In Ames and Story County you get the benefit of big city amenities with the small-town community. Our county offers a variety of unique attractions that make the city a wonderful place to live. From cheering at Iowa State athletics events to observing spectacular pieces of art at the Octagon Center, Ames offers one of a kind experiences for all of its residents!
Ames offers a plethora of recreational activities for their residents. There are over 50 miles of trails scattered throughout the city which can be used whether you like to run, walk or bike! Ames also offers three public golf courses that are uniquely challenging. On the campus of Iowa State University, you can find wonderful facilities such as Reiman Gardens. The Reiman Gardens have been providing beautiful scenery since 1993 and are a great place for the whole family to visit! Ames also offers a wide variety of unique restaurants and bars. Whether you’re looking for a great place to eat on Main Street, or ready to have a few drinks with friends on Welch Ave, Ames offers a unique experience that everyone can enjoy!
At the heart of Ames rests our historic Downtown Ames. A nationally accredited Main Street Community filled with unique shops, restaurants, bars, and activities. Downtown Ames hosts a series of festivals and events throughout the year to engage the local community, including the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market in the summer. Our Downtown District is home to many entertainment activities that are open year round, including art galleries, the Ames History Museum, and the newly renovated Ames Public Library.
Story County, Iowa is comprised of 15 incorporated cities. If you’re looking to settle in a smaller community that still has access to resources offered in larger towns, then Story County is perfect for you. Story County has a number of great smaller communities such as Nevada, Story City, Roland, Gilbert, Huxley and many more! All of our smaller communities are just a short commute away from Ames.
Cambridge is a peaceful and quiet community conveniently located two miles east of Interstate 35 in Southern Story County. With the lowest property tax rates in the entire county, city officials dedicated to effective and efficient government, and reliable and affordable utility and public services, Cambridge is a great place to visit, locate a business, or call home.
Great attractions such as Center Grove Orchard, Strautman Tree Farm, Cambridge Off Road Enterprise ATV and Dirt Bike Park, Cambridge Outdoor Recreation and Learning Center, as well as Cambridge’s annual Jubilee Days set Cambridge apart from all the rest!
Located in Southeast Story County and priding itself on being a “Short Country Drive to Anywhere,” Collins is a small town with much to offer. The city offers great parks and recreational facilities, a newly constructed and well-maintained community wellness center, Collins-Maxwell Elementary School, and dedicated city officials.
The city is served by the Collins-Maxwell Community School District and remains consistently dedicated to the ideas of viable growth, individual opportunity, and family prosperity.
Colo lies at the intersection of U.S. Highway 30 and 65, making it a highly visible and readily accessible community. The city takes pride in its historical highway tradition, as the Lincoln and Jefferson Highways intersect at the northeast corner of Colo at the Reed-Niland Corner historical site.
Colo-NESCO Intermediate and Junior-Senior High School, Colo Telephone Company, Twin Anchors Campground, Colo Implement, and Key Cooperative provide a solid employment base and receptive and responsible city government make Colo a great place to visit or call home!
The City of Gilbert is two miles north of Ames, just west of U.S. Highway 69. Gilbert Community School District is one of the best school districts in the state and the student population continues to grow as Ames develops further north.
Gilbert has a strong business climate as a result of a fully occupied Main Street, an expanding school system, and an active, engaged population. These factors, coupled with a welcoming nature and close proximity to U.S. Highway 69 and Interstate 35, make Gilbert a strong and vibrant community.
The City of Huxley is ten miles south of Ames, just west of Interstate 35 and north of Highway 210. Huxley continues to see incredible housing growth and considerable interest from companies interested in either of their two business parks.
Huxley combines both small town, Iowa values with growth and economic opportunity. They truly are the Heart of the Prairie.
Kelley is located approximately five miles south of Ames, three miles west of U.S. Highway 69, and five miles west of Interstate 35. The city is served by Ballard Community School District and is widely known for its fully operational phone booth.
The city has a proud tradition of being a welcoming community that provides small town amenities and reliable services to its citizens. Kelley certainly proves that great things often come in small packages!
