Some places are just smarter than others, and while conventional assumptions might suggest a concentration of intelligence in larger metropolitan cities, Ames is the sort of place that confidently insists otherwise. Thanks to a highly engaged community and a nationally recognized research university, Ames enjoys a well-deserved position among the top one-third of the country’s best places to live.
Indeed the benefits of living in a community anchored by a nationally recognized research university are abundant—from affordable housing options, to locally owned eateries and cultural events, residents don’t have to be students to enjoy the perks of college life. As the state’s flagship public university, Iowa State infuses Ames with plenty of college-town personality. ISU’s Big 12 Conference athletics program ensures that Ames is celebrated not only for its first-rate academic programs, but for the spirited fandom its sports teams—and the community—enjoy.