The word Okoboji means "great waters" but to some, it means "vacation legacies". For years, the Great Lakes Minnewashta, Upper and Lower Gar have been hot spots for holidays, extending hundreds of acres of blue water playgrounds. These well-loved waters offer something for everyone, for every season. Whether it's epic fishing excursions, waterskiing, or feet up under the sun for some dockside relaxation, there's no doubt you'll want to call it home!
The inherent lakeside attraction has more recently influenced the Okoboji real estate market to expand on developments suitable for full-time Great Lakes residents. Home buyers can now live the lakeside dream full-time in Minnewashta as well as Upper and Lower Gar real estate.
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Minnewashta, Upper and Lower Gar
For many years Minnewashta, Upper and Lower Gar lakes have created fond memories for families, abundant with opportunities to relax and delve into water-related activities. Needless to say, living in a popular vacation destination certainly comes with its benefits, but the real estate opportunities found in this area are just as pleasant as the recreation and nature.
Minnewashta Lake Real Estate
At the center of Upper and Lower Gar Lake, homes are found surrounding Minnewashta Lake, located on spacious, private lots speckled with Iowa's famous Oak and Hickory trees. Some waterfront properties consist of cozy and quaint cabins, while others are impressive luxury cottages. It's characteristic of these homes to have private dock access, large enough for you to moor your boats and jet skis.
Residential neighborhoods found in Minnewashta Lake real estate offer a blend of traditional two-story homes, contemporary bungalows, as well as some mid-century modern styles. Finding single-family options shouldn't be too much of a task, as most of the homes are more than suitable in size for growing families. Kids will have plenty of space for play in their backyards. Upscale properties can reach up to 6,000 square-feet, facilitating the ultimate lakeside lifestyle.
Home buyers looking for a vacation investment or a smaller property to maintain will find great value in the condos offered in this area. Out of the five lakes, Minnewashta Lake is said to have the best fishing year-round, and at its deepest point, the lake is 16.5 feet. There's even a seaplane base right in the middle of the lake for those who enjoy lake-hopping!
Upper Gar Lake Real Estate
Upper Gar Lake is the smallest and shallowest lake out of the three joining lakes. This makes for less traffic on the water and serving as a passageway to larger bodies of water like Minnewashta and Okoboji Lake. The west side of the lake is where you'll find development, whereas to the east of the lake is an untouched land dedicated to Upper Gar State Game.
With less traffic on the lake and a smaller population, Upper Gar Lake real estate is ideal for those who want to have access to the boater's lifestyle, amidst a quieter niche. Much of the real estate is similar to what you'll find surrounding the Minnewashta Lake area, however, for those who are interested in building from scratch, Upper Gar Lake offers untouched lots on the shoreline. These properties are awaiting you to make your lake home dreams a reality.
Manufactured homes are popular turnkey options for those who'd like to downsize or remain as seasonal residents. These homes are often wonderful low-maintenance options, ideal for any home buyer looking for a cozy home close to the water and other recreational activities.
Lower Gar Lake Real Estate
Lower Gar Lake is the furthest south lake in the chain of Iowa Great Lakes. It has the least amount of condos and townhomes but is ripe for development with zoned-lots ready for custom projects. Residential homes for sale in Lower Gar Lakes are predominantly Rancher-style water-front properties, ideal for year-round living or an Okoboji get-a-way.
Pelican Ridge is a nice pocket of mobile structures along the northeastern tip of the lake. This lakeside village offers a variety of simple and efficient designs. You'll find new bungalow styles with oversized garages and open floor plans. There are plenty of amenities to complement your lakeside lifestyle, including a clubhouse with a pool, sandy beaches, fishing ponds, swimming docks, tennis courts, and a wildlife preserve. Some residents have access to their own private docks, while other have access to shared access docks, allowing all locals to take advantage of the incredible fishing, thanks to the shallow waters.
Living in Minnewashta, Upper and Lower Gar Lakes
Minnewashta, Upper and Lower Gar Lakes real estate offers home buyers the chance to enjoy lakeside living with all the perks of a holiday destination. With so many recreational activities, dining, shopping, and entertainment options available to residents living in the Okoboji area, your days and nights can be a packed or relaxing as you want throughout the year. One of the most popular activities locals can be found participating in is exploring the many bays and coves found in this Great Lakes community.
No boat? No worries! Arnolds Park is where most of the action takes place on land for many residents in this area. You'll find nearly all of your shopping needs at the Central Emporium, full of unique boutiques and eateries. For more conveniences, big box stores can be found only 8 minutes away in Okoboji accessed by Highway 71.
Arnolds Park has a lot of fun and relaxed entertainment venues like the Captain's Getaway, often referred to as the Cheers of Okoboji. Arnolds Park is home to the iconic lakeside Arnolds Park Amusement Park entertaining people since the 1800s and well-loved by all ages. After a long day of fishing for Bass, boat over to The Ritz at the tip Gingles Point for some hearty Iowa fare is a great way to decompress and chat about the catch of the day.
If dry land better suits your lifestyle, residents have plenty of activities to experience onshore. Emerald Hills Golf Course is Iowa Great Lakes Premier golf course offering both professional and novice experiences. Full hilly terrain, tree-lined doglegs, and wavy greenways can be enjoyed at this 18 hole golf course. Discovering Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum is an insightful way to relive the history of your new residence. Artifacts, photographs, a fully restored boathouse, and a collection of 25 classic wooden runabouts make for an enjoyable exhibit.
The Great Lakes of Iowa offer some of the best lakeside-living available in the midwest. There's no wonder why vacationers make the decision to call this area their home.
The information being provided by the Iowa Great Lakes Board of REALTORS® is exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use, and it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. The data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS.
Listing information last updated on May 23rd, 2022 at 6:45am CDT.