Des Moines used to kind of suck.

Actually, you know what, Des Moines used to really suck.

I grew up visiting the state's capital quite a bit as a young lad. With each set of my grandparents and extended family living there, I remember visiting and the city being a shell of what it is now. If it were in the condition now that it was then, there's no way in blue hell I'd want to live there.

In the last 10-ish years, the city has changed in so many ways that make it more attractive, and the populations of the surrounding areas are exploding.

In 2017, Des Moines was the largest growing city in the Midwest, seeing an average of 33 people moving there PER DAY. Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, told the Des Moines Register the following:

Over the past decade, greater Des Moines has out-performed Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee, not only in population growth, but in job growth and GDP.

But why? Why are folks (specifically the youngins) flocking to Des Moines like flies on poo?

11 Reasons Des Moines is (By FAR) The Best City for Young Professionals in Iowa

The city is a hub for young people who want culture and a plethora of things to do. You know that slogan we used to make fun of? "Des Moines. Hell yeah." Well, it's kind of true now.

The thing about places like this for me, a young professional, is they feel like home. I went to college in Cedar Falls, at UNI. It was an incredible fit at the time, and I still love it.

Coming from little ole' Ida Grove, Iowa, where I knew I had outgrown, the Cedar Valley has been the perfect step in the right direction.

My last trip to downtown Des Moines felt like it was somewhere I was supposed to be. I know SO many friends that made the decision to move to the state capital after graduating college. For me, it's the sheer amount of things to do on a regular basis.

Want to go see a sports game, chill at a local brewery, get a nice burger, go axe-throwing, and not have to have concern for the well-being of your friends and family accompanying you? Des Moines it is.

Des Moines' Blank Park Zoo's Wild Lights Festival - Photo Gallery

Young and old will love Blank Park Zoo's Wild Lights Festival, going on Wed. May 26th through Mon. May 31 (Memorial Day).

Storybook Cottage in Des Moines