Top 5 reasons to explore the neighborhoods surrounding campus

The Drake neighborhood is great—but you already knew that. Here are five reasons to branch out a little farther

  1. Snookies in the Beaverdale neighborhood is not just an ice cream shop; it’s a Des Moines institution. Residents camp out in the parking lot every year to be among the first in line on opening day. You don’t have to be first, but you should go.
  2. The quirky gifts, local art, and handcrafted goods at Tandem Brick Gallery make this shop a must-see as you explore the many restaurants, storefronts, art galleries, clubs, and dives on Ingersoll Avenue. The street runs through the Woodland Heights, North of Grand, and Ingersoll Park neighborhoods.
  3. Des Moines’ oldest neighborhood, Sherman Hill, is famous for its many “painted ladies”—spacious Victorian homes restored to their original splendor. Plus, Hoyt Sherman Place, the 1,400-seat theater originally built as a home for Major Hoyt Sherman in 1877, dazzles with its historic architecture.
  4. If you’ve not had breakfast at Waveland Cafe in the Waveland Park neighborhood then you’ve never truly experienced Des Moines. Don’t let the long lines deter you; the friendly staff goes out of its way to get you in as quickly as possible.
  5. Taller than you would ever think a child’s slide should be, and steeper by far, the rocket slide in Union Park, located in the Union Park neighborhood, is not for the faint of heart. Never fear, though—nearby is the much tamer (but equally cool) Heritage Carousel, one of the few wooden carousels built since the 1930s.

—Tim Schmitt, GR’08, ’10

Visit for an interactive look at some of the places Drake students love most in the capital city.

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