Okoboji History


Kid-friendly Okoboji Vacation Guide

If you’re looking for a family-friendly summer vacation, this will be your last stop. Not just for this year’s vacation planning, but for every year after. Okoboji offers something for the entire family Monday – Sunday. And we mean it! (Who doesn’t love lake life?) And next year when you’re making the drive, we guarantee … Read more

Special Event Grant Funding Available

Special events play an important role in attracting visitors to the Iowa Great Lakes Area each year. The Okoboji Tourism Committee has set aside $5,000 to assist events put on by organizations or individuals that will help attract more visitors to our community. The Okoboji Tourism Committee Special Event Grant Application will be available at … Read more

We’ll help you plan your escape

Make Okoboji your getaway summer vacation destination. With six lakes, Okoboji is the lake life you’ve been craving. And with countless activities and unique experiences, a vacation to Okoboji is one you’ll never forget. Outlined is a weekend trip itinerary with suggestions on lodging, dining and activities. Whether you’re wanting some QT with the fam … Read more

Okoboji: Iowa’s Best Kept Winter Secret

We all know Okoboji is Iowa’s #1 summer vacation destination but have you ever thought about Okoboji in the winter? If not, you’re in for a pleasant surprise this winter in Okoboji! Winter is a beautiful, peaceful and affordable time to retreat to Okoboji. Whether you are looking for a family, couples, or girlfriends getaway … Read more

Winter Family Escape

Where to Stay:  Yes! We know that when traveling with children a pool is a must-have amenity and Okoboji has many options. Bridges Bay Resort is a great choice for families of all sizes. It boasts an indoor water park, condo and hotel style rooms, and a full service restaurant. Other family friendly properties with pools … Read more

An Adult Winter Wonderland

Where to Stay: There are many GREAT lodging options open year round in Okoboji!  The romantic Oakwood Inn Bed & Breakfast is kid-free and overlooks a beautiful wetland in the heart of the Iowa Great Lakes Area. The Boulder’s Inn & Suites, Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center, AmericInn Lodge & Suites, The Ramada Inn , and Super 8 all offer … Read more


“FOCUS” means the center of interest or activity; focal point; heart; the core; or center of attention. Synonyms for “FOCUS” include attention, priority, concentration, to pay particular attention to. In our busy fast paced, plugged in, work, work crazed culture it is easy for us to lose “FOCUS” on what matters in life. We understand … Read more

WOW Weekend!

Get your girlfriends together and plan a weekend in Okoboji for shopping, food & fun!   The Dickinson County Expo Center will feature over 70 vendors offering what women want!  Many other area shops and attractions will be open throughout the weekend for your shopping pleasure.  If you feel yourself slowing down, stop at one of the … Read more

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