Iowa is the breadbasket of the world. It has the largest accumulation of fertile agricultural land on Earth and produces approximately 6% of all the food eaten each year by mankind. With different crops Iowa alone could actually feed over 10% of the human population, but most of the Iowa crop is grown as feed for livestock. The state around Des Moines is a mix of rolling prairie. North of Des Moines are flat-lands that leveled by the Des Moines Glacier 14,000 years ago. South of Des Moines are alluvial plains, which are a mix of deep gullys, forested hills and flat bottomlands.
That is what the immediate part of Iowa around Des Moines is like. But... I suspect you meant what are the "people" of Iowa like.
Iowan's are mostly stereotypical middle-class American's. The state is predominately Caucasian, a little over 85%. In most demographic measures, Iowa is a little above average compared to the rest of the USA. The people are a little healthier, a little taller, much better educated (a top 5 state), with lower stress (as measured by survey results), shorter drive commutes, less unemployment, and more two-income married families than the rest of the USA. Iowa is in the bottom half of the USA in age (it's a top 10 oldest state), incomes for college-educated people (bottom 10), and diversity (since it's all white people).
Two things most people notice about Des Moines in particular. 1) The suburbs and most of the inner city are very, very clean. Iowan's are meticulous about keeping things looking nice. Houses have fresh paint, lawns are frequently mowed, and neighbors pick up trash on the street that isn't even their trash! Can you believe that??? 2) Iowa has a culture of "Iowa Nice".
"Iowa Nice" is a term coined in the 1992 Presidential Election. The Right and Left Coast newscasters visiting Des Moines for the Iowa Caucauses noticed how everybody around here says, Please, Thank You and smiles a lot. Iowan's are very nice people.
That doesn't mean Iowans actually LIKE people from outside of Iowa. Instead parents raised children to be polite, even when they're thinking in the back of their heads, "You are an utter moron, can you hurry up and get out of my state." Iowa Nice is a facade, but it's a pleasant looking one.
In terms of integrating, it takes a long time. I've got degrees in Economics and Behavioral Psychology. My training makes me better than most at motivating people or figuring out what makes people tick. Since I'm mixed race, it still took a long time for me to form solid friendships with Iowan's, outside of other academic transplants like myself. The locals play it close to the vest, and you are not "from this town" until you've lived in that town 20 or 30 years.
Around Des Moines, Ankeny is probably the best community for out-of-staters. The demographics show that Ankeny has less Iowa born residents than nearby towns like West Des Moines, Waukee or Norwalk. That makes Ankeny easier for non-Iowan's to integrate into.
I'm an economics professor living in Iowa