Ankeny is extra of a suburb of Des Moines than it’s a standalone metropolis. Granted, it enjoys full metropolis standing with its personal metropolis council and all, however because it’s about seven miles from the state capital, it appears to quietly sit in its greater neighbor’s shadow. Actually, a 15-minute drive is all it takes to get to the middle of Des Moines (although a road trip from Chicago is a delight, too).

Nonetheless, Ankeny isn’t a boring city opposite to the belief that Iowa’s cities are dull and sleepy. Sure, it has a small-city vibe, however which means that the individuals are friendlier. And, with its personal parks, nature trails, and sporting services, a number of days in Ankeny wouldn’t harm. For these seeking to spend some time in central Iowa, this text is the final word information to Ankeny that may assist any traveler plan the right journey.


What To Know When Visiting Ankeny

Ankeny aerial view
By way of: Shutterstock

Aerial view of Ankeny.

Ankeny began its life within the late 1800s as a farming neighborhood, then a coal-mining city, to the present-day metropolis with barely greater than 70,000 individuals. It’s at present the fastest-growing metropolis in Iowa and one of the most beautiful. Due to this development, there are quite a lot of development tasks within the metropolis.

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Ankeny is a brief drive from Des Moines and is part of the Des Moines Metropolitan Space. Which means that there are locals who work in Des Moines and stay in Ankeny, and guests can simply keep in Des Moines and spend a day in Ankeny.

Finest Time To Go to Ankeny

Park in Ankeny, Iowa
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Park in Ankeny, Iowa

Summer time (June to August)

That is the most effective time to go to Ankeny for many who want heat climate. Throughout this time, temperatures go as excessive because the 80s Fahrenheit (27 Celsius), which is good for spending time open air. Nevertheless, there are extra wet days in summer time, so guests ought to pack in anticipation of some moist days.

Autumn (September to November)

The climate stays nice in September and October, however it begins to get chilly in November. Common highs within the first two months of autumn are round 70 Fahrenheit (21 Celsius). Guests seeking to keep away from the summer time vacationer crowds will get pleasure from visiting Ankeny in September or October. Lodge charges are additionally decrease presently.

Winter (December to February)

Winters may be harsh in Central Iowa and Ankeny additionally experiences this freezing climate. On common, the highs are within the 30s vary (1 diploma Celsius) and temperatures can tumble to as little as the kids (-10 Celsius).

Those that can deal with the chilly might go to in December throughout the festive season. Nevertheless, January is the coldest month, so this isn’t a very good time to go to Ankeny.

Spring (March to Might)

Temperatures stay low in March and early April, however the climate improves from the tip of April into Might. Might is an effective time to go to Ankeny because the temperatures on this month vary between the 60s and early 70s Fahrenheit (15 to twenty levels Celsius).

Getting Round Ankeny, Iowa

Des Moines DART Bus
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A Des Moines DART Bus

Ankeny is a part of the Des Moines Metropolitan Space, so it’s served by the Des Moines Worldwide Airport. The town has its personal airport, the Ankeny Regional Airport, however it primarily serves chartered plane.

From Des Moines, guests can attain Ankeny by bus. The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) operates an specific bus to Ankeny on weekdays from 5:40 am to six:20 pm.

As soon as right here, guests can get across the metropolis utilizing the next means;


Ankeny is simple to discover by bike because it’s a small metropolis. There are bike-rental companies from the place a customer can get both conventional bikes or e-bikes. As an example, Kyle’s Bikes has quite a lot of bikes for lease on a first-come-first-serve foundation. They cost from $50 for a day.

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It’s straightforward to get round Ankeny on foot because it’s small and many of the locations of curiosity are inside a number of miles of one another.


For the reason that solely public transport in Ankeny operates between Downtown Des Moines and Ankeny, renting a automobile is a extra handy manner of exploring Ankeny and the environs. Guests can select to lease a automobile in Des Moines and drive down or lease a automobile in Ankeny to make use of inside the metropolis.

Corporations like Enterprise, Avis, and Hertz have a number of branches within the Des Moines Metropolitan Space.

The place To Eat In Ankeny

people dining at a restaurant in des moines

individuals eating at a restaurant in des moines

Iowa, and Des Moines, are full of iconic dishes, and lots of tasty treats may be present in Ankeny, too.

Breakfast: Cafe Diem

Cafe Diem is present in varied places throughout Ankeny, all of which have a mouthwatering breakfast menu that’s beloved by locals and guests alike. From as early as 6:30 am, diners can get pleasure from pleasant pancakes or delectable egg dishes for breakfast.

