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The Selfie Station in Iowa Is an Instagram Dream

Travel + Leisure logo Travel + Leisure 7/21/2020 Stacey Leasca
The colorful installation is lighting up people's phones and smiles in Des Moines. © Justin Meyer The colorful installation is lighting up people's phones and smiles in Des Moines.

The state of Iowa is about to become the coolest geotagged destination on Instagram.

In June, Des Moines, Iowa became the home of Selfie Station, a new interactive “selfie museum” where guests can walk through 27 different “Instagram rooms” and snap as many photos as they’d like to share on their feeds.

a little girl posing for a picture: Ashley Wilkerson Photography © Provided by Travel + Leisure Ashley Wilkerson Photography a close up of a painted wall: Jenni Machir/The Farmhouse Studios © Provided by Travel + Leisure Jenni Machir/The Farmhouse Studios

"I came across one of these selfie museums and it just clicked," Ashley Wilkerson, owner of the Selfie Station, told the Des Moines Register about finding her inspiration in places like the Museum of Ice Cream and The Color Factory.

a close up of a pink wall: Jenni Machir/The Farmhouse Studios © Provided by Travel + Leisure Jenni Machir/The Farmhouse Studios

But, Wilkerson also wants to make it clear that the Selfie Station isn’t just about reaching your arm up in the air to take a few low-res photos. Instead, she says it’s a far more professional environment.

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A post shared by Selfie Station (@selfiestationiowa) on Jun 24, 2020 at 11:04am PDT

"A lot of people kind of get turned off by the word 'selfie.'... It's not just selfies, all of our stations have a (lighting fixture) that holds your phone," Wilkerson told the paper. "So yes, it's a selfie, but it's honestly like getting professional, styled photos with your phone."

Wilkerson added, those who aren’t comfortable setting up their own phone for photos can reserve a professional photographer for $100 an hour.

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A post shared by Selfie Station (@selfiestationiowa) on Jun 19, 2020 at 11:11am PDT

To ensure guest safety, Wilkerson says she will only allow a maximum of 30 people per hour to enter. Guests are also limited to spending one hour inside the space, according to its website. This, she noted, will allow for proper social distancing throughout the 27 different spaces. Wilkerson told the paper that both rooms and equipment are regularly sanitized, however, masks are not required inside the building so make sure to assess your own risk tolerance before visiting.

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A post shared by Selfie Station (@selfiestationiowa) on Jul 8, 2020 at 8:14am PDT

Want to visit? Get your tickets ahead of time online to reserve your preferred slot. Adults can visit on weekdays for $18 and $22 on weekends, children can enter any day for $15. And, if you’re really looking to level up, Wilkerson says you can bring your DSLR camera at no extra charge.

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