Ames, Iowa

Life in Ames, Iowa, explained by people who’ve lived in Ames:

*Click here to share your experience living in Ames*

*Response format = Answer (Your name, How long you’ve lived in Ames)

Ames Favorites

What’s your favorite thing about living in Ames?

  • The bus system and snow removal. (Nicole, 3 years)
  • Nothing. (Anonymous, 4 years)
  • Friendly people. (Ian, 4 years)
  • Small town feel with city-like conveniences. School district. (Michelle, 4.5 years)
  • Shopping. (Amber, 7 years)
  • The community. (Anonymous, 8 years)
  • University community. (Nupur, 21 years)
  • ISU sports/plays at CY Stephens/friendly. (Kathy, 25 years)
  • The community atmosphere. (Ashley, 29 years)

Ames Least Favorites

What’s your least favorite thing about living in Ames?

  • Rent cost, lack of productive things to do for my age group besides drinking. (Nicole, 3 years)
  • Everything. (Anonymous, 4 years)
  • Terrible internet connection. (Ian, 4 years)
  • The severely over-inflated housing market; rental and owning. The overcrowding on South Duff. Landlords and property management companies not taking of homes beyond the basics; not taking pride. (Michelle, 4.5 years)
  • Not enough restaurants. Everything seems to be fast food. (Amber, 7 years)
  • Cost of living is too high. (Anonymous, 8 years)
  • The reckless college students. (Nupur, 21 years)
  • Students that can’t drive and refuse to walk appropriately, high rent. (Kathy, 25 years)
  • Construction (roads). (Ashley, 29 years)

Ames Things To Do

What are fun things to do in Ames?

  • Pool, bowling, arcade, shopping. (Nicole, 3 years)
  • Nothing. (Anonymous, 4 years)
  • Ledges state park, swim. (Ian, 4 years)
  • Check out the parks, downtown, Campustown, shows and sporting events, classes at Memorial Union. (Michelle, 4.5 years)
  • Shopping, the parks, pool. (Amber, 7 years)
  • Parks, Main Street, Campustown, bands, perfect games, etc. (Anonymous, 8 years)
  • University related activities: bands, shows, multicultural events. (Nupur, 21 years)
  • ISU sports/plays and events. (Kathy, 25 years)
  • Go to the pool, library, catch a movie, see the outdoor artwork, shopping on Main street, see a show at the M-Shop/Stephens. (Ashley, 29 years)

Ames’s Reputation

What’s Ames known for?

  • ISU. (Nicole, 3 years)
  • ISU. (Anonymous, 4 years)
  • ISU. (Ian, 4 years)
  • ISU and schools. (Michelle, 4.5 years)
  • ISU. (Amber, 7 years)
  • Their tap water. (Anonymous, 8 years)
  • College town. (Nupur, 21 years)
  • ISU. (Kathy, 25 years)
  • Iowa State University. (Ashley, 29 years)

Ames Crime

What’s the crime like in Ames? (hot spot areas, etc.)

  • Welch Ave. Mostly rx drug abuse and underage drinking. (Nicole, 3 years)
  • Sexual activity on campus is high. (Anonymous, 4 years)
  • Moderate. Mostly rogue college students. (Ian, 4 years)
  • It seems like every neighborhood has it’s moments with crime. When I first moved here the South end and Old Town seemed to get most of it. Now it seems as though the West and North sides are taking the brunt of it. (Michelle, 4.5 years)
  • I guess contact PD about that. (Amber, 7 years)
  • It’s not as bad as some places, but around Main Street residential area seems to be getting worse. (Anonymous, 8 years)
  • Not much while I was growing up. (Nupur, 21 years)
  • Fairly low. (Kathy, 25 years)
  • No place is crime free, but I’d say it’s pretty low. (Ashley, 29 years)

Ames Advice

Any advice for people moving to Ames?

  • Know your transportation. (Nicole, 3 years)
  • Don’t. (Anonymous, 4 years)
  • Be flexible on game days, and patient in campus town. (Ian, 4 years)
  • Do your homework on the properties and owners of said properties before moving in. Enjoy it! It really is a great town. (Michelle, 4.5 years)
  • Community is generally great. Join Ames people, where there is a good laugh with sarcasm daily. (Amber, 7 years)
  • Live outside of Ames and commute. It’s cheaper, even if you have to drive into town to do anything. (Anonymous, 8 years)
  • You’ll regret leaving. (Nupur, 21 years)
  • Get involved. (Kathy, 25 years)
  • Avoid the campus town area (unless you’re a student). (Ashley, 29 years)

Ames Stories

Share an experience you’ve had in Ames (fun, crazy, dangerous, etc.).

  • Years of a miserable college life. (Anonymous, 4 years)
  • Seeing Leslie Hall perform is a must. (Ian, 4 years)
  • Losing my nachos when I was carrying my daughter. As they were on top of my car. Started crying after the fact. Next time I went into Kim and go mgr said, “Hun go make yourself some nachos for free, feed your lil’ girl growing inside of you.” (Amber, 7 years)
  • Clinton-Gore coming to visit and meeting “the Mayor.” (Nupur, 21 years)
  • Farmer’s Market, fireworks on the fourth. (Kathy, 25 years)
  • I used to go to the VEISHA parade every year. I’d always get the cherry pies. I miss it so much. (Ashley, 29 years)

Ames’s Future

How do you think Ames will change over the next 10 years?

  • ISU will get bigger, hopefully more stores will open catering to this population. (Nicole, 3 years)
  • It’ll get worse. (Anonymous, 4 years)
  • I see further growth as the college grows. (Ian, 4 years)
  • More people and bigger school district. (Amber, 7 years)
  • It’ll grow, parking/traffic will get worse and cost of living will go up with hourly/salary wages. (Anonymous, 8 years)
  • Getting larger. Traffic issues. (Nupur, 21 years)
  • Too many apartments; tearing up Campustown. (Kathy, 25 years)
  • I’m looking forward to more growth. A new “healthy living facility” and high school. Maybe a new mall in the future? (Ashley, 29 years)

Ames Facts

Any other interesting facts about Ames?

  • Everything is more expensive the closer you get it ISU. (Anonymous, 4 years)
  • There’s things to focus, you just have to keep an open mind and look for them. (Anonymous, 8 years)
  • ISU first land grant university. (Nupur, 21 years)
  • Roman Gardens. (Kathy, 25 years)
  • South Duff didn’t used to be a traffic nightmare. I loved going to Happy Joes and the bowling alley that were in the now Texas Roadhouse area. (Ashley, 29 years)