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Des Moines

Des Moines is a Puget Sound waterfront community in King County, Washington between Seattle and Tacoma. It has a small boat marina next to its historic downtown area with slips for about 900 boats.  Many residents have unobstructed views of the Puget Sound and Vashon Island. The city boasts six miles of shoreline with public beaches and is known as "The Waterland City." Beach front parks allows for boat launching and some provide fishing piers. The city is home to Saltwater State Park, the most used State Park on the Puget Sound.

The population of Des Moines was around 30,000 at the 2000 census. The city is 6.3 square miles in size and was incorporated in 1959.

Des Moines is less than five miles from Seattle Tacoma International Airport via State Route 99 and residents have lobbied against airport runway extensions due to the noise affecting the city. Des Moines is bordered by Federal Way to the south, Kent to the east, SeaTac to the northeast, Burien to the North and Normandy Park to the northwest. Seattle is approximately 20 miles north via Interstate 5. Tacoma is approximately 20 miles south via Interstate 5. Bellevue is approximately 20 miles north east via Interstate 5 (north) to Interstate 405 (north).

The city is divided into the following neighborhoods: North Hill, North Central, Pacific Ridge, Central Des Moines, Downtown, South Des Moines, Woodmont East, Redondo, Woodmont West and Zenith.


Des Moines is easily accessed via Exit 149 off of Interstate 5. International Boulevard near SeaTac becomes Pacific Highway South  (State Route 99) in Des Moines.


The Highline School District serves Des Moines and parts of several other communities including Seattle and Sea-Tac.  High schools in Des Moines are:  Aviation High School and Mount Rainier High School.

Des Moines is the home of Highline Community College. In partnership with Highline, Central Washington University has a satellite campus offering both bachelors and master level degree programs.

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