A number of the choices embody Nutella pancakes and cinnamon roll pancakes, in addition to the Cafe Diem Breakfast, which is made up of eggs, meat, hashbrowns, and toast.

  • Deal with: 2005 S Ankeny Blvd Ste 800, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
  • Hours: Mon – Fri: 6:30 am – 6 pm; Sat: 7 am – 6 pm; Solar: 8 am – 6 pm

Lunch: Leaning Tower of Pizza – Uptown Ankeny

For a number of the greatest pizzas in Ankeny, guests ought to drop in at Leaning Tower of Pizza. This Italian-inspired eatery has a quaint ambiance for an old-school vibe. The pizza is what brings and retains prospects, with quite a lot of specialty choices for diverse palates.

There’s additionally the selection to create a customized pizza from a collection of toppings. Nonetheless, consistent with the Italian theme, there are a number of pasta dishes starting from baked cavatelli pasta to spaghetti and meatballs.

  • Deal with: 512 SW third St, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
  • Hours: 11 am – 9 pm (day by day)

Dinner: District 36 Wine Bar & Grille

This charming restaurant is discovered close to Saylorville Lake, providing patrons water views whereas they dine. This makes for an exquisite place to get pleasure from a night meal in a soothing setting.

A few of their dishes embody peppercorn steak, rooster Parmesan, calamari steak, and Atlantic salmon. District 36 additionally serves pizza cooked in a brick oven; a number of the choices are BBQ rooster, carbonara, and Sicilian pizza.

However, there’s nonetheless extra that one can get, from pasta to tacos and even burgers.

  • Deal with: 1375 SW Classic Pkwy, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
  • Hours: Mon – Thu: 11 am – 9 pm; Fri & Sat: 11 am – 10 pm (closed on Solar)

Drinks: The Whiskey House and Bourbon Grill

Bourbon and whiskey cocktail
By way of: Unsplash

Bourbon and whiskey cocktail

The Whiskey Home is a energetic spot that serves each meals and drinks. With meals like burgers, pasta, and sandwiches, guests can get pleasure from a luxurious night meal right here earlier than watering it down with their number of drinks.

They’ve a big selection of bottled and draft beer, however the showstoppers are their cocktails and spirits. There are basic choices like Previous Customary and Manhattan, in addition to attention-grabbing ones like Rob Roy, Boulevardier, and Irish Espresso.

  • Deal with: 2510 SW White Birch Dr, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
  • Hours: Mon – Thu: 4 pm – 11 pm; Fri & Sat: 4 pm – 12 pm (closed on Solar)

Issues To Do In Ankeny, Iowa

Summer shoreline view of Saylorville Lake
By way of: Shutterstock

Summer time shoreline view of Saylorville Lake.

Verify Out the Displays on the Ankeny Art Center

The Ankeny Artwork Heart is the place lovers of artwork converge to rejoice native artists. This heart is house to a gallery that hosts exhibitions often all year long.

The middle additionally holds lessons on pottery, drawing, and portray for each children and adults, with costs beginning at $125.

  • Deal with: 1520 SW Ordnance Rd, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
  • Hours: Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat: 11 am – 4 pm; Thu: 11 am – 7 pm (closed on Solar & Mon)
  • Worth: Free exhibitions

Have Enjoyable at Cascade Falls Aquatic Center

Cascade Falls Aquatic Heart is as a lot a enjoyable vacation spot for adults as it’s for teenagers. Vacationers touring with their households can drop by this spot and expertise the swimming pools, a few of that are heated. There’s additionally a lazy river and three slides for teenagers.

Those that don’t know learn how to swim can take up the middle’s swimming classes, that are booked prematurely.

  • Deal with: 2350 SW Prairie Path Pkwy, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
  • Hours: 12 pm – 7 pm (day by day)
  • Worth: Adults & youngsters over 2: $8; Seniors (over 60): $5; Kids 2 and beneath: $1

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Catch a Film and Go Bowling at B&B Theatres Ankeny 12 & B-Roll Bowling

Get pleasure from an thrilling night on the Ankeny 12 advanced, which is house to a multi-screen theater and a bowling alley. B&B Theaters screens the most recent flicks on daily basis of their a number of theaters.

And, afterward, guests can get pleasure from a night of bowling on the spacious B-Roll Bowling alley on the premises.