The City of Maxwell is located in southeast Story County and is known for its well-maintained Main Street, beautiful parks, and is home to the Story County Freedom Rock. Maxwell residents are extremely active and take pride in maintaining the city’s vital resources.
Maxwell's quarter-mile Main Street is home to a variety of local businesses and truly is a gateway to the community. Logsdon's Grocery has operated from its Main Street location for over fifty years and Maxwell City Park houses the Story County Freedom Rock and serves as the location for Maxwell’s annual Old Settlers Celebration.
McCallsburg prides itself on being “A Country Town with a Country Heart,” which is certainly the case. With an engaged citizenry and responsive local government, McCallsburg offers all the comforts of small town living in close proximity to larger metropolitan areas.
The true character of the city is embodied in its long-serving mayor, Wally Loney. Mayor Loney has served as Mayor of McCallsburg since 1988 and is the longest tenured and oldest mayor in the State of Iowa.
The City of Nevada offers the best in small town living to all who treasure its "hometown" charm. This community is the County Seat for Story County and is located just 4 miles east of I-35 on Highway 30, Nevada boasts a thriving local school system, friendly neighbors, and an abundance of recreational activities to satisfy all who love and play here.
Roland has a tradition deeply rooted in its Scandinavian heritage. The city provides a friendly, small-town atmosphere for residents, prospective residents, and businesses alike. Roland is located just three miles east of Interstate 35 on County Road E-18 in Northern Story County. U.S. Highway 65 is 9 miles east of Roland and U.S. Highway 30 just 15 miles south. The city is in close proximity to major businesses, retail, and cultural attractions in Central Iowa.
Roland offers exceptional parks and recreation services to their residents with four parks located within the city, as well as a swimming pool. These services, coupled with a friendly and welcoming population make Roland a great location to live, work, or visit.
The City of Sheldahl is known as “the best town in three counties,” as its unique location in southwest Story County, northwest Polk County, and southeast Boone County, make it one of the few communities to have lands in three separate counties. This location also allows Sheldahl to be in close proximity to key transportation routes. State Highway 210 is a mere half mile north of town, U.S. Highway 69 is 5 miles east, and Interstate 35 is 7 miles east. Its central location between the larger metropolitan areas of Ames and Des Moines make Sheldahl a great location for individuals wanting to experience the joys of rural living with all the offerings of Ames and Des Moines mere minutes away.
Slater offers a small town atmosphere, but its proximity to Ames and Des Moines allows residents to enjoy the benefits of small town living, while having the perks of larger communities readily available. Its location, as well as its many parks and recreational areas and sound management, make Slater a vibrant community and one of Iowa's best kept secrets.
Slater is known for its Main Street, with long time tenant Town & Country Market, Ballard Veterinary Clinic, Sheldahl Crossing, and Slater Animal Hospital creating a strong business center. Grimm, Nelson, and Southside Parks, as well as the Heart of Iowa Trailhead and Arboretum and the High Trestle Trail offer Slater residents a variety of recreational opportunities unmatched by other cities of its size.
Story City is located in central Iowa on Interstate 35—only 10 minutes north of Ames/Iowa State University and 45 minutes north of Des Moines. The Story City Interstate 35 Business Park has an array of companies from Fortune 150 NextEra Energy, to international IndoShell Precision Technologies, to family owned Eby Manufacturing.
Story City is an Iowa Main Street Community that includes the historic 1913 Story Theatre/Grand Opera House. Story City Community Health and Recreation Center is a partnership with Mary Greely Medical Center that provides a wide range of health and recreational facilities, programs and services for all ages. The Roland-Story Community School District is class 2A with an enrollment of approximately 980 students.
The City of Zearing is located in northeastern Story County just east of U.S. Highway 65. Zearing is served by the Colo-NESCO Community School District and houses the District's Elementary School.
With Dakin’s Lake scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2014 and offer exceptional recreational opportunities to city, county, and Central Iowa residents, coupled with a revitalized Main Street and a welcoming population, Zearing is an extremely appealing municipality.
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