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Food is the perfect excuse for a day trip. Explore barbecue, pizza, a new restaurant outside of Des Moines or pumpkin patches and apple orchards close to the city.

’CUE ME

Looking for the best barbecue in Iowa? Thrillist tries to answer that question in every state nationwide. In Iowa, that means you’ll be driving to Iowa City for Kansas City-style barbecue.

HIGHTAIL IT TO REDFIELD

Where the heck is Redfield and why would I want to go there? Well, this new restaurant is worth the 30-minute drive west from Des Moines for lunch, dinner and a Sunday brunch. And if that German chocolate cake doesn't convince you, maybe a scenic drive will. 

PIZZA, PIZZA

Another excuse to get out of town? Finding the best pizza in college towns across the state. Discover pizza shops to explore in Iowa City, Ames and even Decorah.

PUMPKINS AND APPLES: It’s that time of year when the weather turns chillier, the leaves turn prettier and the produce turns to autumn fare. Check out this list of apple orchards and pumpkin patches close to Des Moines.

FOUR STARS: When you need a surefire restaurant where the service and food live up to every expectation? Read where Datebook Diner Karla Walsh recommends dining.

KEEP IT LOCAL: Stick around Des Moines and head over to the new Vivian’s Diner & Drinks for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This retro diner serves up comfort food such as chicken fried steak and crab fondue.

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