About the Drake Neighborhood

Boulevards, Bulldogs & Barbecue

The Drake Neighborhood is one of the oldest, largest, and most diverse neighborhoods in Des Moines. Anchored by its namesake, Drake University, the neighborhood stretches from Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway to 42nd Street and Interstate 235 to Franklin Avenue.

Just minutes from downtown Des Moines, it is home to beautiful boulevards, mature trees, established churches, and a unique mix of turn-of-the-century homes and apartments.

Many amenities are within walking distance: a world-class university; locally owned coffee houses, barbecue and sushi restaurants, diners and cafes, hair salons; specialty shops selling everything from crystals and incense to halal groceries and flowers; and the Varsity Theater, the city's oldest independent art-house movie theater.

During the school year, the neighborhood bustles with university students (Go, Bulldogs!). Every spring, it welcomes visitors and alumni for the Drake Relays. In the summer, it is home to not one but two weekly farmers markets (the Drake Neighborhood Farmers Market on Wednesday nights and the LSI Global Greens Farmers Market on Saturday mornings).

The Drake Neighborhood Association, an all-volunteer association founded in 1979, is the city's second oldest neighborhood association. We celebrate the history and unique character of the neighborhood, work to build a sense of community in all its corners, strive to give neighbors a voice in new developments, roll up our sleeves to preserve its natural beauty, and welcome new residents and visitors who make our neighborhood even better.

Neighbors of all ages find food and fun at the Drake Neighborhood Farmers Market.

Sculptures of the Drake University bulldog mascot dot the campus and spill into the surrounding neighborhood.

Neighbors embrace an island theme for the Kingman Island Cruise block party.

Homes of many historic styles, shapes, and colors nestle among the neighborhood's mature trees.

Neighbors gather for the DNA cookout at Drake Park every August during National Night Out.