7 p.m. Iowa State Fair
Last year, more than one million people visited the Iowa State Fair, and this year you have the chance to partake in the fun. Since it started in 1854, the fair has ingrained itself into the culture of Des Moines. This year’s fair is August 8 to 18.
9 a.m. Downtown Farmers’ Market
Open rain or shine, the farmers market is a local favorite you won’t want to miss. It has earned national recognition and been named one of the best markets by The Daily Mail and Shape Magazine. Be prepared to browse nearly 300 vendors from 50 Iowa counties.
Noon: Zombie Burger + Drink Lab
Priding itself on its own custom three-cut beef burger blend, Zombie Burger + Drink Lab offers a unique dining experience. Visit the East Village location and try George Fomaro’s Pittsburgher made of ham, egg, American cheese, fries, coleslaw and mayo.
2 p.m. Historic East Village
Downtown on the east side of the Des Moines River is one of the city’s original commerce areas. The district includes buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Shops and businesses line the streets including ice skating, galleries and boutiques.
6 p.m. ROCA
Short for “Restaurant on Court Avenue,” ROCA sits in the Historic Court Avenue District of downtown and also houses a lounge and bar. Order a shared plate of Asian lettuce wraps or walleye fish tacos, and sip on one of the restaurant’s tasty craft cocktails. Make a reservation before you go.
8 p.m. Exile Brewing Company
You absolutely must visit a local brewery during your Des Moines trip. There is a ridiculous amount to choose from but you cannot go wrong with Exile Brewing Company. The establishment is a small craft brewery and rustic restaurant you can tour.