Area Attractions & Dining

Drake University is located in the heart of Des Moines’ near-west-side Drake Neighborhood. Here, you will find numerous options for dining, whether you need a quick cup of coffee, a light Mediterranean lunch, home-smoked barbecue, or late-night breakfast. Nearby favorites include Mars Cafe, Papa Keno’s Pizza, Gazali’s, Haiku Japanese Restaurant, Woody’s Smoke Shack, The Drake Diner, and Fernando’s Mexican Grill.

Downtown Des Moines offers further dining options as well, including Italian, Southeast Asian, Greek, Japanese, English, German, and Continental fare, as well as steak, chops and seafood at a range of prices. The Des Moines Register‘s Dining Guide is a good place to start your planning.

Nearby cultural attractions include the Des Moines Art Center, Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines Central Library, The Des Moines Social Club, The Des Moines Community Playhouse, and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park.

Exercise facilities, including free-weights, machines, treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and an indoor track, are available to conference presenters at Drake’s Bell Center.  For those who prefer walking, running, or biking outdoors, Des Moines boasts abundant parks, green spaces, and trails, including the nearby Drake Park (1 block away), Gray’s Lake (2 mi),  Water Works Park (2 mi), Bill Riley Trail (3 mi), and Walnut Creek Trail (3 mi).

Conferees can use the Des Moines BCycle app to check out bicycles from stations on the north and west sides of Drake’s campus.