Ames is a lively university city known for its rich agricultural heritage and anchored by a characterful downtown district where historic brick buildings house shops, restaurants and galleries. Spend your time strolling around botanical gardens, visiting local museums and exploring the Iowa State University campus.
Things to do in Ames
Reiman Gardens is a five-hectare park filled with sculptures, flowers and butterfly houses. Don't leave without snapping a photo with the World's Largest Concrete Gnome, one of Iowa's quirkiest attractions. The gnome towers 4.5 metres above Reiman Gardens.
The Farm House Museum showcases the city's agricultural roots. It's located in a 19th-century building on the Iowa State University campus and has housed everyone from deans and professors to students and farmhands. Today it's been converted into a public museum showcasing taxidermy animals, vintage farming equipment and other memorabilia.
Named after the iconic American sculptor, the Christian Petersen Art Museum celebrates the legacy of the former Iowa State University professor. In addition to Christian Petersen originals, you can also admire works from local artists and ISU current students.
North of the city centre, the Ada Hayden Heritage Park is a great place to stretch your legs. It's anchored by a freshwater lake fringed by lush wetlands that house loons, bald eagles, sandhill cranes and white pelicans. Covered shelters and barbecues make it an ideal spot for picnics.
Getting around Ames
Downtown Ames is easy to get around on foot, especially around Main Street and Iowa State University, while the extensive paved trail system is great for bicycles. The city is also serviced by local buses and taxis. Des Moines International Airport is 50 kilometres away.