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Find Breathtaking Nature Views in Downtown DSM

Winter Views in Downtown DSM

December 14, 2020

Our city sits beautifully in the valley between the Raccoon and Des Moines River. When you move up the bluffs that rise away from the river’s edges, you can find great overlook views of the Downtown Des Moines (DSM) buildings and the city skyline. However, while exploring downtown, if you look closer, you can also find breathtaking views of nature year-round. In the spring and summer months, waving green leaves of the cottonwood trees, along with the blooming flowers that decorate Fleur Drive and open sparkling waterways in the city, will catch your eye. In the winter months, these views go away for the season. That does not mean just because the seasons have changed that you cannot find beauty and inspiration in nature. The winter months have their own opportunities for breathtaking views of Downtown DSM. We can observe some views on foot and others you can enjoy from the comfort of your warm and cozy car.

MacRae Park

MacRae Park is known for its incredible views from the EMC Overlook, however the park has so much more to offer. When you first enter MacRae, you are greeted with a stunning view of the pond surrounded by trees. While you travel up the winding road, pay close attention to the mature oak trees that stand strong and tall along the path, their twisted and bent branches reaching out to surround the view in front of you like a frame wrapped around a classic painting of a winter scene. Mature trees line many of our Downtown DSM streets and offer similar views along the way. Polk Boulevard is full of trees with their branches stretching in all directions. The sycamore trees on Thompson Avenue seem to reach up forever, and the trees lining the entrance at Waveland Golf Course guide you down a path to a facility that is over 100 years old.Winter Tree in Downtown DSM

Greenwood Park

After a fresh snowfall, a walk through the Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden in Greenwood Park is not only beautiful to see but can be a very tranquil and rewarding experience. The blooms are gone for the season and left behind are the bundled rose bushes loaded with snow, creating geometric patterns of darks and whites across the ground. As you walk through the repeating patterns at your feet, surrounding the garden is the rest of the park, itself is an experience for the eyes to absorb. Moving south away from the garden takes you toward the pond. Standing under an enormous oak tree, you will see the pond, low in the center, and trees climbing up the hillside reaching up towards the sky, with a view that appears to go on forever.Downtown DSM Winter Scene

Bald Eagles Along the River

If you are looking for wildlife in the winter, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the feeling you get from watching a Bald Eagle soaring over the water, wings spread wide, reaching out towards the sky as they effortlessly glide through the air. Unlike a tree or pond, this is not a stationary view. We suggest that you visit the Principal Riverwalk near the Women of Achievement bridge to catch a view of a soaring eagle with the Downtown DSM skyline behind them while they fish the open water.

See my recent post on bald eagles here.

These are just a few beautiful sights that you can find in Downtown DSM. Whatever you choose to see, we invite you to go outside this winter and explore the beautiful sights that nature is offering you.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.