Lake Okaboji remains an attractive locale for fun

(OKOBOJI )By Nicole Garrison


For more than 100 years, families from all over the Midwest have flocked to the Iowa Great Lakes for the perfect summer vacation.

Some go for the sun and sailboating, others go to enjoy the clear blue lakes and relaxing resorts. But all who go are sure to have a great time.

While it offers all the pleasures of a world-class beach, the Iowa Great Lakes region is really more of a popular small town.


Many of the resorts and restaurants have not changed hands in over 50 years, and kids who grew up in the area, moved away and came back will tell you that not much has changed.

Arnolds Park was developed in 1889 with a water slide that emptied into West Lake Okaboji. The little amusement park is still there, but it has grown to include attractions like the old wooden roller coaster, a Ferris wheel, go-cart racing, kiddie rides, a swimming beach, specialty shops and restaurants.

The park also is home to a brand new stage that attracts nationally recognized rock 'n' roll, country and pop artists. A collection of rock 'n' roll artists will perform at Arnolds Park at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Labor Day weekend.

Those who aren't into amusements parks or live music are sure to enjoy a variety of watersport activities.

Extreme Watersports offers parasail, waverunner, pontoon and ski boat rentals seven days a week through Labor Day.

Marine Rentals Inc. offers Sea Rays, Sea Doos, Aquajumps, paddleboats, wakeboards, skis and pontoons.

Watersports can be enjoyed on the state's largest natural lake, Spirit Lake, and five interconnected lakes: West Okaboji, East Okaboji, Upper Gar, Lower Gar and Minnewashta.

There are also seven golf-courses, mini-golf courses, tennis courts and over 14.5 miles of surfaced trails which can be used for biking jogging, rollerblading or walking.


For more information call the Iowa Great lakes Area Chamber of Commerce at (800) 270-2574.

If you have a place you'd like to see in Destinations, please call 252-1111, category 8638, the Life &; Leisure line, and leave a message. We'll try to schedule your suggestion for an upcoming feature.

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