About Ames: Iowa State University
Small town warmth. Big city amenities.
Beneath the small town charm of Ames, Iowa, beats the heart of a much larger city. A city that has become a player in developing the world's bio-economic future. A city with top-quality education, from kindergarten to grad school. A city that regularly draws performers like Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews and Widespread Panic, along with international symphonies and Broadway musicals. A city with hundreds of acres of parks, numerous bike paths, and cultural festivals and celebrations. A city that's been ranked the 2nd most liveable small city in the nation.
On the maps
Ames is 30 minutes from Des Moines, and 3 hours from Kansas City, Minneapolis and Omaha.
Great schools. No traffic jams. Safe communities. Clean air.
Iowa is a place where neighborhoods are friendly and commutes are short. A place where quality public education isn't just a dream, but a reality. A place of vibrant cities with shopping and entertainment possibilities. A place of endless outdoor recreational opportunities.
Find out more about Iowa at
How Ames ranks
Best college town rankings
- No. 1, Livability.com, 2014
- No. 5, Best College Reviews, 2014
- No. 2, American Institute for Economic Research, 2013-2014
Among the top 25 'Smartest College Towns.'
The Daily Beast, 2011
8th among best places (small cities) to live in America.
15 cities for people who hate long commutes.
U.S. News & World Report, 2009
2nd most liveable small city in the nation.
New Rating Guide to Life in American's Small Cities, 2002
30th in "Best Small Places for Business and Careers."
Forbes magazine, 2008
How Iowa ranks
6th best place to raise a child.
Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2010 Forbes magazine, 2010
The 5th best place for well-being,
Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 2010
5th best state to retire.
6th most bike-friendly state.
League of American Bicyclists, 2011
states for business.
brainpower ranking of 200 U.S. metro areas puts Des Moines at No. 35.
Portfolio.com and American City Business Journals Inc., 2010