Andrei Murphy | Community Leadership

Andrei Murphy is a proud citizen of Des Moines and accomplished insurance solutions professional.

Month: November 2016

Des Moines: A Tourist’s Dream

Des Moines Social Club

You and your family are planning an exciting vacation to get away from the burdens of everyday life. You just want to “set sail,” so to speak, relax your mind and enjoy a week or so with your loved ones. So, where do you go?

You could choose one of the extremely popular and cliched hotspots that are bound to be ripe with other tourists; or you could choose one of America’s greatest hidden gems: Des Moines, Iowa.

While, admittedly, not the most obvious choice at first glance, once you dig a bit deeper into the variety of options the city has to offer, the choice becomes crystal clear.

Whether you’re going on vacation in the summer or the winter, Des Moines has something for everybody, year round.


Iowa State Fair

There is no finer way to discover just how rich and diverse the Des Moines community is than at the Iowa State Fair. Teeming with a wide array of activities and events, the Iowa State Fair features everything from a midsummer horse and pony show to an elaborate winter wonderland in the chillier months.

Adventureland Park

Maybe you’re a family of adrenaline junkies. Not to worry, Des Moines has you covered. With over 100 rides ranging from the kid-friendly Frog Hopper to the nerve wracking Space Shot, Adventureland Park is the perfect place for the family to spend the day.


Planning a trip with your significant other? Or perhaps you’re leaving the kids with their grandparents this time? Either way, Des Moines is still a hotbed of social activity.

Winefest Des Moines

Visit the ever popular Winefest Des Moines and surround yourself with delectable food and fine wine, while also supporting local charities. This is another way to see just how connected the Des Moines community truly is.

Prairie Meadows Casino and Racetrack

Test your luck at Prairie Meadows Casino and Racetrack. The 85,000 plus square foot casino has all the slots and card games you could need. Or try your hand at the races and experience a horse race that will leave your heart pounding. The casino even features a cozy hotel complete with a saltwater pool, fitness center and dedicated airport shuttle service.


New in town? Des Moines has plenty of other events that are sure to get you socializing in no time.

80/35 Music Festival

Who doesn’t enjoy music? Indulge in a variety of foods, draft beers and some of the country’s greatest musicians of all time. With a lineup of about 40 artists and thousands of visitors, 80/35 is the best place to meet new people and truly experience what Des Moines has to offer.

Des Moines Social Club

Meet new people while exploring your creative side at the Des Moines Social Club. Probably the most spontaneous hot spot in Des Moines, the Des Moines Social Club features everything from theater, art classes, galleries, trivia competitions and even aerial acrobatics.

And I haven’t even mentioned the Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo or Des Moines Botanical Garden. So whether you’re just moving in, looking for a vacation getaway with the family or willing to try something new, Des Moines is brimming with engaging and entertaining activities for everybody from all walks of life.

A New Des Moines

The Old Capital at Des Moines

Unfortunately, Des Moines–and Iowa in general–is plagued with a reputation of being dull and lifeless. While states like New York and California have vast, robust metropolises, teeming with millions of citizens and bright lights, Des Moines exists on a much humbler scale. However, regardless of its reputation, Des Moines has a deep, rich history that sets it apart from the rest.

Des What?

As with any brand new city, there lies a large importance in its name. Most of our country’s cities all have interesting origins to their names. Philadelphia’s name literally translates to brotherly love, Los Angeles’ name has a fairly religious background and Miami was named after the Mayaimi, the Native American tribe that inhabited the area. But few cities have as interesting and hard to pinpoint history as Des Moines.

Originally thought to be named after the nearby Des Moines River, the capital city of Iowa may owe its name to the Native American language. Some historians propose that Des Moines is, in fact, derived from the Native American word “moingona,” or, river of the mounds. This term referred to the several burial mounds near the river. Other historians believe that the city was named after the Trappist Monks, known as Moines de la Trappe.

While the general consensus is that the city’s name is based on some variation of the word moingona, it is entirely possible for the other explanations to prove true. We may never know.

Progressive Development

Although it started out as a barren land with low expectations when it became the state capital of Iowa in 1858, Des Moines quickly managed to silence the critics and detractors and develop rather quickly.

The Des Moines Plan, a unique concept at the time, had streamlined both municipal government and charted development. The push for female rights was also demonstrated in the small but blossoming city when Fort Des Moines, the city’s original namesake, became the first ever training center for the Women’s Army Corps in 1942. And Des Moines’ economy was completely revamped when it became a national publishing and insurance center, cited as the “number one spot for U.S. insurance companies” according to Business Insider.

Luckily, Des Moines is shaking its lackluster reputation and beginning to catch the nation’s eye as a thriving metropolis with a vibrant art culture and proud community, ready to compete with the likes of New York City and Chicago. According to an article from, Des Moines has had a bevy of accolades thrown its way these past few years, being dubbed the country’s richest city and being excellent for young professionals, families and businesses.

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