We’re deep into winter, and it feels like spring will never arrive. But there’s nothing like a weekend out of the house to beat the winter blahs. The nice thing is, you don’t have to travel far to get the relaxing weekend you deserve. There are several places for a winter weekend getaway near Des Moines!
Winter weekend getaways near Des Moines
Getaways in this article are less than two hours from Des Moines, starting with the closest spots.
Downtown Des Moines
There’s nothing like a weekend in downtown Des Moines to beat the winter blues! Stroll Pappajohn Sculpture Park, venture around Gray’s Lake, or enjoy river views from Principal Riverwalk. Then go shopping at the historic East Village and ice skate under the stars at Brenton Skating Plaza. After a day of fun, soak up the nightlife. Then spend the evening relaxing at Des Lux, Embassy Suites, or one of the other excellent hotels.
Ramada Inn & Tropics
The indoor water park at the Ramada Inn is a good winter escape for families with kids. Buccaneer Bay is an 18,000 square foot area with two pools, tube slides, a hot tub, and a poolside Tiki Bar. Family suites and hot tub suites are available. Restaurants and shopping are also nearby.
Adventureland Inn & Resort
If you’re looking for a fun, quick getaway right in Des Moines, consider Adventureland Inn. They have two pools with water features, two hot tubs, and a swim-up bar, with poolside rooms and suites available. After a day in the pool, hit the arcade and head out for dinner! It’s super close to excellent restaurants and shopping.
Jester Park Cabins
The Jester Park cabins offer a quiet winter retreat near Des Moines! The modern cabins are nestled on the edge of the woods with porches offering views of Discovery Pond. Explore the Nature Center. And head to the Wellness Center for snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals.
Each furnished cabin is a two-story walkout, with a modern kitchen, gas fireplace, two bathrooms, showers, and a charcoal grill. A communal fire pit is for all cabin users. Reservations are available year-round.
Thomas Mitchel Park Cabin
Thomas Mitchell Park Cabin is a few short minutes east of Des Moines. It overlooks a six-acre pond surrounded by woodlands, making it an ideal winter hideaway.
The modern cabin is ADA accessible and has three bedrooms with cozy amenities. It features a modern kitchen, bathroom, modern furnishings, and a fireplace. And there is no Wi-Fi or television, so it’s excellent for disconnecting!. For more details, see the MyCountyParks website.
Head north of Des Moines for a winter adventure! Spend a day (or two!) skiing and snow tubing at Seven Oaks Recreation. Or, take a winter hike at Ledges State Park or through the trees at Iowa Arboretum. After a day of winter fun, grab a local brew, get a bite to eat, and warm up in your room at a local hotel!
Pella is less than an hour from Des Moines, with a lot to offer! Snowshoe or cross-country ski around Lake Red Rock. And look for Bald Eagles soaring above the frozen lake and below the dam on the Des Moines River. Or, spend a day around town to explore the unique shops, bakeries, restaurants, and more! Make the weekend even more special by staying at Horns Ferry Hideaway, Cordova Cabins, or the Cheesemaker’s Inn.
Whiterock Conservancy is 5000+ acres of protected land just over an hour’s drive from Des Moines. And it’s the perfect winter refuge with miles of trails and a diverse Iowa landscape. For a romantic weekend or fun for the whole family, you’ll find unique accommodations. Stay in a historic farmhouse, secluded cabin, or cozy cottage for a scenic weekend getaway.
Honey Creek Resort
Honey Creek Resort is about an hour and a half drive from Des Moines, but well worth the drive! Spend a fun winter weekend in a luxury cottage or lodge room overlooking Rathbun Lake. While there, swim at the indoor water park. Or head outside for ice skating, snowshoeing, fat tire biking, and more! Finish your day with a glass of wine or s’mores by the fire.
Winter is the ideal time to visit the Amana Colonies in East Central Iowa! Cider and wine walks, Winterfest, rare shops, and famous homemade food & drink are among the many reasons to visit the Amanas. And if you’re looking for a unique place to stay, you’re in luck. Choices include Hotel Millwright, Die Heimat Country Inn, and more!
Plan your winter weekend getaway near Des Moines today!
Don’t let winter get you down. Spring is just around the corner, but why not enjoy some winter fun while it’s here!? So plan your winter weekend getaway near Des Moines now!
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