Although Ames will remind you of a small town because of its charm and friendly people, it actually has a lot going on. Iowa State University is conveniently and beautifully located in Ames, and the town was ranked 9th in the “Best Places to Live in the United States” according to CNN in 2010. Maybe because of the many parks (35) and more than 50 miles of trails or maybe it is the golf courses and top quality schools. Whatever the reason, close to 14,000 dogs and their owners live there so there must be fun things Fido can do when you visit.
Ames Dog Park on Billy Sunday Road is awesome with 10 acres separated into two areas for big and little pooches. Plenty of seating and a track to walk on. The park supplies the poop bags, and they have a water fountain for dogs and humans. The people are friendly, and the pups are fun.
Moore Memorial Park on Northridge Parkway is also a great place to burn off some of that energy. They have walking/biking trails, BBQ grills, picnic tables, playgrounds, restrooms, water fountains, and a special nature area where you can view some of Iowa’s critters in their environment. You and your furbaby will be ready to crash after spending the day here.
The South neighborhood is a family and dog-friendly area. There are plenty of parks and places to stay here. Ames Dog Park is a 10-acre, off-leash dog park with 2 acres devoted to small dogs, and 8 to larger ones. The dog park is fully enclosed with a flat grassy place for dogs to run, sniff, and socialize. A drinking fountain, waste receptacles and cleanup bags are provided. Kiddie pools give pups a chance to splash and cool down on a hot summer’s day. Visitors can purchase a daily or annual pass to visit. Microtel Inn welcomes up to 3 dogs of any size for an additional fee of $10 per dog per night.
Gilbert is 8 miles north of Ames. Gilbert is a small town, but cares big about its dogs. Open Flame and Steak Lounge on 225 Main Street serves lunch and dinner to furry friends on the outdoor patio. A canine and companion can savor steak, chicken, or seafood. After a big meal, burn some of those extra calories at the Ada Hayden Heritage Park. This park has a large lake with boat ramp and fishing! Dogs on leashes can exercise on the walking paths, and spend some time with their family eating at one of the shelters or picnic sites. Trails in the park range from one to three miles in length.
If you and your furry friend need a place to stay during your time in Ames, head for the eastern part of town. There are numerous hotels here that are dog-friendly. Baymont Inn on 1605 S. Dayton allows up to two dogs of any size to stay for an additional fee of $15 per dog per night. Econo Lodge at 2600 SE 16th Street has dog friendly rooms for an additional $15 per dog per night. Two dogs of any size can travel to Ames and spend the night. Up to two dogs of any size can spend the night in the dog friendly and elegant TownePlace Hotel located at 1523 S. Dayton Ave. The fee is an additional $35 per dog per night.
The West neighborhood spreads out into park lands. The Daley Park and Greenbelt at 340 Wilder has green areas for on-leash walking. There is a paved bike path, walking trails, and picnic shelters for dogs and their people to get some quality R&R. Christopher Gartner Park on Abraham Drive is a small park just right for a short morning stroll on leash. This park is not usually very busy, so a dog and person can get a little bit of solitude to start off or finish a day. The Dick Cissel Recreation Area has 38 acres of space for dogs to walk on leash. This park includes a fishing lake and plenty of space to hang out with your pup.
This downtown neighborhood has many shops and services for your dog. Serenity Pet Spa at 110 Kellogg Avenue offers grooming, doggie daycare and boarding. The spa caters to small dogs, and includes baths, nail clipping, and specialized grooming. Treats on a Leash, located at 216 Main Street, has treats, toys, and an assortment of fun things for you and your pup. Dogs are welcome to come in and help their human shop. Treats on a Leash also hosts parties for your fur baby! Treats on a Leash can help with fundraisers, and contributes to the local animal shelter. Delivery is available to dogs in the neighborhood.