Frequently Asked Questions

General Information Events at Salisbury House

 General Information

Guided Tours are Wed - Sun at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm

* Advanced reservations are strongly suggested for Guided Tours.
* Guided Tours last approx. 1 hour & 15 minutes.
* Guided Tours are subject to availability and are limited to 10 people.
* Call 515-274-1777 ext. 106 to make a reservation. Or email us at

Salisbury House is located in the heart of Des Moines’ historic South of Grand neighborhood. From I-235,take the 42nd Street exit. Proceed South on 42nd Street for about ½ mile. Turn left onto Tonawanda Drive. Salisbury House is located at 4025 Tonawanda Drive. It is the fourth property on the North side of the street.

Parking is available in the main parking lot. Accessible parking is available on the North side of the property in the circle drive parking area. To access the circle drive, proceed up the main parking lot and wind around the West side of the building.

Admission tickets are sold in the Great Hall inside the main house. Proceed up the stairs from the main parking lot and enter through the South door off the garden. If parking in the accessible parking on the North side of the house, enter the house through the main arched entrance.

Partially. Due to the historic nature of the house, it is handicap accessible to a degree. There is a small elevator that allows access to the second floor, but there are steps that lead to some of the bedrooms and steps that lead from the Great Hall to the Common Room. The restrooms are handicapped accessible.

Please note: the house is situated up on a hill.  Handicap parking is available on the North side of the house in the designated accessible parking area. To access the circle drive, follow the main parking lot up around the West side of the house.



Salisbury House, the garden and grounds, as well as the Foundation office are closed on most major holidays including Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Please check our events calendar page for special hours or early closures. Or call 515-274-1777.


Non-commercial photography is allowed during tours with paid admission to Salisbury House. Photographs taken during your visit to Salisbury House cannot be commercially published, sold, reproduced, transferred, distributed, or otherwise commercially exploited in any manner whatsoever. Non-flash photography is allowed inside the House during your tour. Professional or commercial photography is not allowed inside the museum.  

ALL photography and/or filming on Salisbury House property, whether its personal, professional, or commercial, requires advanced approval with a completed application and payment of appropriate fees.

For application and information regarding scheduling a photography session for non-commercial, personal use (engagement photos, family photos, maternity photos, senior pictures, etc.) please click here: 2020 Private Photography Policy.

For application and information regarding scheduling a photography or filming session for commercial or professional use (magazine ads, retail advertising, movies, t.v. commercials, music videos, etc.) please click here:2020 Commercial Photography & Filming Policy. 

Please note: wedding photography is not allowed and is restricted to clients getting married at Salisbury House in conjunction with a paid private rental contract.

Contact if you have questions.

Salisbury House & Gardens is owned and operated by the Salisbury House Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation founded to preserve, interpret and share the property for the cultural and educational benefit of the public. 

The Salisbury House Foundation was formed in 1993 by a group of neighbors who recognized the historic significance of the House and its contents, and wanted to preserve them for future generations. In 1998, the Foundation purchased the grounds, house and contents from the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) who was utilizing much of Salisbury House as their headquarters and offices. 

Salisbury House opened as a historic house museum in 1999. 



You may bring your service animal, but please leave your pets at home. The Salisbury House & Gardens does not allow pets on the grounds. Service animals are permitted in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Service animals are defined by the ADA as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Pets whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Plant and collection piece donations are considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in donating a plant or collection piece, please email a picture of it to and a member of staff will review the photo and respond.

Salisbury House Foundation is committed to giving back to our community by donating to local non-profit events and causes whose primary focus is history, arts, and culture in the greater Des Moines area. Salisbury House Foundation requires submission of the donation request form and your organization’s cover letter at least 3 WEEKS prior to your event date to be considered. You must provide a donation receipt if your request is approved. The Foundation does not consider donation requests for political or religious organizations or lobbying groups.   





 Events at Salisbury House

Salisbury House is an idyllic backdrop for private and corporate gatherings. The property can be rented for a variety of special occasions - weddings, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, anniversary celebrations, receptions, holiday gatherings, birthday parties, corporate meetings, etc!

Please click here for general information regarding renting our venue. If you would like to inquire about date availability, rates or to schedule a tour contact us at or call 515-274-1777 Monday - Friday.

Outside food and beverages, including alcohol, are not allowed on Salisbury House grounds. Events with catering are required to seek approval from the Salisbury House Director of Events. Approval must be secured at least a month prior to scheduled event.

Visit and click on the FAQs link at the top right of the homepage. This is also the link to purchase tickets, parking and additional add-ons.