Select a Section



Star Rating Not a fan. Not for me. Just okay. Great place. The best place.
Mouse over the stars for your rating and click to rate.
Start Your Review of Ames, IA

From California to Iowa
Hello, I am in San Jose Ca, but am seriously thinking of moving somewhere much slower for a better quality of living. I've just turned 59, so I'm kinda preparing for my retirement years. My question is, how harsh are the winters? I'm fron this area, so I'm kinda whimpy :-). I've taken a train through Iowa twice and I loved it. Green and very clean tidy. If there's someone in Ames that has lived in Silicon Valley and can give an objective view, I'd appreciate it. Thx



Good and Bad
Like every other city Ames has both good and bad points. The good points are: low cost of living, very friendly people, lots of outdoor activities and quite a few events sponsored by the university, its got a great coop and farmers' market in the summer, it seems like a great place to raise a family, the campus is beautiful. The bad points: it can be a bit dull if you're single and not college age, contrary to what has been said previously ISU in not considered a "good" school maybe if you're outside of the school, but academics know better, and if you travel a lot DSM is not a hub for any airline, so you can't fly directly anywhere, there are only a couple of truly good restaurants, there's not a lot of political/religious diversity as Iowa is mostly white Protestant.



Cost of Living in Ames, Iowa
Ames enjoys a high quality of life at a very affordable cost, substantially lower than many other communities. The presence of Iowa State University, a large (28,000 students) institution of higher education with excellent teaching and high levels of research productivity, provides the basis for great diversity in inexpensive housing, food choices, and recreational opportunities.



Ames is an okay place to live, if you're a college student or retired. Beyond that, living here is very boring.



Iowa Michelel Ames
Of course I did not put the right town in. What outsider needs any more bull____? yes, I think Iowa needs to change the signs they have when you enter their state to "Iowa does not welcome you" It is so corrupt in N.E. Iowa, it is one game after another of fines (locals don't get fined) higher property taxes, ect. I have protested the taxes 2 times now. Nothing but games. It is truley pathetic. Right on about smiling to your face and stabbing you in the back. The locals spend the money from the state to keep themselves employed. Just a select few. Mind you it would be fine if the monies were spent for something good. A perfect example is an Industrial park built 10 years ago with no industry to this day! Now, these small towns are looking to Iowas program of main street revival. What a joke. These are the same people who were not friendly to tourists when they were coming a few years back and now that the economy is bad, gee I guess they need them now. Gee, is there more moneys involved for the select few to "revitalize main street". I would think. All I see is very corrupt small governments and locals who don't want to share. Now I see why small towns die. They keep out any form of competition, so local stores never make improvements because they don't have to.....until now. La Crosse, Wi has a ton of stores now and most people drive there to shop so little towns, your not needed any more. I am proud to be an outsider. I have scruples. I also practice the 10 commandments, something I don't see many church goers do. Absolutely no democracy here but then again, I don't think they even know what that means. I have complained to the Iowa main street people when they visited that the town I am in discriminates by bouycotting any new business that comes in. You know what they said? Oh, we hear that alot" so the state officials are just as corrupt as the towns. NICE. So suckers come and buy property, fix it up and the locals end up with the property for nothing with the state endorsing heir behavior. I have seen it happen over and over. NICE. But theres not enough people here to make it big news like in Illinois. I just found a quote and it pretty much sums it up for this state. Iowa, where bad guys look good and good guys look bad.



Cornerstone Church is a vibrant church!
When I moved to small Ames, Iowa in 2004, I wondered if I could find an alive, growing christian church. I moved from London, England, a huge metropolitan capital city. I was pleasantly surprised to find Cornerstone Church of Ames. It is a great community church that I think really reaches out to meet the needs of the local people. The teaching is great, the community good, and the ministry opportunities are endless. Cornerstone Church truly is a local church with a global vision.



Best college town!
I loved my experience in Ames, IA during my 4 years of college. I miss living there, and while my experience might be different from that of regular residents, I think that Ames is a great college town overall. The winters are harsh, but the other seasons are nice. I really enjoyed the diverse environment, and I met people from several countries. The people are nice, and the transportation system (Cyride) takes you all over Ames. Stephens Auditorium is very nice, as well as Hilton Coliseum, and Jack Trice Stadium. I wouldn't mind living there, though there are not many opportunities of my field there. However, who knows. Maybe I might be back in the future...



Not a very culturally diverse college town
As far as college towns go, Ames is far less diverse than most. Largely due to it being Iowa, a state known for being overwhelmingly white. There are a handful of foreign food eateries in town (not counting Chinese restaurants)... but not many when compared to universities the size and quality of Iowa State.



Diversity in Ames
One thing I really liked about growing up in Ames is the cultural diversity that can be found because of the university. You can meet people from all over the world who are studying at Iowa State University. Half the population of Ames are students, so it is a pretty young population. You can find a number of ethnic restaurants run by people from other countries. Many of the Iowa State students have studied abroad, so many of them are quite knowledgeable about other cultures.



Alum of Iowa State
I graduated from Iowa State in 2003 and I have to say, I miss Ames terribly. I'm afraid I don't know much about the education system (except for Iowa State, which is consistenly one of the best public universites in the country), but I do know that Ames does have a lot to do, and is only 30 miles away from Des Moines, which has just about everything else Ames doesn't. However, as I get a bit older and look upon starting a family with my husband, I'm not sure if Ames is the best place to raise a family. One problem is drunken driving. I wouldn't even go out driving on a Friday or Saturday night because I knew drunk drivers would be out in force. There is also a lot of things to do...for college students. The last time I was there last year (I was 24), I felt bored (I don't know, going out with friends and getting drunk off my rocker doesn't seem too fun anymore). Anyway, what I'm trying to say that Ames is a great little college town, with a great college in it, but I'm just not sure I would raise young children there. GO CYCLONES!



Reply Education
Yes, it is a sad thing about the elementary schools closing. I grew up in Ames and went to Roosevelt Elementary, which is one of the schools that closed. Roosevelt had a lot of history, and it is sad to see it close. The Ames High School is an excellent high school, though. In general, Iowa has excellent public schools, especially when compared to Texas or Florida (where I am living now). Overall, though, Ames is a well run and organized town. The electricity prices haven't risen since 1979, and the average family earns around $33,000 a year and the average house is $160,000, so it is a very affordable place to live. There is very little crime. Iowa State University (in Ames) is one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. If you like flowers, trees, and nature trails, there are plenty of those to be found in Ames.



Ames is home to Iowa State Universtiy, with a college of Education. The town has one of the highest percentages of doctorates per capita in the nation. One would think that the Ames School District would be on the cutting edge of education. With the exception of the high school, this is hardly the case.

What does the school district do in the last four years when faced with declining enrollment? Magnet schools, charter schools, brainstorm with the university and the community? NO! The best our school board and superintendent could come up with was to close three elementary schools. Four years ago there were eight elementary schools in Ames. Now there are five, with one targeted for closure next year.

Sounds pretty strange for a town that has GROWN in population in the last 10 years, but when one looks at the control that developers have in town, and the way residential construction is encouraged within the city limits of Ames, but outside the Ames School District boundries, it begins to make sense.

The local funding limits for all the schools in Iowa are set by the state legislature. This was done in an effort to level the playing field between big urban school districts and smaller rural districts. The net effect has been force districts with even minor enrollment declines to close schools, eleminate programs, and consolidate districts.

If you are moving to Iowa for the great school systems, please do your homework before you move.


Page 1 of 1

View More Data >

Side-by-Side Comparison

Compare Ames, Iowa to any other place in the USA.
Select a Section