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A Tropical Getaway in Downtown DSM? Believe It.

Winter Staycation

Dreaming of a vacation getaway? We have a great destination in mind, where you’ll find tropical drinks, seafood and sushi, a walk through the rainforest or an action-packed rock climbing experience. No need to rush to the airport! Here’s where to get your staycation fix in Downtown Des Moines (DSM).

Drink Spots with a Vacation Feel

Bellhop Tiki – Fancy, fruity, frozen drinks with a teeny tiny umbrella? Coming right up! Cocktail flavors like guava, passion fruit and mango will have you reminiscing about days spent at the beach. (Pro Tip: Piña Coladas are only $6 every Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m.!)

El Bait Shop – A drink here feels like a road trip destination! With 260+ beers on tap, try something with a fresh feel like Great Divide Brewing Company’s “Wild Raspberry Ale” or the “Pink Dragonade Stand,” a sour fruited beer from Dimensional Brewing Company. Cheers, my friend!

El Bait Shop

Photo Credit: Somos Studios

Revival House – If sipping on a Mai Tai surrounded by tiki torches and palm leaves is your idea of a getaway, we’ve found your perfect Downtown DSM staycation destination! Thank us later.

Revival House Drink

Local Downtown Sushi Places

Akebono 515 – This contemporary restaurant features sushi, Japanese cuisine and tasty cocktails, as well. One bite of the “Chili Ponzu Salmon Sashimi,” and you’ll be transported to that one time on that awesome vacation at that special place (you know the one).

Blu Thai Food and Sushi – An assortment of sushi rolls, nigiri, sashimi and more will have your tastebuds doing a happy little staycation dance! Try the mango sticky rice for dessert.

Miyabi 9 – This sushi spot in the Historic East Village is great for a date night, outing with friends or even a solo meal where you can enjoy a prime seat overlooking the sushi bar. Order the “Spicy Tuna Rice Cracker” appetizer, you won’t regret it!

Miyabi 9 East Village

W-Tao Sushi – This Downtown DSM sushi restaurant has foodie flair with its wide selection of Asian cuisine including sushi, sashimi and Bento box entrées, as well as several sauces so you can dip to your heart’s desire!

Downtown DSM Seafood Restaurants

Ceviche Bar – This Historic East Village eatery dishes up Cuban fare in a relaxing atmosphere. Shrimp cocktail to start followed by a Cubano sandwich, fried plantains and a mojito paired with the restaurant’s low-key ambiance? Slow down and savor it.

Ceviche Bar

Django – You’ll feel like you’re oceanside here, with a selection of seafood including oysters, shrimp, scallops, mussels, crab and all the fixins. Be sure to ask for the perfect wine or drink pairing for your preferred dish!


Splash Seafood Bar & Grill – A night on the town but make it a vacation vibe: The upscale feel and extensive seafood menu will satisfy your getaway date-night dinner daydreams.


East Village Spa – Did someone order some R and R? Give yourself the gift of a relaxing, rejuvenating day at the spa. Try the Heavenly Hot Stone massage, where warm salt stones and kneading hands combine to melt away tension and boost circulation. Explore a full menu of other massage offerings also available! (Pro Tip: Be sure to visit their new location, still in the Historic East Village!)

East Village Spa

Inner Space DSM – This unique space offers several services that promote wellness and healing — the perfect complement to your staycation holiday. In addition to massage, you’ll find reiki, polychromatic light therapy, amethyst Biomat® therapy, a healing and immersive salt lounge and several more distinctive services.

No Worries Massage & Bodywork – This in-house health club located within the Des Lux Hotel provides flexible scheduling and 30-, 60- and 90-minute massage options to lessen your stress or anxiety and increase your inner vacation Zen.

Salon Spa W – Relax and enjoy a fresh haircut, color treatment, facial or nail service and treat yo’self at this salon and spa in the Historic East Village. (Might we suggest a day of self-indulgence followed by one of those fruity, fancy frozen drinks we mentioned earlier?)

Salon Spa W East Village

Activities + Attractions

Climb Iowa East Village – If a getaway with active adventures is your speed, give bouldering a try at Climb Iowa’s location in the Historic East Village in Downtown DSM. With 3,000 square feet and 80+ problems to navigate with hands and feet, you’re sure to find an adrenaline rush here.

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden – Immerse yourself in the vast gardens of lively and exotic plants under a canopy of palm trees with the warm temps you’d find in the dessert or tropical rainforest. The Botanical Garden is a great visit when you need a warm and lush getaway, without leaving DSM’s city limits. (Pro Tip: Check out Dome After Dark taking place every Friday night!)

Botanical Garden Dome

Photo credit: Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

PowerLife Yoga – So you’re missing the summer heat? With two locations to choose from in Downtown DSM, explore several hot yoga offerings at PowerLife, where the yoga studio is heated to 92+ degrees. Sunscreen not required.

Wellmark YMCA – Work up a sweat at the YMCA in Downtown DSM, where several types of classes like yoga, Pilates, barre, Zumba and cycling take place daily. If the mention of rock climbing piques your interest, you’ll find a bouldering wall here, too! Drop in to the Olympic-sized pool for a swim while you’re here. No Y membership? No problem! Purchase a pass for the day at $15 per person or $30 per family.

Book a Hotel

Why not go all in? Book a hotel room in Downtown DSM and make it a true respite! Explore upscale and classic lodging, hotels with historic roots, rooms with riverfront views and many more unique venues. If a swimming pool is a must for your staycation hotel, check out the Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt Place, Embassy Suites or Staybridge Suites — each located in Downtown DSM.

Staybridge Suites

Plan your visit to Downtown Des Moines (DSM) with these tips for parking and navigation and discover additional restaurants and nightlife, attractions and things to do, too! And follow @downtownDSMUSA on Instagram for more epic, things-you-just-can’t-miss happening around Downtown.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

DSM USA is the regional identifier for Greater Des Moines (DSM). DSM USA is a bold statement to the world: This is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant community with affordable and accessible amenities for residents and businesses. This regional identifier is the result of significant quantitative and qualitative research. The Partnership will champion the DSM USA message, and encourages its Investors, its more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and DSM USA Ambassadors to help share the region's story with One Voice.