Travel, Accommodation & Parking


The closest airport to Ames is Des Moines International Airport (DSM). It is about an hour drive from the airport to get to the ISU campus. 

Ground Transport from DSM Airport

Driving To Ames From Interstate 35

  • Take Exit 111B to US Highway 30 West.  You will travel a mile or two on this road. 
  • Leave Hwy 30 using Exit 146 (Elwood/University Avenue). 
  • Travel Elwood to Lincoln Way (4th stop light), and turn left. 
  • Drive approximately half a mile (past 2nd stop light) and the ISU Memorial Union parking ramp will be on your right.


Unfortunately, the only hotel on campus (Memorial Union Hotel) has closed – it has been converted to student housing.

These Ames hotels give ISU discounts on a regular basis. However, be sure to ask if they give a discount for ISU business when making a reservation, as not all hotel employees are familiar with these discounts.

Also, any hotels in the Wyndham chain participate in discounts.  This is a link to a hotel list with a link to reserve a room online or an 800-number to call.  At the bottom of this page are a discount ID and Institution ID to receive a discount.

  • Each discount is based on the best available rate at the time and varies according to room size, time of week, duration etc.

Additional hotel information: Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau

Parking: ISU Memorial Union Ramp

Orientation and Agronomy 594 students are encouraged to use the Memorial Union Parking Ramp. The program will provide validated parking tickets to use the ramp daily free of charge. 

Parking: Visitor Parking Permit 

Visitors can Request a Visitor Parking Permit.  This is free of charge, valid for 3 days, and used in any of the General Staff parking lots.

Navigating the ISU Campus

For a preview of campus, use the Campus MapTool. There are filters at the top right corner for buildings and parking.  

  • For building: Agronomy Hall
  • For parking: Union Ramp