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If you didn’t know, I was born in the Philippines and came to Iowa when I was three years old. I grew up in Iowa, and then after college, Nick and I moved to Illinois. We lived there for 7 years, but I always wanted to be back in Iowa because of family. Eventually, we moved to Iowa due to Nick’s job. Iowa is so much more than just a place that’s great for growing a career. It’s also a place you and your family will be proud to call home for years to come. We’ve been living in Iowa for 8 years now, and that was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made!
It amazes me how much there is to do in Iowa, and I wanted to share with you some of the places you should check out if you’re in the West Des Moines area! As a blogger and a stay-at-home mom, sometimes I just want to get out and enjoy what is around my community.
St. Kilda Collective
My day started off with Johannah and I having a girls’ day before she had to go to dance. We had lunch at St. Kilda Collective, and this is one of my favorite restaurants! It’s a full-service restaurant serving farm-to-table dishes, fresh-baked pastries, artisanal coffee drinks featuring Counter Culture Coffee, and a full bar serving cocktails, beer and wine. This was actually the first time I’ve been to the West Des Moines location since I usually go to their downtown location. I always get the same thing… fresh-squeezed orange juice and avocado toast. YUM…I’m getting hungry just writing this! Johannah got a smoothie and burger.
Historic Valley Junction
We walked around the Historic Valley Junction shopping area after lunch. This historic railroad district, founded in the 1890s, has more than 160 specialty stores, art galleries, fashion boutiques, restaurants, and antique shops. Our first stop was at Bing’s. They have so many fun and unique products!
This is a great store to go to if you’re looking for gifts….holidays, birthdays, kids, cat and dog lovers, or anyone that needs a good laugh!
Right next door to Bing’s was Bozz Prints. They had so many cool prints, posters, and shirts inspired by travel, architecture, and scenery!
Then we headed to MoMere. Oh my gosh…I loved everything about this store! The first thing I noticed was all the neutral home decor!
They also had an area for the guys on the main level, and then upstairs were clothes and accessories for women and items for kids!
It was Johannah’s dance coach’s birthday, so we got some goodies for her from MoMere!
After I dropped off Johannah at dance, I headed to Friedrichs Coffee, a small batch artisan roaster. I needed some caffeine and wanted to work for a little bit.
I enjoyed their coffee frappe and almond poppyseed bread!
Raccoon River Boat House
Before heading to the Valley Junction farmer’s market, I stopped by the Raccoon River Boat House. They offer boat rentals including canoes, kayaks, paddleboats, stand-up paddleboards, and more. A great way to enjoy the outdoors!
Valley Junction Farmers Market
I was excited to head to the Valley Junction Farmer’s Market which is every Thursday from 4-8pm! I love how it has that small-town feel. The Valley Junction Farmers Market is home to dozens of local vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, plants and flowers, arts and crafts, and prepared foods.
They also have live music!
My last stop was getting an acai bowl from Big Acai!
After Johannah’s dance class, I took her and my nephew to Smash Park for dinner. I’ve heard so many great things about this place, and it did not disappoint! Smash Park is a one-of-a-kind entertainment and events venue where you can play, drink, and eat all day long. There are indoor and outdoor pickleball courts, cornhole games, connect four, Jenga, ping pong tables, and more!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post! There is so much to do in West Des Moines, and this is just a little bit of it. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend checking them out!