Des Moines, Iowa, has been named one of the best mid-sized cities for its quality of life. The city which was once called Fort Raccoon was founded in 1857, and its current name comes from the river running through the city. This state capitol has the third largest number of people working in the insurance industry in the world. There are two interstates located in the city, so people can get anywhere else in the United States very easily. This city of about 207,000 residents is very politically minded as the first presidential caucuses are held here each four years.
Approximately 1,100 homes are located in the Waterbury neighborhood of Des Moines. This neighborhood is located south of Grand Avenue and north of Interstate 235. Polk Boulevard marks its eastern boundary while Walnut Creek forms a natural boundary on the west. Originally developed when the railroad first reached the area in about 1894, this neighborhood contains many beautifully maintained stately homes. This neighborhood was one of the first in the United States where the streets were laid out to follow the topography of the land. About 85 percent of residents in this area own their own single-family home. Residents in this neighborhood enjoy a crime rate much below the national average. Many residents enjoy playing golf at the Waveland Golf Course located just across the interstate. There are many shopping opportunities just to the southwest of this neighborhood in West Des Moines including a large Dollar Tree and several paint stores.
The Westwood neighborhood runs south of Grand Avenue. Its eastern border is Greenwood and Ashworth Parks. This neighborhood lies just north of Derman Woods with the Soccer West Soccer Club forming much of the neighborhood’s western boundary. While there are more renters in the Westwood neighborhood than in the Waterbury neighborhood, the vast majority of the people in this area of about 1,100 people are homeowners. The Westwood neighborhood is the most expensive neighborhood in Des Moines to live. The Des Moines Art Center is located in this family-friendly neighborhood. Many residents take advantage of the studio program at the art center to improve their skills or learn new ones. The rose garden at the center is one of the most beautiful places to take photos in the city. Residents can head west a very short distance on Grand Avenue to find a variety of shopping locations near the Val Lanes Recreation Center.
This neighborhood located near the Salisbury Playhouse is one of the most southern neighborhoods in the city. The Greenwood and Ashworth Parks form the western border while the Des Moines River forms a natural south border. This neighborhood is located about three miles from the downtown area allowing residents easy access to all the jobs and activities located there. About 1,000 people call this friendly neighborhood home. The homeowners association is very active with events organized throughout the year making it easy to get to know other residents in the neighborhood.