Upper Gar Lake

Upper Gar Lake, area Community

Upper Gar Lake is connected to  Lake Minnewashta and East Lake Okoboji.  Known for its 5 mph speed zone, Upper Gar offers boaters a chance to slow down the pace, putz through and enjoy the scenery as much natural shoreline exists here.  The living on this lake consists mostly of condos and seasonal homes in areas such as Lakewood Park.  The great thing about upper gar is that it still provides you access to all of the other lakes, and you can walk just a few blocks to the Amusement Park and the Emporium.  Upper Gar offers the most affordable condo living as well.  Condos range from about $200000 to $325000.  Single family homes are not abundant and rarely come available.

The following is from the Iowa Great Lakes Water Safety Council:

 

Upper Gar Lake connects the south bay of East Okoboji Lake to Minnewashta Lake. At 37 acres, Upper Gar is the smallest of the Iowa Great Lakes chain. This lake is basically a shallow channel connecting two larger bodies of water. The average depth of Upper Gar is 3.5 feet, therefore warranting a maximum 5-mph speed limit on the lake. At its Northern end

Upper Gar Lake connects to East Lake Okoboji at the Hinshaw Bridge (near Trigg’s Resort) and at the Southern end it connects to Lake Minnewashta at the Sawmill Bridge. The Gar Lakes were named for their outlet known as Gar Outlet. This was because schools of Gars, a type of fish, were working their way upstream. Originally, there were three lakes known as the Gar lakes, forming a chain about two miles in length, and were called Upper, Middle, and Lower Gar Lakes. Around 1900, the name Middle Gar was changed to “Minnewashta,” which is Dakotah for good or nice.

 

Area Insights

Arnolds's Bark-ery and Grooming

Arnolds's Bark-ery and Grooming in Arnolds Park

Arnold's Bark-ery and Grooming is a great place to take your fur babies for their "puppy spa day!' Not only do they offer grooming services but they have a great boutique full of yummy treats and accessories. You can even order certain treats for holidays!

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Boji Roots Salon

Boji Roots Salon in Milford

Go check out Boji Roots Salon in Milford! Sherri does an amazing job of doing exactly what you ask and is very good at giving you ideas on new trends. The salon it's self to so cute inside! She also offers a great supply of products for you to purchase so you can feel like your at the salon even at home. Sherri is very flexible and also fast! When you are very busy its great knowing you wont be sitting at the salon for hours!

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Rolling Oaks Barn

Rolling Oaks Barn in Spirit Lake

The Rolling Oaks Barn is an authentic barn that has been restored. This century old barn is available for rent for all of your event needs. The upper level is the events area where the lower level is a full service bar and is open weekly and on the weekends.

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Allure & Co.

Allure & Co. in Spirit Lake

Allure & Co. is a great one stop shop with many businesses all in one building! Home decor, rugs, furniture, lighting, a yoga studio, photographer, hair salon, massage and a coffee shop all under one roof! They offer so many great brands to provide some great shopping in the lakes area. The staff is very friendly which makes it a fun place to shop.

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Cafe Esteam

Cafe Esteam in Spirit Lake

This new coffee shop is located in the Allure & Co. downtown Spirit Lake. They offer amazing coffee, smoothies and homemade baked goods. This is a great addition to the community!

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The Boonedocks

The Boonedocks in Arnolds Park

The Boonedocks is your one-stop-shop! They have it all. Full selection of beer, wine, grocery items, and of course gasoline. Located right in Arnolds Park!

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The Ritz

The Ritz in Arnolds Park

Best pizza in town with an amazing view! Dock the boat and stop in the Ritz for a pizza and cold beverages. They offer live bands in the summer and during winter games! The Ritz offers a breakfast buffet and an amazing bloody mary bar on Sundays! Make sure to stop in when you are in town.

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The Gardens

The Gardens in Arnolds Park

Great food, fantastic lake views, and amazing service. The Gardens has it all. Stop in and have a cold beverage on the deck and listen to some of the best live music in the area. Located in the Central Emporium in Arnolds Park the Gardens puts you in the middle of all the summer action. Make sure to stop in and enjoy one of the best bars in the area!

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Taco House

Taco House in Milford

A home town favorite! The Taco House is a hidden gem in the Great Lakes area. If your looking for delicious Mexican food give this a try. Taco House is not open during the winter months but you are able to put in a freezer order before they close to satisfy your craving on those cold days. Whatever you decide to order don't forget the Taco House hot sauce, you won't be disappointed.

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Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Music Association

Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Music Association in Arnolds Park

The Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Music Association is a state-wide nonprofit dedicated to preserving the legacy of rock 'n' roll and the history of music in the state of Iowa. The museum opened in 2003. The museum allows visitors to discover the history of music within the state of Iowa. They also have the Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. All the inductees for the year are announced in January. Over labor day weekend in Arnolds Park there is a celebration with a ceremony introducing the inductees and also a concert.

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Ruthven Meat Locker

Ruthven Meat Locker in Spirit Lake

Ruthven Meat Locker located downtown Spirit Lake. They offer a wide variety of quality fresh and award-winning smokes retail meats along with seasoning rubs and cheeses. You cant go wrong with the "locker trash" it definitely makes the best boat snack!

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Bobs in Arnolds Park

Bobs in Arnolds Park in Arnolds Park

Bobs in Anrolds Park is famous for the Bobs dog. This is a place the whole family will enjoy. You will be able to enjoy an old fashion maid rite, hot dog, and don't forget the amazing shakes! Located right in the heart of all the action in Arnolds Park you will be able to park the boat and walk up to Bobs. Eat on the patio over looking West Lake or take your meal to go and enjoy it on the boat!

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