  • Deal with: 1580 SW Market St, Ankeny, IA 50023, United States
  • Hours: Bowling Alley: Mon – Thu: 1 pm – 10 pm; Fri: 1 pm – 12 am; Sat: 11 am – 12 am; Solar: 11 am – 10 pm
  • Worth: Bowling from $25 per lane per hour; Films: $12.39 (adults), $9 (youngsters 3 – 11), $10.39 (seniors 60+)

Hike in Promenade Park

This serene park boasts 12 acres of actual property, inside which there’s the scenic Lake Promenade. This park is discovered inside Ankeny’s neighborhood of Prairie Path, putting it conveniently near the guts of the town.

Guests to this park can hike the paths that circumvent the lake or get pleasure from a picnic on the shelters. Promenade Park can be the venue of the annual Ankeny SummerFest, which is value attending for these visiting in July.

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Go to Saylorville Lake

Saylorville Lake is fed by the Des Moines River because it acts as a reservoir on the river. When it was constructed, the primary operate of Saylorville was to regulate floods, from the river, however right now, it’s an attraction within the space.

Guests can go boating on the lake or hike the paths that traverse this function. There are additionally campsites on the fringes of Saylorville Lake, like Prairie Flower Campground, which is a few 12-minute drive from Ankeny. There’s additionally a seashore — Oak Grove Seashore — in addition to a fishing pier.

The place To Keep In Ankeny, Iowa

Suburban home in Ankeny, Iowa
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Suburban house in Ankeny, Iowa.

Ankeny could also be a small metropolis, however it has various lodging, starting from inns to trip leases. Whereas glamping in Iowa is its personal subgenre of lodging, Ankeny’s choices are cozier and a bit quainter.


Residence Inn by Marriott Des Moines Ankeny

  • Deal with: 1515 SW Primary Avenue, Ankeny, IA 50023
  • Facilities: Indoor pool, health heart, enterprise heart, in-room kitchenette, complimentary breakfast picnic space, terrace, board video games
  • Price: From $153

Courtyard by Marriott Ankeny

  • Deal with: 2405 Southeast Creekview Drive, Ankeny, IA 50021
  • Facilities: Assembly services, enterprise heart, airport shuttle, laundry services, indoor pool, restaurant
  • Price: From $110

Holiday Inn Express Des Moines Ankeny, an IHG Hotel

  • Deal with: 2502 South Hulsizer Highway, Ankeny, IA 50021
  • Facilities: Complimentary breakfast, parking, lounge, convention room, fitness center, indoor pool, enterprise heart,
  • Price: From $129

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Trip Leases

Convenient Private Rooms

  • Deal with: Ankeny, Iowa
  • Facilities: Non-public toilet, fitness center, full kitchen, queen-size beds, laundry services, hearth, BBQ grill, free parking
  • Price: From $84

Quaint Ranch Remodel

  • Deal with: Ankeny, Iowa
  • Facilities: 3 bedrooms, yard, deck, full kitchen, laundry services, ping-pong desk, fireplace pit, BBQ grill, free parking, picnic desk
  • Price: From $325

Large Mid-Century Home

  • Deal with: Ankeny, Iowa
  • Facilities: 4-acre property, 4 bedrooms, recreation room, Tiki bar, scorching tub, fireplace pit, nature path, good TVs, full kitchen, volleyball web
  • Price: From $582

Spending The Excellent Day In Ankeny

Sunset on the Des Moines River
By way of: Shutterstock

Sundown on the Des Moines River.

Begin the day with some breakfast at Cafe Diem earlier than setting off for a enjoyable morning at Oak Grove Seashore. Take a ship trip on Saylorville Lake and hike the paths across the lake. Afterward, get some take-out and have a picnic lunch at Promenade Park.

After lunch go to the Ankeny Artwork Heart earlier than heading to B-Roll Bowling for some enjoyable earlier than dinner. Afterward, get some dinner at a downtown restaurant earlier than catching a film at B&B Theaters Ankeny.

Wind down the day with some drinks at an area joint like The Whiskey Home and Bourbon Grill.


Q: Is Ankeny greater than Des Moines?

Des Moines is the largest metropolis in Iowa with a inhabitants of over 200,000 individuals whereas Ankeny is part of the Des Moines Metropolitan Space, with a inhabitants of barely over 70,000. Vacationers can discover things to do in Des Moines and Ankeny in the identical journey.

Q: What’s Ankeny identified for?

Ankeny is understood for being a former coal city, and it is presently the fastest-growing metropolis in Iowa.

Q: What’s Pizza Fest Ankeny?

Pizza Fest Ankeny is an annual summer time pageant that celebrates this beloved deal with. Attendees get to style pizza varieties, participate in dough-tossing contests, and luxuriate in stay music.

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