Des Moines, Iowa

In Iowa, one of our main priorities is making all visitors feel welcome and free to explore beautiful state no matter their age or abilities. From wheelchair accessible trails and attractions to inclusive playgrounds, Iowa strives to embrace everyone despite our differences.

When You Get Here

Des Moines International Airport

When landing in Des Moines, visitors can find appropriate airport accommodations here and schedule rides through HIRTA, which can make accommodations for accessibility and offers free rides for caregivers. DART offers paratransit and other modifications. Handicap van rentals can also be made through Cummings Mobility or Mobility Works.

Eastern Iowa Airport (Cedar Rapids)

Find the airport's available accommodations here and schedule handicap van rentals through Iowa Mobility.

Statewide Rentals

Ams Van

Hertz

Enterprise

Lodging

Discover luxurious and accessible lodging options throughout the state.

The Graduate Hotel, Iowa City
Photo courtesy Graduate Iowa City Facebook page

Experience an Iowa Great Lakes getaway at Fillenwarth Beach in Okoboji. Their units include a variety of accessible options through portable mobility and communication aids.

Located in the heart of downtown Iowa City, the Graduate Hotel offers an abundance of accessible features in their guest rooms and public spaces, including wheelchair accessible rooms and bathrooms and Braille/large print used throughout the hotel.

Accommodating Adventures

Attractions

Explore Iowa's river history with a barrier-free experience at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. The museum offers accessible parking and restrooms, "free to borrow" wheelchairs and assisted listening devices in the 3D/4D theater.

The National Czech and Slovak Museum, Cedar Rapids
National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library

Other accessible museums include Des Moines' Science Center of Iowa, the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, or the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids.

In Urbandale, Living History Farms takes visitors back through our state's agricultural past. Improved building thresholds, wide doorways, realigned boardwalks, modified ramps and paved or wood-chipped paths ensure all guests can enjoy a unique journey back in time.

Enjoy a breath of fresh air with self-guided tours of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines or the Literary Walk in Iowa City, which features famous authors with ties to Iowa on plaques along the sidewalks.

Find more exciting attractions here.

Outdoors

Iowa's State Parks invite all visitors to explore the natural beauty of our state.

The Lost Lake Trail at Ledges State Park is a designated ADA accessible trail that leads from the parking lot to the lake. It is surfaced in crushed rock and contained five high-quality self-guided interpretive panels.

Mines of Spain Recreation Area, Dubuque Iowa
Mines of Spain Recreation Area

At Mines of Spain Recreation Area, the John and Alice Butler Trail is paved for about a half mile and overlooks a beautiful prairie and forest. There is also a paved trail leading to the Julien Dubuque monument as well as a paved river walk offering beautiful views of the Mississippi River. Additionally, the old quarry's paved trail allows visitors of all abilities to see the the limestone bluffs and search for fossils.

For more stunning views of the Mississippi, Bellevue State Park features a scenic overlook and trails throughout the community, as well as a paved path through the butterfly garden.

Another great stop is Pikes Peak State Park, where an accessible overlook and boardwalk gives visitors an up-close view of the effigy mounds.

For accessible fishing piers, head to Lake Darling State Park, which also features a paved trail system and ADA compliant cabins for rent. Lake MacBride State Park offers an accessible sidewalk along the Causeway for shoreline fishing and an accessible boat rental dock and sidewalk connecting to the sand beach. Green Valley State Park's two ADA fishing piers and paved waling trails offer another great location for accessible outdoor recreation.

To find more Iowa accessible trails, download the All Trails or Trail Link apps.

Inclusive Playgrounds

The Des Moines metro has a growing number of parks and playgrounds that cater to every outdoor adventurer. This list provides all the need to know information for parents.

Families can also visit Willow Creek and Kiwanis Parks in Iowa City, Greenhill Park in Cedar Falls, or Kiwanis Park in Pella.