Ames is best known for being home to Iowa State University, but the city in central Iowa offers its residents a high quality of life with big-city amenities. The population of Ames is 58,965 according to the 2010 census, which includes students attending Iowa State University who live in Ames throughout the school year. When Ames was incorporated in 1870, it had only 844 inhabitants. The city quickly grew into a thriving metropolitan area within Boone County after Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm was established as a Land-Grant College. Ames apartments for rent provide easy access to the Iowa State campus, and are also conveniently located near the historic downtown district.
The main street cultural district in downtown Ames is a popular location for students and families, and is easily accessible from Ames apartments throughout the city. The district hosts numerous arts and community festivals throughout the year such as Tune in to Main Street, ArtWalk, Fourth of July Parade and Festival, and MusicWalk. It also includes more than 50 locally owned boutique retail shops and restaurant.
City residents can stay active by enjoying more than 700 acres of parks maintained by Ames Parks and Recreation. The parks department also oversees the Furman Aquatic Center, Ada Hayden Heritage Park and Homewood Golf Course, all of which are easily accessible from Ames rentals. The Ames City Auditorium hosts performances by local and national acts, and is also available for rental by Ames residents. Ames is emerging as a bicycle-friendly city: There are currently 22 miles of bicycle trails in the city for residents to enjoy in the spring, summer and fall.
Ames is home to a diverse mix of employers that enjoy its strong local economy and centralized location within Iowa. Ames offers appealing business advantages such as a low corporate income tax, no personal property tax and a skilled and productive workforce. The top industries in Ames are animal health, advanced manufacturing, and food processing. Ames' major employers include Iowa State University, Iowa Department of Transportation, Mary Greeley Medical Center, McFarland Clinic PC and Sauer-Danfoss.
The Ames Community School District serves students in grades K-12. The city is home to the Iowa State University of Science and Technology, which is a public land-grant and space-grant research university. It is known for producing a number of highly skilled professionals in the fields of science and aeronautics. The university is a member of the Big 12 Conference, and the Iowa State Cyclones athletics department features varsity teams in numerous popular sports.
Ames residents can take advantage of Smart Energy programs designed to support sustainable living and help lower costs of living associated with utility bills. Smart Energy programs offer rebates to residents who wish to make energy-efficient home improvements. The cost of living in Ames is lower than the national average, and rentals have remained an affordable choice even though they typically have low vacancy rates since University of Iowa students often look for off-campus housing within the city. According to city-data.com, the median gross rent in 2009 for Ames apartments was $727.
Less than 25 miles away from Ames, the Iowa Arboretum, located in Madrid, Iowa, is situated on 378 scenic acres in the heart of Boone County. The arboretum includes 19 different collections of trees, shrubs and flowers, along with woodland trails alongside deep ravines and streams. The Iowa State University Museums are some of the most popular cultural attractions in Ames. In addition to the Brunnier Art Museum, Christian Petersen Art Museum and Farm House Museum, Iowa State operates the Art on Campus Program in addition to the Anderson Sculpture Garden as part of the campus collection of museums.
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