Behind the Scenes: Fun in Okoboji Video

The latest Vacation Okoboji video will have you dreaming of your next summer vacation in Okoboji, Iowa.  Go behind the scenes to learn more about each of the Okoboji attractions that need to be on your to-do list!


Lakeside Dining!

Okoboji offers a wide variety of lakeside dining options including The Okoboji Store Bar & Kitchen! You can enjoy a delicious meal and fun cocktail where “east meets west” on their upper or lower decks.  They also offer great weekend entertainment through the summer and plenty of fun spaces for the kids to play while waiting for dinner.  Okoboji offers a wide variety of lakeshore dining options.  Find more here.

lakeside dining at Okoboji Store


East Lake Park!

The Minnie Queen at East Lake Park in Okoboji is the most popular playground in the lakes area!  This park was just renovated in 2020 to provide outstanding views of East Lake Okoboji, a dock for fishing or enjoying the sunrise, picnic tables, and custom playground equipment unique to Okoboji.  This will definitely be your kid’s favorite new playground in Okoboji, and the Dickinson County Bike Trails border the park!  Ride your bike, cruise up in a boat, or come by car!

Minnie Queen at East Lake Park in Okoboji, Iowa



Okoboji has long been known for our outstanding fishing!  Whether you hire a guide, go out in a boat, or fish off the dock, the fish are waiting for you! Our local bait shop have all of the supplies (and tips) you need for a successful day on the water. In addition to clean water, the Iowa Great Lakes is home to the DNR Fish Hatchery in Spirit Lake. This fishery helps stock the fish supply in Okoboji and many other Iowa lakes to keep our fish populations healthy.

Fishing in Okoboji, Iowa


Mini Golf!

The Iowa Great Lakes Area has great mini golf courses like the Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf seen in this video.  The 18-hole Pirate’s Cove is can be found next to Arnolds Park Amusement Park.  You can also test your skills on the 27-hole Treasure Village mini golf course.  The theme is fairy tales and each hole highlights a different story!

Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf in Arnolds Park, Iowa


More Lakeside Dining!

Maxwell’s Beach Cafe has been an Okoboji favorite since 1986!  Enjoy a simple patio meal overlooking West Lake Okoboji and the new renovations at Arnold Park Amusement Park or treat yourself to a fine dining experience with outstanding seafood and steaks in their dining room.   Okoboji offers a wide variety of lakeshore dining options.  Find more here.

Maxwell's Beach Cafe



With over 15,000 acres of lakes in Iowa’s Great Lakes region, there is plenty of room for your family to go tubing!  We have plenty of public boat ramps if you bring  your own boat and tube, or you can rent from one of our outstanding recreational rental companies who will make sure you have a great afternoon on the water!  Make sure you book early, this is a popular activity!

Tubing in Okoboji, Iowa



Go Out To Eat!

You’ll find some of the most delicious and unique restaurants in Okoboji, include O’Farrell Sisters!  Known for their secret-recipe pancakes, cinnamon rolls as big as your head, and pie served until it runs out, this will quickly become your favorite 1950’s style diner in Okoboji! Like so many restaurants in Okoboji, you can come by car, bike or boat!

Insider Tip:  Do you want an Okoboji Sweater?  Check out Boat House Apparel in Arnolds Parks!

Breakfast at O'Farrell Sisters in Okoboji, Iowa


Live music and Dancing!

You’ll find live music around almost every corner in Okoboji 7 days a week all summer long!   The Barefoot Bar in Okoboji is a favorite spot to get you out of your seats and on the dance floor in a tiki-inspired atmosphere complete with frosty drinks and plenty of palm trees.  The Barefoot is one of many unique spots you’ll find live music.  Explore them all here!

Barefoot Dance Party


Pollinator Paradise!

The Pollinator Paradise at the Dickinson County Nature Center has quickly become a family favorite since it was built in 2019!  This hands-on space will allow kids (and adults) to be creative, have fun, learn about the importance of birds, bees, butterflies, and all pollinators!  Best part – it’s free!

Insider Tip: Visit the lower level of the Nature Center to meet the animal ambassadors!

Pollinator Paradise at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji, Iowa


Local Breweries!

