Five glacial lakes—including Lake Okoboji—form a chain in northwest Iowa that has been a destination for generations. But there is more than water sports here!

By By the editors of MidwestLiving.com
Arnolds Park Amusement Park

What to do

Abbie Gardner-Sharp Cabin and Museum Start here for an excellent introduction into the tragic events around the Spirit Lake Massacre. A short film and exhibits put the 1857 event into context. Pick up a flier to drive to area markers. iowaculture.gov

Gardner-Sharp Cabin

Arnolds Park Amusement Park Enjoy the nostalgia wave at a waterfront amusement park. Ride a wooden roller coaster built in 1927, carousel, and others. Take a sightseeing cruise. arnoldspark.com

Arnolds Park Amusement Park.

Maritime Museum Fill an hour or so with interesting tibdbits about the the history of lake recreation and industry. Free but donation appreciated. arnoldspark.com/do/maritime-museum

Mau Marina Conviently located where the east and west lakes join, the staff was helpful and rates good when we applied a coupon from our hotel. maumarine.comOkoboji Boat Works We like this marina on the west lake for its swimming beach and glass-bottom boat tours. parksmarina.com

Okoboji Summer Theatre Make plays part of your summer fun at this theatre that has been around for more than 60 years. stephens.edu

Pirates Cove Mini Golf Play 18 holes of minature golf under waterfalls, through caves and past pirate-eating sharks while reading the history of pirates-none from these waters though! piratescove.net

Shopping Numerous independent stores sell antiques, beachy home decor, University of Okoboji wear, water toys and more.

Where to eat

Barefoot Bar This east lake spot is happening for drinks and standard bar fare. Tiki huts and palm trees set the party mood. parksmarina.com

Bracco The seasonal open-air joint wins points with tropical island-inspired fare. braccorestaurant.com

Maxwell's Beach Cafe Dine on upscale fare on the waterfront. lake-okoboji-restaurant.com

O'Farrell Sisters Restaurant Go to this diner for breakfast and pie. parksmarina.com

Where to stay

Bridges Bay Resort This lodging has the only indoor water park in Arnolds Park. bridgesbayresort.com

Fillwenwarth Beach Resort Cruises, sailing, water-skiing, crafts and other extras ensure repeat visitors. fillenwarthbeach.com



For information: Okoboji Tourism (800) 270-2574; vacationokoboji.com

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