What to do and see in Ames, United States: The Best Places and Tips

November 1, 2017 Christa Meece

Ames is a city located in the central part of Story County, Iowa, United States. It is located approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of Des Moines, and had a 2016 population of 66,191. The U.S. Census Bureau designates the Ames metropolitan statistical area as encompassing all of Story County; combined with the Boone, Iowa micropolitan statistical area (Boone County, Iowa), the pair make up the larger Ames-Boone combined statistical area. While Ames is the largest city in Story County, the county seat is in the nearby city of Nevada 8 miles (13 km) east of Ames.
Restaurants in Ames

1. Iowa State University

Ames, IA 50011 +1 515-294-4111
Excellent
77%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 286 reviews

Iowa State University

Reviewed By 711rickj - Olpe, Kansas

This University is down-to-earth with a great staff. I participated in an Intercollegiate Meats Judging Contest and the staff of the Animal Science Dept was fantastic.
They were extremely knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating!! They go out of their way to make sure your visit is everything you wanted or need. This is a great location for Midwestern students to attend, learn, develop and enter the "real world" after graduation--attend ISU and you will be ready!!

2. Reiman Gardens

1407 University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011-3101 +1 515-294-2710
Excellent
68%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 291 reviews

Reiman Gardens

Enchanting, 17-acre garden with new display annually; inside find a live, exotic butterfly exhibit and gardens that change seasonally; private rentals available.

Reviewed By Melinda D - Lee's Summit, Missouri

We stopped by on a whim while visiting our daughter at ISU, not really expecting anything. The gardens were fantastic. We definitely would like to go back again when all the outdoor flowers are in bloom. We started out in the butterfly garden. It was morning, and all the butterflies were very active. From there we checked out the indoor exhibits - we loved the Washed Ashore sculptures made of beach trash, with sculptures placed throughout the garden, inside and out. The trees were in full fall color, making for a gorgeous stroll, and the Halloween pumpkins were out. Don’t skip this if you are in Ames!

3. Alluvial Brewing Company

3715 W 190th St, Ames, IA 50014-9316 +1 515-337-1182
Excellent
73%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 35 reviews

Alluvial Brewing Company

Reviewed By Pannipannini - Maryland

We came here around dinner and there was a very basic food truck. The veggie option was a pretzel and fries...

That said, beer was good. (No other drink types served, except cider.) The setting is pretty, serene and comfortable. Good place to hang after dinner...

You need a car to get here because it is well out of town. (Next to a winery)

4. Brunnier Art Museum

290 Scheman Bldg, Ames, IA +1 515-294-4442
Excellent
55%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 22 reviews

Brunnier Art Museum

Reviewed By Fadi S - Lake Mary, Florida

If you're at ISU in or around the Scheman building, it's worth to go through this museum. It's worth it especially if you're interested in old carved glass vessels and other.

5. Furman Aquatic Center

1635 13th St, Ames, IA 50010-5201 +1 515-232-7665
Excellent
65%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 14 reviews

Furman Aquatic Center

Reviewed By Diane T - Roland, Iowa

They have something for everyone. There's a pool for small children, lap pool, large pool with diving boards and a lazy river. The changing rooms/bathrooms are nice and clean. You can rent a locker for cheap. I just lay my bag on the ground and nothing's ever been taken. The concession stand is nice. The changing rooms are large enough for parent and child to fit into one. There are also a lot of life guards on duty.

6. Octagon Center for the Arts

427 Douglas Ave, Ames, IA 50010-6213 +1 515-232-5331
Excellent
82%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 11 reviews

Octagon Center for the Arts

The Octagon Center for the Arts is a non-profit community art organization. The Octagon has been a cornerstone of the cultural scene in Ames since 1966. The Octagon serves more than 30,000 people annually through education classes and outreach programs, rotating exhibits, retail gallery shop, and special events such as the annual Octagon Art Festival

Reviewed By IowaMum - Des Moines, Iowa

Octagon contains a gallery shop space, a number of exhibition spaces and some classroom spaces. The shop space contains a wonderful collection of Iowa based artists including paintings, ceramics, jewelry, fused glass windows, and textiles such as scarves. It is a great place to find gifts. The exhibition spaces are free to the public and contain different shows of local and national exhibitions of arts and crafts. Through March 2016, there are wonderful painted spheres in the downstairs space and an all-media show of clay, fiber, glass art, drawing, photography, and other media of many artists upstairs. Octagon is non-profit, so the space is not flashy, but it always shows interesting work.

7. Torrent Brewing Company

504 Burnett Ave, Ames, IA 50010-6178
Excellent
35%
Good
49%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
5%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 17 reviews

Torrent Brewing Company

Reviewed By AMToronto29 - Toronto, Canada

We went to Torrent Brewing Company to grab a few pints. The pub is industrial in design, with a pool table, board games, high ceilings and behind the bar are several chalkboards that describe how beer is made, the definitions of different beer terms, and a list of their on-tap beers along with their ABV and IBU numbers.
They have a lot of unique beer styles – including a milk stout and a double IPA (very high IBU). I think trying the beer fight is likely the best way to get a well-rounded impression of their wares. That being said, the bartenders were happy to provide small samples of any beer on tap as well.
If I lived in Ames, I think I would be a regular at this place!

8. Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards

3801 W 190th St, Ames, IA 50014-9398 +1 515-232-2747
Excellent
38%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 13 reviews

Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards

Reviewed By rrcer - Austin, Texas

There is a beer brewery and winery at this location. Middle of Iowa countryside, beautiful surroundings. Wine is great ~ lots of locals, highly recommend visiting.

9. North Grand Mall

2801 Grand Ave, Ames, IA 50010-4668
Excellent
13%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
52%
Poor
13%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

3 based on 22 reviews

North Grand Mall

Reviewed By Betty G - Ames, Iowa

CJ has a wonderful selection of the very petite to the very XXX large clothing lines.

They will order online for you also at the store with the items coming directly to your home.

It's fun to be a MODEL there getting 40% off each item you chose to buy.

It's even better when the clerks call me by my 1st name when I come in ;)

Betty Gordon

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