Arnolds Park is in the center of the Iowa Great Lakes resort region. It is home to a historic amusement park, also called Arnolds Park, which features Legend, An ACE Coaster Landmark. Legend, which carried its first riders in 1927, is believed to be the 13th oldest wooden roller coaster in the U.S. In 2012 the amusement park was selected as one of the fifteen best in the Midwest region by Midwest Living magazine.
Other major landmarks of the city include the Central Emporium shopping mall, the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum and the Iowa Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame.
Located in Arnolds Park is the Abbie Gardner Sharp Cabin Museum, the site of the 1857 "Spirit Lake Massacre", a violent conflict between European settlers and Native Americans. Next to the cabin is Pillsbury Point State Park.
You can't come to the Lakes Area, and not go to Arnolds Perk. This whimiscal little coffee shops is always very busy in the summers, and rightfully so; their coffee is amazing! They also have breakfast, lunch, and their ever famous cupcakes, along with their coffee drinks. Located just across the street from the Arnolds Park amusement park, its the perfect place to stop at on your vacation in the mornings!
I had the opportunity and privilege to work at Triggs for 4 years in my high school and college years. Jim Triggs and Mike May run one of the best family resorts in the Lakes Area. The resort has 48 condo style units that are continually updated and maintained immaculately. It truly is a family resort as most units are rented each week every year by the same families. People really begin to know each other and I had a great time getting to know all of the families better each year. We always looked forward to seeing them each year and catching up. Triggs offers boat/watercraft rentals, 4 gas docks, boat hoists for rent, an outdoor pool, a daily groomed beach, game room, and many more great amenities. If you are planning a vacation to Okoboji, I highly encourage you to call early and see if you can get a reservation at Triggs Bay Resort. You will not be disappointed.
Riddle Me That is a brand new escape room in Arnolds Park. Its an awesome place to bring the family for a thrill, or the perfect team building activity for the office. The goal is to find clues, solve the mystery, and escape the room before the time runs out. Perfect for a rainy summer day, or just a day you need a little adventure in your life!
Best food in town? We sure think so. Rabab has outdone herself here in the Central Emporium! This upscale, fine dining restaurant will not disappoint. She offers Mediterranean and American dishes. The food is the best part, but Rabab's also has arguably one of the best views, overlooking beautiful West Okoboji lake. Not only is her food extraordinary, she offers an extensive selection of fine wines and cocktails.
This new business to the lakes area is sure to be a hit! Arnold's Bark-ery makes healthy, fresh made snacks for all of the lucky dogs in the surrounding Okoboji area. They also provide natural, and holistic pet foods in their shop. A fun place to bring your dog to shop, as well as a place to get them groomed. What a fun addition to the area!
The Hutt may be a newer restaurant in the Lakes area, but they bring a big presence with them. A former owner of the Dry Dock, is the new owner of The Hutt. She has made this restaurant a great attraction to locals and tourists, being open year round. Having traditional american food means The Hutt is appealing to all! Don't miss out on their tasty breakfast during the summer, and their bloody mary's!
The ever popular country bar in Des Moines is now a staple bar in the Okoboji area. The only bar of its kind in the area is always a good time in the summer. Their rustic country feel, and country music always blasting on the TV's is sure to create a good time for anyone visiting the area. With a huge bar, and great indoor/outdoor atmosphere, this is one bar you don't want to miss!
Animal House of Okoboji, themed after the movie, is a young men's and women's clothing store, offering surf brands, and trendy clothes perfect for summer! They have a never ending array of shoes and flip flops, as well as swim suits, for your summers in Okoboji. Its located in the Central Emporium, so don't miss out while you're here visiting the lake.
As the only frozen yogurt place in the Lakes Area, BonBon has made quite the name for itself! We wait for the day it opens, and try to go weekly throughout the summer. This self serve froyo shop is sure to put a smile on anyone's face, with the array of toppings, and flavors, that are changing from week to week! It satisfies your sweet tooth, while still being healthy, which is a major win win for me.
Bracco World Cafe brings you to the beach, and tropics; you almost forget that you're in Iowa, and not in Mexico! They have the best exotic drink menu anywhere in town. This family owned restaurant has a menu like no other, featuring Island, Asian, and American cuisine. They offer a casual atmosphere for coming right off the boat. Bracco also has a large bar area, complete with sand, and hammock chair beach chairs, to ensure ultimate relaxation.
Boji Tattoo is a very welcoming tattoo place in the Lakes Area. Offering very competitive pricing for tattoos and piercings, Boji Tattoo is a great place for your next piece of ink. You can rest assured that Boji Tattoo is a sterile, clean environment. Their needles are a one time use, and all tools are sterilized after each customer. They have extensive tattoo ideas in their shop, as well as body jewelry to buy.
16 cent beers, need I say more? Make sure you're here at exactly 3:16 pm, and you'll get your fill of 16 cent beers for a whole hour! Then, they go up $1 every hour after that. Table 316 also has great steak, and appetizer deals at 3:16 pm as well. We bring all of our friends here to have a good time, and grab beers before going out on the lake for the rest of the afternoon.