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The Ames center is about the area of Octagon Center For the Arts and the area of Story Center Historical Museum.
Ames, Iowa, is located about 30 miles north of Des Moines. The city was established in 1864 and owes its origin to founder Cynthia Olive Duff and railroad magnate John Insley Blair. The two established the town as a stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad near the Skunk River. Since those early railroad days, it's become even easier to get to Ames. The town is situated at the intersection of Interstate 35 and U.S. Route 30. Famed U.S. Route 69 also runs through town, as does the Union Pacific Railroad. More from this guide...
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Today, Ames is a growing community of about 65,000 people that offers extensive amenities for work and play. The entertainment, dining, and educational opportunities in Ames compare with those of much larger cities. Ames has received national recognition from Bloomberg to CNN and USA Today for its emphasis on health and wellness amenities, and more broadly, as one of the best places to live.Ames' booming STEM industries have made it a hub for business. Key United States Department of Agriculture sites are headquartered in Ames, including the USDA's Agricultural Research Service's National Animal Disease Center (NADC), the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, and the Center for Veterinary Biologics. Other major area employers include manufacturers 3M (office supplies), Barilla (pasta), and Ball (canning supplies), as well as energy and agricultural outfits like Danfoss Power Solutions, the Renewable Energy Group, and The National Farmers Organization. The city boasts one of the nation's lowest unemployment rates.Ames has attracted a large population of millennial residents, a fact which is perhaps not surprising since Ames is the home of Iowa State University's student body of approximately 36,000. Many of those youthful residents reside in the Campustown neighborhood, which lies due south of the Iowa State University Central Campus. The lively mixed-use neighborhood offers plenty of nightlife, dining, shopping, and wellness services.Iowa State University has made history from its beginning as the first land-grant university, and in a revolutionary move, the school also hosted co-educational classes from the very beginning, with its first class admitted in 1868. Learn about all this and more at the Farm House on the Iowa State campus, an 1860s-era building which is both a museum and a National Historic Landmark.Whether you're visiting Ames to check out the university, attend a class reunion, do some business, or visit family, the city is sure to welcome you with plenty to do, enjoy, and see.
Ames' climate is known as humid continental, which means that it experiences hot summers and very cold winters. If you are visiting on business, any time is a good time to come. If you are planning to spend any time in the city's many parks and outdoor spaces, schedule your visit from spring through fall to avoid Ames' occasional snowfall or icy conditions.Ames supports the beautification of its community by hosting community events that celebrate artistic expression. Plan an art-centric trip to Ames in late September and you can experience the Octagon Arts Festival; a National Juried Exhibition of Clay, Paper, Glass, Metal, and Wood; and the Ames Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition in the Ames Main Street Cultural District.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Ames, IA:
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean price patterns by star rating class in Ames, IA. You can use these line graphs to calculate the best time period to make a reservation in Ames for your upcoming travels.
You will be hard pressed to find a more stylish hotel than Hotel Renovo in Urbandale, Iowa. This 4-star hotel looks like the perfect blend of cozy prairie farmhouse and sleek boutique hotel. Crisp white rooms and public spaces feature eclectic artwork and contemporary decor elements like sliding barn doors to divide suites.Hotel Renovo guests enjoy substance as well as style with inclusive amenities like free cable programming, complimentary weekday newspapers, free wireless internet service, and in-room coffee and tea makers. You can also enjoy access to an indoor pool, spa tub, and 24-hour fitness center. Save money on cab fare, too, when you ride in the hotel's complimentary area shuttle. You don't even have to go out for a cocktail or dinner because the property offers room service and tasty options at the hotel restaurant.If you need a luxury hotel in nearby Des Moines, consider the Des Moines Marriott Downtown. This Marriott is a palatial property with 33 floors, containing everything from a 24-hour fitness center to an indoor pool, bar and lounge, and vast event spaces. It's also conveniently located on the free D line, so you can easily get out and explore downtown Des Moines. Guest rooms have been newly updated, so you'll enjoy both a comfortable and chic stay.
3 Star Average Prices: $92.77
Check into the Best Western Plus University Park Inn & Suites, and you will be close to the Jack Trice Stadium and Stephens Auditorium. This convenient and comfortable hotel also offers some of the lowest rates around.Guest rooms are equipped with fridges and televisions with satellite programming. Inclusive amenities like the indoor pool, fitness center, complimentary wireless internet access, free newspapers, and complimentary daily housekeeping make a stay at the Best Western Plus University Park Inn & Suites a smart choice for budget travelers.
2 Star Average Prices: $70.11
If you are a military and government service member, you will find excellent discounted hotel rates at Hampton Inn & Suites Ames. This hotel lies just 5 minutes from the Ames Main Street Cultural District and the Octagon Center for the Arts as well as Iowa State University. Guest rooms are outfitted with all you'll need for a comfortable stay, from fridges to LCD televisions, laptop-compatible safes, and microwaves. You'll also enjoy complimentary buffet breakfast daily and free housekeeping daily.