West O Beer is a favorite brewery located in West Okoboji.  It’s also  a favorite stop along the trails for our visitor who enjoy exploring the area on bikes!  In addition to our 2 craft breweries, West O and Okoboji Brewing Company, visitors can also enjoy 2 area wineries!  Round Lake Winery is located along the shores of Round Lake just 30 miles northwest of Okoboji, and Little Swan Lake Winery is located along the shores of Little Swan Lake on a working bison farm just 15 miles east of Okoboji.

West Okoboji Brewery


Bike Trails!

The Iowa Great Lakes area is home to more than 60 miles of paved trails winding along the lakes and throughout our communities.  It’s a great way to explore the area.  We’ve mapped a few rides of varying distances on the free Ride with GPS app, or you can create your own ride.  Just make sure you leave time to stop at a few of Okoboji’s favorite spots along the trail.  This photo op location is along the trail near the Dickinson County Nature Center.  If you don’t bring your bike, don’t worry!  The Okoboji Cyclist has a wide variety of bikes you can rent while you’re in town.  We recommend their e-bikes for a fun and easy way to navigate the area!

Okoboji Bike Trail


Lakeside Cocktails!

Okoboji has an abundance of lakeside bars & restaurants for you to gather with friends and enjoy your favorite drink!  There’s nothing quite like watching a sunset over Lake Okoboji while listening to live music, but in Okoboji, that ‘s a pretty normal summer evening & we want you to experience it.  The Gardens in the lower level of the Central Emporium is a great spot to boat up, bike up, or drive up and enjoy a magical Okoboji.  Here are a few other options too!

Lakeside at The Gardens in Arnolds Park


Okoboji Classic Cars!

One of the favorites stops for many in Okoboji is Okoboji Classic Cars, LLC.  Part museum, part restoration shop, part car dealership, this is the ultimate man cave!  Okoboji Classic Cars is just one of many unique museums you’ll find the Okoboji area!  You can find the some of the largest collections of privately owned bank notes, Iowa Rock ‘n Roll memorabilia, Indian Motorcycles, Russian Impressionist artwork, maritime and lakes area history while visiting our museums!

Okoboji Classic Car Museum


Wake Surfing!

With over 15,000 acres of lakes in Iowa’s Great Lakes region, there is plenty of room for you to try wakesurfing, wakeboard, skiing, or tubing!  We have plenty of public boat ramps if you bring  your own boat and board, or you can rent from one of our  recreational rental companies who will make sure you have a great afternoon on the water!  Make sure you book early, this is a popular activity!

Wake Surfing in Okoboji


Arnolds Park Amusement Park!

For over 125 years, Arnolds Park Amusement Park has been welcoming families with their rides for every level of thrill seeker!  Their “Legend” rollercoaster is the oldest wooden roller coaster west of the Mississippi, and the lakeside Ferris wheel provides spectacular views of West Lake Okoboji, but your kids will be most focused on the next ride they want to try (over and over again)!  The Amusement Park is also home to outstanding concert and event venues, a beautiful boardwalk along the lake, fun beach with plenty of shade trees and beach volleyball, unique restaurants and retails shops, and 3 outstanding museums!  Every Saturday night in the summer you can enjoy a free, family-friendly concert in Preservation Plaza overlooking a beautiful Okoboji Sunset with fireworks after!  It’s a pretty magical place to spend a summer day with your family!

Arnolds Park Amusement Park in Arnolds Park, Iowa


Rooftop Bars!

Enjoy an evening out on the Rooftop at Captain’s Getaway in Arnold Park.  You can also enjoy the great views and nightlife of Broadway Street in Arnolds Park on the Rooftop of Portside Pizza Pub.

Captain's Rooftop in Arnolds Park

We know you will have a memorable vacation in Okoboji!  It’s the perfect destination to take a few days off work and spend making memories at the lake! As always if you have any questions or need other recommendations please call us at 712-332-2209. We would love to help you plan your vacation to Okoboji!

** Helpful planning tip:  If you’re viewing this on your smart phone, click on any of the above blue links.  Read more about it, and if you want to save it for your upcoming trip, choose to “add to my Calendar.”  Add it to your calendar during the dates you plan on visiting so it will be easy for you to find while you’re in the area!