Whether you’re in town visiting a favorite student at Iowa State University or are passing through for an afternoon of exploration, historic downtown Ames offers several blocks full of boutiques, restaurants and a beautiful streetscape that impress visitors and locals alike.
Stroll the tree-lined streets where one of several statues of Iowa State’s mascot will occasionally catch your attention. Enjoy the scent of the local coffee shop, and tempt your taste buds at the new bakery on the block. Enjoy the quaint atmosphere as you cross the cobblestone streets and discover another local retailer.
Check out my recommendations for a unique shopping and dining experience that will create lasting memories.
Shop the Grey Elephant where trendy women’s apparel and college t-shirts intrigue fashion-forward shoppers. Browse a variety of jewelry and enlist the help of the shop’s friendly owner who makes it a point to greet and assist shoppers.
Do lunch at Olde Main Brewing Company where an array of sandwiches, soups, salads and pasta delight hungry diners. Be sure to have their house-brewed beer, or tour of the brewery while you wait for your entrée.
Need a new kitchen gadget? Look no further than Cook's Emporium where a large collection of dishes, cookware, linens and are available. Cook’s Emporium regularly hosts demonstrations from a professional chef or a local food aficionado.
Designer purses, makeup and jewelry draw crowds to the popular boutique, It's All About Me Spa. The attentive staff and selection of goods make the retailer a local favorite. Schedule a facial or massage for a blissful afternoon.
Pet lovers go crazy for Treats on a Leash in the heart of downtown. Here, furry friends find homemade, natural doggie snacks; toys and clothes.
End the day at Chocolaterie Stam where homemade, Dutch-inspired chocolates fill the store. Buy a box of white, milk or dark chocolate bonbons to enjoy at home. Or have a scoop of their famous gelato, made in-house and served to shoppers looking for a sweet treat.
Visit traveliowa.com for more Iowa shopping inspiration.