Terrace Hill

Terrace Hill, Des Moines

Terrace Hill
4.5
Historic Sites • Government Buildings
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Tuesday
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Wednesday
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Thursday
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Friday
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Saturday
10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
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Historic Governor's mansion.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
53 reviews
Excellent
31
Very good
17
Average
4
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Ellen R
Jefferson City, MO33 contributions
Enjoyed the tour of this mansion and the history dating back to its completion in 1869. It is a National Historic Landmark., built as a private home but now the governor's residence. It well worth the time to visit this marvelous Victorian home.
Written 21 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

J T
Gray, TN435 contributions
I always stop by when I'm in Iowa, it is something special in the middle of Des Moines. Grand Ave it's self is worth driving through South of Grand is what the locals call OLD Money. The group Slipknot live in this area. FYI
Written 28 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ksufan88
Wichita, KS4,498 contributions
Currently, tours are limited to one family at a time. Dates and times are on their website. We were fortunate to visit on Wednesday, July 8th (one day after their reopening). You must book a tour in advance and can only walk on the grounds around the house if you have a tour. You first watch an introductory 12 minute video and the a tour guide (we had Gary) walked you through the first floor of this amazing home. The woodwork and furnishings are fabulous. Our tour took a full hour and we learned much about the house, families that have lived here, and some of the interesting artifacts in the home. The second floor is not currently open for tours.
Written 25 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RachelKWanders
Memphis, TN30 contributions
Couples
This is a lovely home with a fascinating history. However, the tour is longer than necessary for the size of the building. Most, if not all, of the interesting information can be learned via the plaques and the video they show. I found myself getting bored waiting for the tour to move from one room to another. I’m also saddened a bit that the carriage house was modernized instead of preserved as it was originally, though I understand why that was done; I feel the sane way about the swimming pool. The highlight of the home is the magnificent stained glass. I would recommend checking it out, especially if you love old buildings, but for me it was a one-and-done experience. I don’t intend to go back for a second tour.
Written 6 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KittyKat
Sevierville, TN10 contributions
Friends
Too beautiful for words. Beautiful gardens, excellent tour guides, so much history and a Windsor in the mix no one can explain. Such a mystery! Where did she hide during the war?
Written 18 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

James F
36 contributions
Business
This 150-year-old home (built in 1869) is now the governor's official residence. But they do tours and it's well worth your time. It truly is a set back in history. One suggestion: Do a bit of research on it before you go; it makes it much more meaningful that way.
Written 3 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RetiredTravelerTN
Nashville, TN3,825 contributions
Couples
Whenever we visit a capital city, we always visit the state capitol building. If our days in the city coincide with tour days at the state governor's mansion, we make plans to also tour the mansion. We love the history, architecture, and art that is part of these tours as well as the opportunity to interact with locals who love their state and history.

Check the Terrace Hill website to learn of tour days and times. At the time of our travel, the fee for the mansion tour was $5 -- certainly reasonable and fine with us to pay a small fee to help maintain the beautiful, historic structure.

Prior to the tour, we took a look around the carriage house building which now houses staff, displays, and a small gift shop. An excellent video was shown as an introduction to the tour. Our excellent guide, Patty, walked with us to the mansion and imparted more details and stories about the mansion as we toured inside and out.

The day was a little rainy, and umbrellas were provided for the short walk from the carriage house to the mansion. Street parking and handicapped parking is available on Forest Drive, which is on the west side of the property. Additional parking is located in the Terrace Hill parking lot off of Grand Avenue at Forest Drive.
Written 29 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Todd D
52 contributions
Family
It was like a living museum. As the residence of the governor, people actually live here and events are held in the rooms, so it's not a dusty museum. However, there is quite a bit of history to learn. Small group tours are great.
Written 3 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Charles P
New Port Richey, FL304 contributions
Couples
It is a beautiful 150 year old mansion currently used as the governor's residence. You receive an hour long tour of the home and a local history lesson.
Written 5 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Adventurer2day
Antigua and Barbuda335 contributions
Friends
Some of the history of Des Moines preserved in this building. Nice to see it is well cared for, and worth the trip.
Written 20 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Terrace Hill

Terrace Hill is open:
  • Tue - Sat 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM