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1723 Hill Ave, Spirit Lake, IA 51360
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New to Okoboji? Here are 5 Things You Need To Do Right Now

Posted by Eric Hoien on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 at 1:22pm.

things to do in okoboji if you're new to the area

Moving to Okoboji marks an exciting start to the next chapter of your life. Okoboji is a popular vacation destination in Iowa, and for good reason. The natural beauty of the area is stunning. The town is home to a great collection of local businesses and restaurants, and there are plenty of recreation options well worth exploring.

Once you finish unpacking your boxes and settling in to your new Okoboji home, here are five things you need to do.

Explore West Okoboji Lake

For many residents of Okoboji, life on the lake is what it is all about. Nothing is more relaxing that a day spent on the lake, escaping the heat of an exceptional summer day.

West Okoboji Lake is part of a series of lakes known as the Iowa Great Lakes. The lake was formed by the passing of glaciers and measures an incredible 3,847 acres. With a maximum depth of 136 feet, this lake is the deepest in Iowa. Some people say that it is one of three blue lakes in the world, the other two being Lake Geneva in Wisconsin and Lake Louise in Canada. The reason the water appears so blue is that of the exceptional cleanliness of the water.

Today, the lake is a popular place to:

  • Boat
  • Water ski
  • Sail
  • Swim
  • Fish

Those who love to fish will find that the lake is home to healthy populations of yellow perch, bluegill, and walleye. It is also possible to catch smallmouth bass, northern pike, white and black bass, and muskie.

Visit Arnolds Park Amusement Park

Arnolds Park Amusement Park has long been the favorite place of children in Okoboji. The first attraction in this historic amusement park was installed in 1889. Today, the park includes a total of 26 rides ranging from classic carousels to train rides.

Arnolds Park is home to the 7th oldest roller coaster in America. Formerly known as the “Giant Coaster,” “The Legend” was constructed in 1930. More than 80 years later, the minute-long ride is still a crowd favorite, and the amusement park is considered to be one of the best in the Midwest.

Grab a Bite To Eat

There are plenty of great places to grab a bite to eat in Okoboji. Check out some of these top restaurants.

Okoboji Store Bar & Kitchen

The Okoboji Store Bar & Kitchen often features live music and has a spectacular rooftop patio. From the restaurant, you can see both the West Lake and the East Lake. The menu includes a large variety of burgers and several vegetarian dishes too. They also have an extensive drinks menu.

Minerva’s Restaurant & Bar

Minerva’s is a family affair located in Arrowwood Resort. The menu includes a little bit of everything. Pasta dishes, seafood, pizza, salad, burgers, and steak all make an appearance on this menu. The restaurant is located near the East Lake.

O’Farrell Sisters

If you’re looking for breakfast, the O’Farrell Sisters is where you’ll want to head. You can find this classic, American breakfast joint on Lake Shore Drive. They serve brunch until 2:00pm, and their menu includes everything from pancakes, to biscuits and gravy, to breakfast sandwiches. Everything about this place is full of personality. On the menu you will find dishes with names like, “Hangover Helper” and “McButch Sandwich.”

Bracco World Café & Island Bar

Bracco includes food from across the globe. As you read the menu, you will find that each item listed also includes a country or city of origin. The menu includes American classics such as “Brick Oven Mac & Cheese” and “Salmon and Shrimp Risotto” from Italy. Most Thursday and Friday night, the venue hosts live music performances.

Enjoy a Round of Golf

There are five golf courses in the Okoboji area to keep the avid golfer busy. These include:

Visit Gull Point State Park

If you love to spend your time in nature, Gull Point State Park has to be a stop on your list. The 380-acre state park includes a 112-site campground and a large lodge that can be rented out for special events. The topography is defined by lakes, wetlands, sloughs, and hills. The region is beautiful and popular among those who love to boat, fish, and hike. In the winter, hiking trails transform into cross-country ski trails.

For more information about life in Okoboji, contact Hoien Realty. As long-time residents of the area, we have an extensive knowledge of the area and would be happy to share our community with you.

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