Country Inn & Suites is the perfect place to stay if you'd like to be close to Iowa State University and the Ames Main Street Cultural District. This hotel offers incredible value thanks to upscale amenities like pillowtop beds, premium bedding, and 32-inch flat-screen televisions. Wireless internet access is free, as is access to the hotel's indoor pool, spa tub, and fitness center. You can also tuck into a complimentary hot and cold breakfast buffet.The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Ames also puts you within this prime location, close to Iowa State and the Cultural District, and also offers comparable amenities. Guest rooms come with fridges and microwaves, so you can stow snacks and light meals to stretch your budget. Satellite programming and complimentary internet access will keep you entertained and informed throughout your stay. You can stay fit with visits to the indoor pool and 24-hour fitness center. Fill up with snacks from the snack bar and deli, grill out at the picnic area, and be sure to come down in the morning for the complimentary full breakfast each day.
Many Ames travelers come to town on business, but there are also plenty of entertainments to enjoy during your stay in the city, enough to rival cities more than twice its size.Check out the exhibits at The Brunnier Art Museum or head to The Octagon Center for the Arts to see gallery exhibits, take art classes, visit art studios, or explore the retail shop. Head to Prairie Moon Winery to sip locally made meads, hard apple ciders, and wines. Plan a visit on a weekend to sip while enjoying live music.If you enjoy sports, you can catch The Iowa State University Cyclones in action during a football game at Jack Trice Stadium, an NCAA Division I-A basketball game at Hilton Coliseum. You can even try something new with the Ames Figure Skating Club's Learn to Skate Program. Plan to visit Ames in the spring, and you're in for a treat. You can catch the annual Spring Ice Show.Ames has such a wealth of public parks and facilities that you're sure to find the perfect park for your needs. If you are traveling with a pet, you can stop into Ames Dog Park. Skaters like to perfect their moves at Georgie Tsushima Memorial Skate Park, while golfers head to Homewood Golf Course and swimmers love Furman Aquatic Center. Peterson Pits and Sopers Mill are favorite spots for boaters and fishers. Bandshell Park is the place to catch some live music. Come to the bandshell on a summer Saturday, and you can take part in free yoga classes.Wander the serene community gardens at Squaw Creek if you need some peace and quiet, or head to the butterfly pavilions and lush flower beds of Reiman Gardens. Plan a date at Lake LaVerne, where you can row a boat and drift across a still pond, surrounded by swans.If you would like to walk, host a picnic, relax with family, or find a playground, check out Brookside Park, Daley Park and Greenbelt, Emma McCarthy Lee Park, Inis Grove Park, Moore Memorial Park, and River Valley Park. There are even more small neighborhood parks like Christofferson Park, Moore Park, and many more. Almost everywhere you turn in Ames, you'll find green space and a place to relax, work out, and interact with the local community.Come for work but save ample time for play in Ames, Iowa, one of the nation's biggest small towns. Here, you'll find the best of small-town hospitality balanced with big-city amenities and entertainment.
Sleep Inn & Suites Ankeny - Des Moines, Best Western Premier Ankeny Hotel and Grandstay Hotel & Suites are the best rated hotels based on customer reviews in the last 365 days.
Comfort Inn & Suites Isu, Grandstay Hotel & Suites and Iowa House are the top 3 luxury hotels near Ames city center.
Comfort Inn & Suites Isu, Days Inn by Wyndham Ames, and Grandstay Hotel & Suites are the properties closest to Ames city center.
In the last year, a 2 star hotel in Ames can be as cheap as $70.11 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
In the last year, the average 3 star hotel in Ames has been $92.77 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
Iowa House, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ames, an IHG Hotel and Gateway Hotel and Conference Center at Iowa State University are the best rated independent hotels (not part of a big brand).
Towneplace Suites by Marriott Ames, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Ames and Residence Inn Des Moines Ankeny are the best rated Marriott/Starwood branded hotels (based on customer reviews score).
Sleep Inn & Suites Ankeny - Des Moines, Quality Inn & Suites Ames Conference Center Near ISU Campus and Sleep Inn & Suites Ames near ISU Campus are the best rated Choice Hotels branded hotels (based on HotelPlanner reviews score).
Best Western Premier Ankeny Hotel and Best Western Plus University Park Inn & Suites are the best rated Best Western branded hotels (based on user reviews score).
Below are reviews of the city of Ames, IA from an actual visitor's perspective.
Good shopping and excellent choice of great eating places.
Great shopping. Good choice of restaurants!
Seems like a nice friendly town with good food and good accommodations!
Lots of restaurants!
The people are nice and the Mexican restaurants are amazing!
I enjoyed my time at Iowa State University's Meat Laboratory. I learned quite a lot at the short course for sausages and processed meats.
Plenty of shopping, and spirits in and around Ames.
It was easy to get around to the places of interest.
Ames is as cosmopolitan as a major city but much more friendly, safe and clean. Very much a university town. Businesses are booming which gives the place an upbeat feel!
No shortage of great places to eat!!
The room was very nice and clean. The personnel were helpful and friendly. Everything was conveniently located including the motel.
We were there for a college visit and ISU is amazing!
The venue was beautiful
I was there with the University.
It was nice
Hickory Park Restaurant was amazing food!
We were in town for a wedding at Gatherings and the location was great. The town is super cute!
Ames was a great place to visit, good places to eat out!
Friendly people and lots to do!
Ames seemed like a great city. ISU was nice.
We did not do much in Ames, but we had a staff retreat at the Pine Grove Retreat Center. It was beautiful and just what we needed for our meetings
Nice college town.
Visiting the university was great.
Lots to do!
When in Ames, The Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co is a must for great pizza!