Ames is a university city with a population just over 50,000. Home to Iowa State University, the city is located in the central section of the state just north of Des Moines.
Iowa State University provides many of the recreational and cultural venues for Ames. The Iowa State Center is the area's main entertainment venue. Here the Hilton Coliseum, Stephens Auditorium, Scheman Building, and Fisher Theater host the university's athletic teams and performance arts programs, as well as national musical acts, ice skating events, and Broadway shows.
The landscaped campus is a popular walking destination and features more than 450 sculptures including works by Christian Petersen. Also on campus is Reiman Gardens, the largest public garden in the state, which displays roses, others flowers, and a butterfly house.
Campustown, near the university, caters to students with unique shops and restaurants. Other popular shopping districts are located in West Ames, along Main Street, and along Duff Avenue where many of the larger chain stores and restaurants reside.
Ames is located 28 miles north of Des Moines. It is accessible via Interstate Highway 35 and U.S. Highway 30. There are many national chain hotels/motels in Ames.