Dowling Catholic is located in the west Des Moines area near shopping at Valley West Mall and easy access to Interstate 235, which takes you directly through downtown Des Moines. Whether you're looking for a hotel downtown near Principal Park where the Iowa Cubs play baseball during summer, or a historic hotel once visited by actors and politicians, they can be found a short drive from Dowling Catholic High School.
The Des Moines International Airport is approximately 9 miles from Dowling High School. Many hotels such as the Fairfield Inn and Suites and Hampton Inn Des Moines Airport offer a complimentary breakfast ranging from French toast to sausage and eggs. The Hampton Inn provides a fitness center, business center with fax capabilities, an outdoor swimming pool and dry-cleaning services. The Fairfield Inn and Suites additionally offers a complimentary airport shuttle and shuttle services to area attractions in Des Moines. Rooms include Internet access and a sitting area. If traveling with children, the Blank Park Zoo and Science Center of Iowa are both less than 6 miles from either hotel.
Built in 1936, the smoke-free Hotel Fort Des Moines was visited by Pres. Kennedy during his campaign run in 1960, Richard Nixon in 1972 and Mae West in the 1930s. It features oversize leather chairs, chandelier-draped ceilings and black and white-tiled lobby room floors. Six miles from Dowling Catholic, the hotel has arched-doorway guest rooms with free Internet and separate living and bedroom areas. Hotel amenities include a swimming pool, fitness room and sauna. The on-site Django Restaurant prepares a French menu ranging from oysters to cured meat and cheese plates.
The downtown area is a prime spot to stay when visiting Des Moines. Only 7 miles from Dowling Catholic High School, downtown is home to a free annual art festival in Gateway Park and the Science Center of Iowa that includes an IMAX theater and interactive games. The 33-story Des Moines Marriott Downtown's 411 rooms feature mini-refrigerators, satellite TV and either foam or feather pillows. An indoor swimming pool, health club and on-site restaurant that prepares an American-style menu of burgers, omelets and various cocktails add to the amenities. The hotel is connected to the city's skywalk system, allowing you to avoid the bitter cold or traffic when you want to visit other sites in downtown without stepping outside. Court Avenue, where you can find restaurants such as Spaghetti Works and the Court Avenue Brewing Company, is a 12-minute-walk from the hotel.
Whether you're staying in downtown Des Moines, west Des Moines or on the outer edges of the city, each area provides family-friendly and social activities throughout the year. Living History Farms, which shows the growth in farming and technology starting with the Native Americans, organizes an annual Fourth of July baseball game, Halloween activities that include trick-or-treating, and a winter carriage ride to see the Christmas holiday decorations around farm houses. Five designated Wednesdays throughout summer, Blank Park Zoo holds its annual Zoo Brew. With an admission ticket to the zoo, guests can view the animals while sipping on wine from local Iowa wineries and listening to live music.