Ames is located in the heart of the US state of Iowa in moderate proximity to Iowa's capital and most populated city, Des Moines. The city is moderately small with a moderate population but has since been ranked as one of the top best places to live in. Ames was established in 1864 and was originally a stop along the Railroad between Cedar Rapids and Missouri. One of the influential people in the building of the railroad was Oakes Ames, the Massachusetts Congressman then, and is the person after whom the city of Ames has been named. Ames is today a vibrant educational hub in its region as it is home to the renowned Iowa State University. Colleges affiliated to the Iowa State University include Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture, Engineering, and Design. Ames is also home to the Ames Laboratory, the United States Department of Energy, and the United States Department of Agriculture. Today, Ames serves as the headquarters of the Iowa Department of Transportation. Essential landmarks in Ames include the Iowa State University, the Beardshear Hall along Morrill Road, and the iconic Marston Water Tower next to the Hoover Hall in Iowa State University. Visitors like to relax and unwind in the Reiman Gardens, a vast public space that is owned by the Iowa State University. Beautiful, natural, and scenic surroundings are featured in the gardens, and visitors are treated to events, tours, programs, and family-themed fun activities around the year.
The city of Ames experiences a humid continental climate, which is classified as Dfa in the Köppen climatic classification. The weather is primarily characterized by warm and pleasant summers, cold and moderately snowy winters, and short, varied autumns and springs. Extremely hot days are rare in Ames, as the temperature on the hottest days rarely goes above 89.6°F (32°C). Extremely cold days, too, are very rare, as the winter temperature barely drops lower than 5°F (-15°C). Winter begins in mid- November and extends through mid-March. The season is marked with cold days that are moderately dry. Snowfall is not rare, although it is light and does not accumulate on the ground for more than a few days. During summer, from May to September, the weather lifts to warm and moderately dry days. The temperature sticks to the highs of 78.1°F (25.6°C) and lows of 59.5°F (15.3°C), an excellent time to be outdoors up to late in the night. Ames is a year-round travel destination as it experiences both weather extremes; hence attractive to both heat and cold lovers. However, most of the visitors arrive during the warmer months, between May and September. This period has excellent weather for most outdoor activities as the days remain warm, pleasant, and moderately dry. It is also during this period that Ames holds several events and celebrations across the city, hence crowds are high, and the party mood is escalated. In October, Ames has numerous activities and events that are related to and aimed at boosting the art and craft industry, including art and craft displays, cinema shows, and music and theatre concerts across many venues in the city. Iowa State University also holds several activities during the year, including games, music and dance performances, and open days at certain seasons.