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Top Places for Fall Photoshoots in Downtown DSM

Fall Photoshoots in DSM

This fall, explore Downtown Des Moines (DSM) for falling leaves destinations that will make any Instagram influencer hit the heart icon. These epic autumn views and backdrops are perfect for your next TikTok, fall family photoshoot or a picture-perfect engagement!

Nature Views

Krudenier Trail Pedestrian Bridge at Gray’s Lake
The bridge over Gray’s Lake offers lovely fall vantagepoints of the surrounding park’s treelined lake, as well as the Downtown DSM skyline peeking through the trees.
Location: 2101 Fleur Drive

Arie Den Boer Arboretum at Water Works Park
Right at the Water Works Park entrance just off Fleur Drive is the Arie Den Boer Arboretum with 800 crabapple trees. Explore deeper into Water Works Park's 1,500 acres and use the Bill Riley Trail to navigate across the bridge over the Raccoon River; you’ll discover a huge expanse of massive, mature trees with large and beautiful leaves — perfect for fall-themed photos!
Locations: 2201 George Flagg Parkway - Bridge/Trail Area and Arboretum Area

Gardens at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates
The heavenly outdoor space surrounding the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates can’t be beat. The gardens are packed with seasonal plants and flowers and are flanked by numerous trees providing a photo-worthy destination each fall.
Location: 100 Locust Street

Arts + Culture Views

Seasonal Mural at Dotdash Meredith
As the season changes to fall, so does the mural on the western side of the Dotdash Meredith building in Downtown DSM. Snag a photo near the real-life colorful trees and Plantoir sculpture, and also capture the new mural in your backdrop along with the skyline.
Location: Corner of 17th & Locust Streets

Robert D. Ray Asian Gardens
These lovely gardens provide fall foliage shots along with interesting landmarks and architecture in close range, including the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge, Lauridsen Skatepark and Iowa Events Center, along with the beautiful backdrop of the Downtown DSM skyline.
Location: Just Off of Robert D. Ray Drive, Near the Botanical Garden

Architecture or Skyline Views

Historic Neighborhoods in Sherman Hill
As Downtown DSM’s first historic neighborhood, scout out unique architecture among the area’s 1800s and 1900s homes along with massive, mature trees throughout the district. This neighborhood is what fall photo dreams are made of!
Location: Various Streets Spanning MLK to 15h Street from East to West and I-235 to Ingersoll from North to South

Iowa State Capitol Grounds
The Iowa State Capitol makes for a fall statement shot as it towers over Downtown DSM. The Capitol grounds feature numerous varieties of trees with angles facing towards Downtown DSM buildings and the Historic East Village, or alternatively with the gleaming golden domes of the Capitol in view. Numerous monuments, sculptures and other art provide additional areas of interest for photoshoots.
Location: Finkbine Drive

EMC Overlook at MacRae Park
This historic park sits on the southernmost edge of Downtown DSM, and the new-as-of-2021 EMC Overlook provides a picture-perfect birds’ eye view of Downtown DSM including the tree canopy as the leaves turn to fall colors.
Location: 1021 Davis Avenue

Henry A. Wallace Building
The sheen on this building’s exterior creates a unique photo opportunity, located off East Grand Avenue and facing the Iowa State Capitol. Beautiful twisted trees created unique shapes, along with the reflection of the Capitol building and Downtown DSM streetscapes in the distance.
Location: 501 E. 9th Street

Plan your visit to Downtown Des Moines with these tips for parking and navigation. For even more views around the Greater Des Moines region, view our list of shoot locations around DSM curated for photographers, videographers and the media and discover this list of top places for the best views around Downtown DSM. (P.S. — Share your epic autumn photos with us on social media using #downtownDSM.)

Make it one epic autumn in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) by exploring, experiencing and enjoying what Downtown DSM has to offer. Plan your visit to Downtown DSM with these tips for parking and navigation and discover restaurants and nightlife, things to do and events!

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.