Top Ten Weekends on the Water
|Family fun at West Lake Okoboji (courtesy, Iowa Tourism Office)|
7. Okoboji, Iowa
Iowa is known for its corn and political caucuses, but in the northwestern part of the state there's a quaint resort community called Okoboji that's also worth knowing about. The tiny town of Okoboji is surrounded by six glacier-carved, crystal-clear lakes known as the Iowa Great Lakes, which include Iowa's largest natural lake, Spirit Lake. Spirit Lake and the other five interconnected lakesWest Okoboji, East Okoboji, Upper Gar, Lower Gar, and Minnewashtaoffer all types of water sports, such as boating, fishing, waterskiing, parasailing, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming. A spring flows into the 134-foot deep West Lake Okoboji, contributing to its constant deep blue hue. Year-round, Okoboji has about 16,000 residents, but those numbers increase by nearly ten-fold in summer. You'll see locals and visitors alike sporting University of Okoboji T-shirts and University of Okoboji bumper stickers. Good luck trying to take a campus tourthe place doesn't exist. Locals just like to claim that's where they received their "higher education" in how to have fun and let loose. In the winter, many people take to ice-fishing and snowmobiling. If you'd rather stay on land, take the kids to historic Arnold's Park and ride the rollercoaster, Ferris wheel, and go-karts, or check out the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum, which features a collection of 32 wooden boats. Get active and take a hike on the Dickinson County Recreational Trails. Nearby Kettleson Hogsback Wildlife Area has 160 acres of pristine prairieland and is a National Natural Landmark.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication