spirit lake

Embrace Summer on Lake Okoboji

Select Registry - August 3, 2021

A Relaxing Lakeside Getaway

A stunning sunset on Lake Okoboji in Spirit Lake, Iowa

There’s a region in northwestern Iowa that is home to a series of interconnected lakes that are fondly referred to as the Great Lakes of Iowa.  Here, you’ll find the stunning waters of Lake Okoboji and Spirit Lake, along with their charming lakeside communities. The Great Lakes of Iowa is a fantastic Midwest getaway, located only 3 hours south of Minneapolis/St. Paul and 3.5 hours north of Des Moines, Iowa. 

Spirit Lake is the largest natural lake in Iowa, and it is connected to 5 other lakes, including east and west Lake Okoboji, Upper Gar, Lower Gar, and Minnewashta Lake. These glacially carved lakes cover an area of around 15,000 acres and provide a stunningly beautiful year-round getaway.

The centerpiece of this stunning area is west Lake Okoboji, which is a gorgeous shade of blue and 134 feet deep.  Just a few minutes from the shores of this beautiful lake, you’ll find a Select Registry Bed and Breakfast offering the finest accommodations in the area. As with all Select Registry properties, you’ll enjoy unparalleled hospitality and an unforgettable getaway.

If you’re looking for a welcoming place to relax and unwind this August, you’ve found it! Read more about what it means to Stay Select, then partner with our member properties for unforgettable getaways around the country. 

early morning lake

Get on the Water on Lake Okoboji

It goes without saying that the most popular thing to do in the Lake Okoboji area is to get out on the water. Vacationers have been coming to the Great Lakes area of Iowa for generations. It’s the perfect place to escape modern-day stressors and to fully unplug and have some fun.

Whether you’re into boating, water skiing, fishing, sunbathing, or just soaking up the beauty of your natural surroundings, you’ll find something to love about the Lake Okoboji area.  Here are just a few of our favorite ways to enjoy a bit of summertime fun on the water. 

  1. Enjoy a quintessential summer day at Lake Okoboji at one of the public beaches. Arnold’s Beach Park is a local favorite, but there are plenty more to choose from. 
  2. Take a classic boat cruise aboard the Queen II, or take a fun cruise with Okoboji Boat Works. 
  3. Rent your own boat and get out on the water for an unforgettable afternoon. 
  4. Get out on the lakes and enjoy a bit of kayaking, canoeing, or stand-up paddleboarding. You can bring your own equipment or rent them from local outfitters. Early mornings and evenings are our favorite times to be on the water, as it’s calmer and less busy. 
  5. Enjoy a bit of fishing on the lakes. You can either fish from local docks and shorelines or hire an experienced guide to take you on the lake. Make sure you get a fish license and follow all current regulations. 
Spirit Lake, Iowa this summer

7 More Things to do in Spirit Lake, Iowa

As great as Lake Okoboji and the other Great Lakes of Iowa are, there’s more to this beautiful area than the water.  The surrounding communities are quaint and charming. There’s plenty to see and do in this incredible area, from lakeside dining and shopping to golfing and wine tasting. Here are just a few of our top recommendations: 

  1. Summer evenings on Lake Okoboji are delightful, and there are plenty of ways to continue enjoying lakeside views as evening rolls in.  There are several great lakeside restaurants and patios to enjoy throughout your vacation. 
  2. There are plenty of great golf courses in the Lake Okoboji area, including Brooks Golf Club, Emerald Hills, Okoboji View, and Spencer Golf and Country Club
  3. Visit local wineries, including Little Swan Lake Winery, Round Lake Vineyards & Winery, and Prairie Coteau Wines
  4. Enjoy a bit of shopping in the local communities surrounding Lake Okoboji. 
  5. Take a hike in local parks, including Kettleson Hogsback Wildlife Area, The Interpretive Trail at Gull Point, and the Horseshoe Bend recreation area.
  6. Take a bike ride!  There are over 40 miles of paved trails and even more road routes to enjoy in the area. Wind your way around the lakes and through the communities, enjoying and an additional 50+ miles of signed road routes, too.
  7. Visit the incredible parks and nature preserves as you admire the scenery around Lake Okoboji and Spirit Lake. Popular parks include Gull Point State Park, Emerson Bay State Recreation Area, and Pikes Point State Park.

When you can’t possibly pack any more fun into your day, return to the comfortable accommodations and welcoming atmosphere of our local Select Registry lodging partner. From the first light in the morning, until your head hits the pillow in the evening, you’ll find every detail of your stay attended to, ensuring you have the getaway of a lifetime.  

There’s still plenty of summer days left. Read more about our lodging partner below, and then book your summer getaway to Lake Okoboji today!

Spirit Lake Iowa Bed and Breakfast

The Oakwood Inn Okoboji

Imagine yourself enjoying a weekend of tranquil bliss at The Oakwood Inn, located in the heart of the Iowa Great Lakes Region in Spirit Lake, IA.

Guests awaken to gorgeous morning views of the expansive gardens and oak savannah after a refreshing night’s rest. The delightful smells of breakfast, featuring heirloom recipes, and the Inn’s own coffee draw guests to the dining room, where a three-course gourmet breakfast awaits.

After a day of enjoying all Okoboji has to offer, come back to The Oakwood Inn and relax on your spacious veranda, walk-out patio, in The Den, or wander out to one of the many garden seating nooks. The peaceful sounds of the garden waterfall and stream are known to lull guests into complete relaxation.

lake house

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