Ames, Iowa, is located in the central part of the state, about 30 miles north of the state capital of Des Moines. The city was founded in 1864, as a stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad, and was named after U.S. Congressman Oakes Ames of Massachusetts, who was influential in building the transcontinental railroad. Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU), is located in Ames, and with an enrollment of over 28,000 students in a town with a population of 60,000, it brings the median age to just 23 years. The school offers a lot to the residents of Ames as it hosts several events throughout the year, including lectures and productions in the arts. It has also partnered with the town in a popular and efficient transit system, Cyride.
Ames has been recognized in recent years as both great town for retirement and as a top metro area for college graduates. The Milken Report named Ames in the Top 10 small metros for people aged 65-79 due to its strong economy, learning environment, safety and public transportation. The city also made Forbes’ list of the top 25 places to retire in 2013, and Livability.com named it as #1 Best College Town in 2014. Picture of Beardshear Hall in the fall on the campus of ISU courtesy of Wikipedia and Michelec317; picture of Cafe Beaudelaire in Campustown courtesy of Wikipedia and Cadeseth; picture of Bales of Hay on a Farm near Ames courtesy of Wikipedia and Scott Bauer.