Blog

Okoboji Phantom: 1965 Riot

Nautical Nostalgia

“Most of all it’s that steamer, time you set sail, Ah, the crowd’s always steam in’, Streamin’ and lean in’ on the rail – Jimmy Buffet” Steamboats ruled Okoboji navigation at the turn of the 20th century. By: Greg Drees At the apex of the era, more than a dozen of them piled the waters … Read more

A Slice of History

By: Carole Achterhof “The Story of the O’Farrell Sisters restaurant can’t be served without a few special ingredients- two generations of independent, industrious women, a seasoned boat captain, a missing railroad ledger and pie that won’t be served before its time.” O’Farrell Sisters has been an Okoboji legend since 1948, when it was originally located … Read more

Showpiece Chateau

” ‘Okoboji Phatnoms:’ A look at businesses and other places of intrigue in Okoboji’s Past” By Greg Drees Always there has been the banter about its supposed sultry side. It was a bordello, one rendition claims. Or perhaps a verboten gaming hall, says another. But these are just contrivances at best. Whatever the conjecture of … Read more

Okoboji Phantoms

A look at businesses in Okoboji’s historical past… Vern and Coila’s Magic Ride By Greg Drees The place bore their first names, a couple which had been scarred by the Great Depression and fought their way back through hope and resiliency. In the summer of 1946 they turned the key to Vern & Coila’s, a … Read more

Classic Craft Chronicles

By Greg Dres “Okobojian Denny Anspach and his family own a fleet of classic wooden boats that they have restored an preserved over the years.” Awestruck by the beauty and timelessness of the classic wooden boats, Denny Anspach began a lifelong love affair with the nautical treasures. In farmsteads, fields and boatyards from New Hampshire … Read more

Bridges Over ‘Boji Waters

By: Greg Drees “First bridges connected settlers with development..” Travel with the Time Machine back to the 1850s, when the first settlers, immigrants and adventurers were arriving in the Okoboji area. Their eyes beheld what their Native American predecessors had first witnessed- a land of irresistible beauty and a chain of lakes that held them … Read more

Rainy Day in Okoboji: WHAT TO DO

The weather may not always be bright and sunny, but no worries! We have the perfect plan for an unexpected rainy day in Okoboji! Stay busy and explore Okoboji! Museums The personality of Okoboji has been shaped by its significant history. Our local museums can help take you on a trip through time in learning … Read more

Fireworks!

Watching fireworks over the the lake with family is a tradition in the Iowa Great Lakes Area!  Whether you watch from the shores of the lake or in a boat, there is something magical about seeing the reflection of the colors in the rippling water.  There is no shortage of opportunities to watch a spectacular … Read more

Best Activities for Teens in Okoboji

Explore these teen friendly activities with you, your friends, and or family for any weekend or weekday in Okoboji! Arnold’s Park Beach sand volleyball Right on the beach, Arnold’s Park offers 5 sand volleyball courts that host league games and friendly competition! Grab everyone you can find to fill up the teams and courts! Saturday … Read more

Shop till You Drop Okoboji Style

Maybe it is a rainy day… or you are too sunburnt to get out on the water… or you need new Okoboji apparel! Either way, take a day to visit all of the wonderful shops located around the lakes area to enlarge and improve your wardrobe! Bungalow 29 Bungalow 29 is a quaint shop across from the … Read more

Central Emporium Stores

Full of unique locally owned stores, come down and make your way through each store in the Central Emporium  located in Arnold’s Park! Delaphina With a small collection of knick knacks and clothing wear, they have many cases and displays of beautifully made jewelry; such as, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Come on down to spoil yourself … Read more