1843, taking its name after Fort Des Moines. the name is of French origin meaning "monks". A major flood in May 1851 destroyed much of the city. It was quickly rebuilt, and incorporated on 22 September of the same year.

At the turn of the 20th century, Des Moines undertook a beautification project by constructing a number of Beaux Arts buildings along the Des Moines River. By the 1960's, the inner city area began to suffer from urban decay, resulting in a decline in population from 1960 to 2000, only to gradually pick up again in the 21st century.

Des Moines at nightDes Moines at night
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Des Moines experiences a humid continental climate. Its summers are hot, with temperatures regularly touching 90°F (32°C), occasionaly even 100°F (38°C) while winter can get extremely cold, with the temperature dropping below 0°F (-18°C).

Visiting Des Moines, Iowa

I-35 and I-80 are the two interstate highways passing through Des Moines. The I-35 connects Des Moines with St Paul/Minneapolis to the north, and Kansas City to the south, while the I-80 connects it with Omaha to the west and Davenport to the east.

Des Moines International Airport (DSM), located just 3 miles from downtown Des Moines, is served by United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Eagle, Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, US Airways and AirTran, connecting Des Moines with major cities in the United States.

Places of Interest in Des Moines, Iowa

  1. Blank Park Zoo
  2. Des Moines Art Center
  3. Des Moines Botanical Center
  4. Iowa State Capitol
  5. Salisbury House
  6. Science Center of Iowa
  7. State Historical Society of Iowa Museum
  8. Terrace Hill

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