The most asked question every spring in Okoboji is, "So what is new this year?" There is so much to talk about this year! So let's jump right in!
East Lake Park was totally transformed last summer and the marquee attraction, the "Minnie Queen" (photo above), opened with much fanfare and excitement. The Minnie Queen is a hit with the kids while the entire park is a beautiful place for a picnic and to take in beautiful East Lake Views. There is also a public dock for fishing or relaxing. Come by boat, bike, or car to East Lake Park this summer!
Located right next to the Dickinson County Nature Center, the Maser Monarch Lodge is the area's newest meeting, reception and events space. This beautiful lodge is state-of-the-art, has seating for 150, and a catering kitchen. Contact the Dickinson County Nature Center for rental information.
Pickleball, the hottest game for all ages is "THE" thing to do in Okoboji and there are several great places to play! Speier Park opened 4 new courts last summer and almost any time you drive by you can see people playing. There are several new courts by the baseball field in Spirit Lake, and Sawmill Park in Arnolds Park is finishing construction on 4 new courts. You can also join several organized leagues at the Bedell Family YMCA or drop in for open play at designated times.
The ALL NEW Boat Themed Cottages offer Bridges Bay guests the most whimsical and affordable free-standing rental option. New Boat Cottages are available beginning this summer as vacation rentals and are booked and managed separately from The Bridges Bay Resort front desk. The Boat Cottages sleep 8, have 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, full kitchen, and include 6 water park passes a day!
Sandy and Kim Norby started BOJ◦E-Bikes in Arnolds Park to enhance the lives of community members and those who visit through fun, affordable and healthy electric bike (or e-bike) rentals and sales. Explore the great area trails on an E-bike rented from Boj-e-bikes in Arnolds Park! Reservations are required in advance.
All new and totally remodeled, Okoboji Gas Company and Krafty's Meat Market, have taken over the property formerly occupied by Schuck's on Highway 86. Okoboji Gas Company will be a full service, gas and convenience store with a great selection of hot food, cold drinks and grocery items. Krafty's Meat Market has a great selection of fresh and frozen meats for all your grilling needs. Their brat selection, all made in-store, is amazing and unique. They also carry rubs, sauces, smoker pellets and bake their own buns right on sight.
If you think this crosswalk mural looks good in the picture wait until you see it in person! This is one of two crosswalk murals that bring brightness, joy, and happiness every time you cross the street to enter the Promenade, go to the Central Emporium, or head up to Broadway Street.
The Okoboji Cyclist, formerly Okoboji Expedition, has changed their name and moved to a new location in downtown Milford (the former Melanders building). With a great new space The Okoboji Cyclist is your place to go for all things Cycling. Training, rentals, sales, and service, all under the same roof with fantastic coffee to pair.
opens in a new windowDrip Okoboji, At drip okoboji we employ a staff of board certified medical professionals, so you can rest assured that someone you can trust will administer your hydration therapy treatment and it will be safe and effective.
IV hydration therapy aids in replenishing lost nutrients and electrolytes replenishing your body instantly, leaving you hydrated and revitalized. IV hydration allows for 100% absorption compared to only 50-60% absorption through oral hydration.
A typical IV hydration treatment takes 30-60 minutes.
Prime Boji is your new fine dining destination in Okoboji. On the main level of the Central Emporium and overlooking West Lake Okoboji, Prime Boji has one of the best views in the area. The menu includes Prime Steaks and Fresh Seafood.
Portside Pizza was opened last year by the owners of Nautical. Serving amazing Pizza, fresh salads, and so much more you will want to check out Portside Pizza. DJ dance party on the weekends. ALL NEW THIS YEAR is the opening of their Rooftop Patio with an amazing view!
Boji Boardwalk Bar and Grill is yet another new adventure by The Nautical team! Boardwalk is located in the former Godfather's space just outside the gates of Arnolds Park Amusement Park, and has a fantastic view of the State Pier and West Lake Okoboji! Specializing in Gyro's and Italian Beef, you will most definitely want to check out The Boardwalk this summer!
TOPOG Coffeehouse, located in the Queen's Court shops by Arnolds Park, is excited to become "your place on the map"! "The name TOPOG comes from the word topography and pays tribute to the natural features of our area - a place on the map for locals and wayfarers alike to enjoy!" Open at 6 am daily, Topog will be serving up great coffee, bagels, sandwiches, ice cream and so much more.
A familiar friend got a face lift this winter and is back and better than ever! For some of the best ice cream and great food in the area don't miss the Spillway Drive-In. Take your food to go or enjoy it lakeside at the Orleans Beach shelter house and playground next-door.
Cafe Esteam opened this winter downtown Spirit Lake on Hill Avenue in Allure! Offering Fresh Coffee, scratch made baked goods, toasts, as well as real smoothies and smoothie bowls. When shopping downtown Spirit Lake Cafe Esteam is a must stop.
In Case You Missed Them Last Season
Bridges Bay totally revamped their Outdoor Waterpark to rave reviews from kids and adults alike! They also added a state-of-the-art arcade and workout facility.
Dickinson County Nature Center
New museum-quality exhibits have been added to the Pollinator Paradise addition at the Dickinson County Nature Center. Your kids will love playing (and learning) in the space dedicated to pollinators!
Berkley Bedell State Pier
The Boardwalk and Berkley Bedell State Pier at Arnolds Park Amusement Park has been completely redone to be more welcoming and accessible. Plan a walk along the lakeshore and enjoy this beautiful new space. The Berkley Bedell State Pier is absolutely breathtaking at night complete with an illuminated sailboat water feature.
Bouncelandia is a unique and exciting inflatable attraction located in north Milford. This attraction covers over 13,000 square feet and towers over 32 feet about the ground. It is fun for the whole family!
Caio Boji! is the Iowa Great Lakes newest premier Italian and Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar. Chef Juliana hand crafts each dish with fresh ingredients. The hardest part will be trying to decide what to order first!
Screaming Burro Burgers and Fries opened last summer as a burrito, taco and tapas shop and quickly pivoted to burgers, fries and shakes. The great building is open-air on beautiful Okoboji days, and the burgers and fry options are fantastic.
Right next door to the Screaming Burro you will find a Scooter's Coffee, which also opened a location in Spirit Lake. Scooter's drive-through specializes in delicious brewed coffee, Espresso Blenders, smoothies and pastries.
Bike Trail Mural
Out for a walk? Make sure to cross under the Bridge on Highway 71 were East meets west by The Ritz at Claire Wilson Park. The new Mural is beautiful, colorful and depicts "Life" in Okoboji! Be watching for more beautiful art work popping up around the area.
Several miles of new bike trail were poured last summer as well as many miles of over-lays making for a more safe, smooth ride! You will find new trail south of Cutty's, up the hill on the north side of West Lake Okoboji by The Methodist Camp and Indian Hills Golf Course, and several miles of the Titonka-Ska Trail were completed from Spirit Lake out to Highway 86. More trail will be added and improved this summer as well as a new trail head complete with bike tools, seating, and restrooms by Hy-Vee in Spirit Lake.
There are so many GREAT new things to do, see, eat and drink in Okoboji as well as all your familiar favorites that you may want to plan several Okoboji getaways's this summer!
As always if you have any questions or need other recommendations please call us at 1-712-332-2209. We would love to help you plan your getaway to Okoboji!
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