Gray's Lake Park#11 in Best Things To Do in Des Moines
Price & Hours
For a taste of the outdoors, head to Gray's Lake Park. Situated about 2 miles southwest of downtown by the Raccoon River, Gray's Lake Park features a 167-acre lake with a 2-mile pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly trail encircling it. Along with the walking and biking path, the park also offers a playground, a boat ramp and facilities like restrooms. Available boat rentals include canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and stand-up paddleboards.
Locals and visitors alike offer favorable reviews for the park, saying it's a great place to bring kids. Others praise the park's cleanliness.
Gray's Lake Park is free to visit and open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information, visit the City of Des Moines website.
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#1 Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Despite chilly Midwestern winters, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden remains a year-round top attraction thanks to the site's domed conservatory, which is kept consistently balmy to nurture the tropical plants housed within. Along with palm trees and a waterfall, the conservatory houses a variety of bright flowers, cactuses and succulents, among other plants. Outside the conservatory, there are numerous themed gardens interspersed with sculptures, including a rose garden and a water garden. In total, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden spans 7 acres.
According to recent visitors, the garden is a worthwhile stop year-round. Many who visited during winter referred to the conservatory as an oasis. Reviewers frequently used words like "beautiful" and "relaxing" to describe the garden.
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