Discover Ames

Plan your Ames summer staycation

June 14, 2024

With summer being a busy time of year, you may not have time to go on an out-of-state trip with your partner or family members. In that case, plan a staycation in Ames. Find hotels, things to do, and places to shop and eat. We will help you plan your ultimate Ames summer staycation.


Find a place to stay

Finding an enjoyable place to stay is essential for a comfortable staycation. Around Ames, you can find different types of hotels that fit your aesthetic the best. Check out the hotel amenities, like gyms, pools, saunas, and room service! Whether you’re looking for a cozy bed and breakfast, a luxury national chain, or a quaint motel, there is a place for everyone to stay in Ames.


Get outdoors

Nice weather means more time to spend outside! Play a round of golf at a local course like Coldwater Golf Links or take the family to cool down at the Furman Aquatic Center. There are trails to walk at McFarland Park and you can rent a kayak at Ada Hayden Heritage Park. If you’re looking for a more relaxing activity outdoors, have a picnic, read a book, or lay out in the sun at a local park.

Whether you’re looking to relax or be active, there are many options to choose from!


Catch a show

Need some entertainment for the night? No problem! Visit the Ames Community Theater and see a show put on by local actors. Stephens Auditorium in Ames always has concerts, musicals, and comedians performing throughout the year.

But that isn’t all. Summer in Ames means live music all around the town! Head to the Railyard at Cornbred or the patio at Prairie Moon Winery & Vineyards to relax and enjoy a drink while listening to local artists.


Grab a bite

Let your taste buds lead the way while exploring the culinary scene in Ames! From international flavors at Café Beaudelaire, The Spice, and La Casa Maya, to traditional American cuisine at Sweet Caroline’s, Provisions, and The Boulder Tap House, there is something for everyone’s palate.

Want a drink? Go out for a night on the town! With several breweries and bars, you are sure to have a fun and relaxing night. Check out our blog on the best nightlife and bars that Ames has to offer.


Have some fun

Get competitive and let loose with some fun activities! Inside Golf & Games has great options for a group outing or date night with axe throwing, golf simulators, and batting cages. Bowl a few rounds and play in the arcade at Perfect Games or sing some old-time classics in karaoke at Time Out. Put your mind to the test by trying an escape room at No Escape Iowa or get creative and make a custom blend candle at Oak Lane Candle Co.

Make the most of your time in Ames with so many fun activities to choose from, day or night!


Shop around

Looking for a new summer outfit or thrifty home décor? There are a few shops in Ames that may catch your eye while shopping on your staycation. Nook & Nest on Main Street is a perfect place to find items to create a warm space in your home. Stop by Tres Teal to find stylish summer clothing for all occasions. Make your way to the Octagon Shop for unique gift for any art lover in your life!

Great items are waiting for you in shops all around Ames!


Emma Jensen, Digital Marketing Specialist


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