History

It was June 1968, eerily a stormy time in U.S. history. Protests against the Vietnam War raged across the country. Matin Luther Kind had been cut down by an assassin’s bullet in Memphis in April. Two months later Robert Kennedy would be slain in Los Angeles. Later that summer the Democratic National Convention in Chicago Read More »

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Weekend Vacation guide

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 »

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History

“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 »

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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 »

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History

” ‘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 »

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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 »

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Wood Boat steam

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 »

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Historical 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 »

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Bridges Bay Resort

The weather may not always be bright and sunny, but no worries! We have the perfect plan for an unexpected rainy day to keep you busy while having fun exploring 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 Read More »

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Volleyball

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 »

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Okoboji Outfit

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 Okoboji boutique shopping at its finest. Read More »

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Central Emporium

Full of unique locally owned stores, come down and make your way through each store in the Central Emporium  located in Arnold’s Park! Dellapina Dellapina is a family owned and operated business originating out of Peru. Owner and designer, Marcy Costello, offers her family’s homemade Peruvian jewelry and sterling silver jewelry right here in the Iowa Read More »

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Queens Court

A vacation is never complete without visiting all of the Arnold’s Park Shops! Come on down and leave with plenty of shopping bags! Boat House Apparel Boat House Apparel, the “anchor” store of Queen’s court has a variety of beautiful clothing; such as, tank tops, tees, hats, sweatshirts, and accessories! They describe their store best: Read More »

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Queen

You have a weekend in Okoboji… What will you do to fill your time? Scroll to have your weekend timeline already planned out for you!   ARRIVE FRIDAY NIGHT You just reached your dream destination of Okoboji to have arrived at one of our beautiful lodges and resorts! After you drop of your bags, get Read More »

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Boating

Okoboji is home to a numerous amount of family friendly activities that everyone will enjoy! Make it a goal to visit the following exciting Okoboji activities around the area! Click places you are interested in to visit their website for more information! Mini-Golf!  Pirate’s Cove, Ranch 66,  and Treasure Village – You can find easy entertainment in spending Read More »

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Band

Click here for the most up-to-date live music schedule, or scroll down to learn more about the great music venues in the Iowa Great Lakes Area! Okoboji offers an array of different venues and atmospheres to fit with the incoming musicians around the lakes area. Throughout the summer, you can find live music 7 days Read More »

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Beach

Grab your beach towel and sunglasses to come explore our Okoboji beaches!  Arnolds Park City Beach Arnolds Park City Beach is in the middle of all the excitement during the Okoboji days. Just next to the bridge on Highway 71, you can walk or drive to the available parking lots after enjoying breakfast at the Read More »

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ice harvest

Ice harvesters braved winter’s cruelest elements By Greg Drees In this technologically dominant world, it is difficult to imagine the labor that was once employed to achieve some of the things that we absolutely take for granted today. Take, for instance, back in the days of pre-refrigeration (yes, Gen Xers and Millennials, there were those Read More »

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Fishing

Angling in the Iowa Great Lakes offers diversity. By Greg Drees People are drawn to water magnetically, spiritually. Anglers are among the most ardent to seek lakes of fortune. They come from near and far to the waters of Okoboji, lured by the legend of the fisheries, which are healthy, diverse and full of mystery. Read More »

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Fat Bikes

Spine and loop trails draw cyclists to the lakes By Greg Drees In 1988, a new RISE initiative funded by the Iowa Legislature provided $1 million annually for the development of recreational trails in Iowa. From this start was born the Dickinson County Trails Association (DCTA), which won a grant the following year for $357,121 Read More »

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West Okoboji Beer Taps

Craft beer explosion By Greg Drees Just a few short years ago, only a handful of breweries existed in Iowa. Today, as many as 60 such breweries – with their popular taste rooms in tandem – have opened their doors statewide. The Iowa Great Lakes is home to two of them – West O Beer Read More »

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