Sunday 7: Des Moines: God's Gift to Planet Earth

It's true.
I live in the greatest city in the world.

I even have a t-shirt that says so.

My hood

But really, Des Moines is a pretty awesome midwest city.
In the spirit of Sunday 7 and my ever-evolving love for lists, here are 7 reasons I love this place:

1. Little big city. We have a downtown with bars and restaurants and music venues. But not so big that you have to worry a lot about crime or taking forever to drive somewhere. There is a great young professionals scene (voted #1 in the US for YP's!) and jobs aplenty with us being the insurance capital. It's a perfect size.

On the patio of the Hessen Haus enjoying a nice evening view of downtown

2. MusicWe have an awesome music scene and get a lot of national acts in small venues here because we are sort of in the middle of some bigger cities

Greg Laswell & Ingrid Michaelson at Nitefall on the River 2012

80/35 Last Year

3. Proximity to bigger towns We are just a couple hours from Kansas City, Omaha, Minneapolis and Chicago. Can you say weekend road trips?

4. Food. Some of the best food I've ever had has been right here in Des Moines. We have a great local food scene with some pretty awesome chefs, including the one and only George Formaro- genius behind some of Des Moines best restaurants: Django, Centro, Gateway Market and Zombie Burger. Not to mention we have a fantastic farmers market.

5. Recreation. Des Moines is home to some fantastic bike paths that can get you from downtown to West Des Moines or to rural areas making commutes and Sunday Funday rides a breeze.

Des Moines is also home to Grays Lake, a 167 acre park surrounded by a 2 mile trail. There is a beach, picnic area, bird watching, rowing, etc. It's a great place to take a run along the water or meet friends for Yoga in the Park. 

It also boasts fantastic views of downtown at night. 

There are also great golf courses and parks a plenty. If you like the outdoors (and the weather cooperates), there is plenty to do!

6. The Culture. Besides being home to a pretty progressive music scene, Des Moines has a thriving arts and theater community as well. The Des Moines Art Festival is one of the biggest in the midwest (coming up at the end of this month so you should come check it out!)

And have I mentioned craft beer? We have quite a few local breweries here in town and next weekend will be hosting the 2013 Iowa Craft Brew Festival. Yum. 

Last but certainly not least....

7. The People. It's true, I'm a born and raised Des Moinesian, which makes me a little partial, but I really think some of the nicest people in the world live here. I've made some incredible friends and if it wasn't for this place, I never would have met T. So...definitely a reason to love this city a little more. :)

I'm linking up over at the Influence Network today- sharing a little bit about where I live with all the other fabulous ladies. Check it out HERE