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, it's bounded by Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway on the east, Interstate 235 on the south, 42nd Street on the west, and Franklin Avenue on the north.

Just minutes from downtown Des Moines, the neighborhood is home to beautiful boulevards, mature trees, established churches, and a mix of unique turn-of-the-century homes. Many amenities are within walking distance: locally owned coffee houses, barbecue and sushi restaurants, diners and cafes, hair salons, specialty shops selling everything from art supplies to guitars to halal groceries and flowers, and even 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 hosts a weekly farmers market with farm-fresh produce, ready-to-eat food, and live music.

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

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, and welcome new residents and visitors who make our neighborhood even better.

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.