A summer tradition will continue as trailers flood Des Moines, Iowa next week. However, this year the trip’s destination is The Recovery, hosted by Team Purebred and Certified Pedigreed Swine. Whether Des Moines is an annual trip for you, or this is your first time in the Hawkeye state, our team put a list together of their favorite places to go beyond the barn!
First is fine dining. Tursi’s Latin King is an ironically named but incredibly delicious Italian restaurant not too far from the fairgrounds. For nearly seven decades, Latin King has served as an East side institution, creating authentic Italian in the heart of the Midwest. You may even forget that you smell like a swine barn while you indulge in classic Italian fare and review their extensive wine list.
If a good ol’ fashion steak house sounds more appealing, we recommend Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse. From appetizers to dessert, you won’t be disappointed.
Last year our team ventured out to the Burger Shed, twice! This place has any burger you can dream of! The Burger Shed makes its food from scratch daily! Don’t leave without indulging in a delicious shake!
Good barbeque, savory sides, unbeatable atmosphere! Jethro’s BBQ conveniently has several locations around the Des Moines area, and each has its own specialty. Check out their website, to find one close to your hotel. Jethro’s sauces run the gamete from sweet and southern to hot and spicy—a must-visit while in Iowa!
If you’re looking for a nice, sit-down meal after a long day of showing, make your way to Bubba Supper and Spirits! The Bubba team is committed to bringing a little Dixie to Des Moines with classics like shrimp & grits, po’boys, fried green tomatoes, meatloaf, and fried chicken. Specializing in Southern favorites and classic cocktails, Bubba offers a menu that is sure to please everyone.
If you’ve never experienced a Hy-vee grocery store, you aren’t sure what you are missing! Swing by to stock up on snacks and grab a breakfast or lunch sandwich. They really do have a little bit of everything!
It is going to be a hot week at The Recovery, so we had to add some frozen treats to the list! Just down the road you will find the Dairy Zone. Check their Facebook page for daily deals. Another must-have on a hot summer day, Monarca Gourmet Paletas aka really yummy popsicles! Here you can build your own popsicle—the possibilities are endless!
Last on our good eats list is the Machine Shed. This good ol’ fashioned, home cooking, served family-style, is a great stop for a hearty meal and a break to stretch your legs. Check their locations to see if there is one on your route, or stop by the Urbandale, Iowa, location, which isn’t far from the National Pork Board office. While you’re there, be sure to grab a picture with the Hampshire pig statue.
Once your full, if you haven’t seen enough animals in the swine barn, feel free to head on over to the Blank Park Zoo. While you’re in town, the zoo is hosting Wild Lights. Enjoy a visually stunning festival of over 35 larger-than-life illuminated animal-shaped Asian lanterns designed and fabricated by artisans.
If you’re looking for less exotic animal entertainment or just have a need for speed, check out the live horse races at Prairie Meadows Race Track, which is open to all ages. A full schedule of the post times for their Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races are available on their website, and this is a great way to practice your handicapping skills before the Belmont.
For those thrill-seekers who are looking for excitement beyond the grand drive, check out Adventureland Amusement Park. You and your family could take a ride on the newest scream-worthy roller coaster called the Monster, swing 260 feet off the ground at 35 miles an hour on the Storm Chaser, or cool off in Iowa’s largest wave pool and lazy river.