Historic Arnolds Park and other amusement park facilities provide hours of fun for countless memorable experiences. Quality museums, theaters and historical attractions abound in the area, as well as a step back in time aboard the Queen II excursion boat. A busy nightlife includes live bands, concerts, comedy and dances. Don’t sit still, there’s too much to do!
Hit The Trails
The Iowa Great Lakes Trail is recognized nationally as the 5,000th mile of Rails to Trails. A significant number of the recreational trails in the U.S. have been developed on abandoned railroad rights-of-way. We are proud that our Iowa Great Lakes Trail is part of those miles. Area lakeside state parks offer camping, picnicking and festivity gatherings, with public accesses to each.
The chain of lakes that comprise the Iowa Great Lakes have long harbored a reputation as being an angling paradise. For more than a century, fishermen from all over the Midwest have convened in this vacation wonderland to sample the famous multi-species fisheries.
Over the years, the environmental education outreach programs at Lakeside have become a vital part of its influence in the community and beyond. Such programs as Wild Wednesdays, frog and wildlife camps, Conservation Conversations, water monitoring and more have grown in popularity through the years.
People are historically drawn to water resources, and the Iowa Great Lakes area is one of the most diverse destinations for outdoor recreation in the Midwest. Activities on the chain of lakes include pleasure boating, skiing and wake boarding, canoeing and kayaking, jet skiing and tubing.
While the lakes and associated activities dominate the Iowa Great Lakes recreational landscape, golfing opportunities in Okoboji are exceptional and diverse. From scratch golfers to the person who just likes to play for exercise and relaxation, there’s a place for everyone.
For Art Lovers, there are galleries-a-plenty in the Iowa Great Lakes!
From one of the finest art centers in the Midwest—featuring six galleries, a performing arts theater, interactive gallery, library, events hall and classrooms—to the intimate side street studios, the collective art scene in the Iowa Great Lakes is quite astonishing.
• Summerwinds Gallery (formerly Side Street)
• Blue Water Studio
• The Wine Bar & Art Gallery
• Art on 16th
• Kurio Kastle Pottery Painting Palace
• Dykema Studios
• Pearson Lakes Art Center
In Okoboji, you will find the ideal location for business meetings, conventions, weddings, celebrations and group getaways. With over 45,000 square feet of meeting space and over 1,400 sleeping rooms, Okoboji can accommodate all your event needs! Golf courses, miles of trails, shopping, water recreation, museums, and much more. Visit VacationOkoboji.com for event listings.
Don’t miss the “Rock the Roof” and Preservation Plaza concerts! For complete concert schedules, visit ArnoldsPark.com.
Who needs a mega-mall? In fact, shopping in the Iowa Great Lakes is the antithesis of mall mania. In its stead you will find a most eclectic, exciting, enticing collection of retailers, quaint shopkeepers, antique dealers and other storekeepers and business people whose offerings include a unique array of gifts, clothing, souvenirs and specialty goods.
With over 50 resorts, inns, and campgrounds, there are wonderful accommodations for every occasion—and perfect opportunities for that not-so-far-from-home getaway!
All information on this page was provided by the “Vacation Okoboji” Visitors Guide 2013. Did we miss something? Let us know! »