West Okoboji Harbor

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Area Insights

Gary's on the River

Gary's on the River in Spencer

Gary's is newly owned by Rabab, and sure to keep your taste buds coming back for more. The menu still features classic American comfort food, as well as some of Rabab's Mediterranean favorites. This comfortable, yet classy restaurant is perfect for date night, or family night. Gary's features their ever popular "pizza night" on Thursdays and Fridays, which is always amazing, and their "pasta night" on Wednesdays, which is sure to keep you full all night!

The Barefoot Bar

The Barefoot Bar in Okoboji

Arguably the most iconic spot in all of the lakes area, Barefoot Bar is the one place you must visit when you're here for the summer. They have the best blended drinks, as well as every other cocktail you can think of, served in their signature cups. Its the perfect place on the lake to sit back and relax with friends, while enjoying the view, and all of the palm trees. Barefoot Bar also has a menu, to enjoy some food while you're soaking in the sun. Its even the perfect place for kids, with a full swing set, and even a slide that goes right into the lake!

SpudNutz

SpudNutz in Okoboji

Spudnutz is great

Okoboji Commons

Okoboji Commons in Okoboji

Check out Okoboji's newest urban metro hotel, the Okoboji Commons. Featuring 71 guest rooms, a meeting room that can hold up to 125 people. Conveniently located next to the bike trail, Brooks Golf Course, Okoboji Summer Theatre, and many Okoboji attractions. The hotel grounds are immaculate featuring gas fire pits, a gazebo, a large deck overlooking East Lake, a sand beach with hammocks, fire pits and a new dock to tie up your boat. Check out Okoboji Commons next time you are vacationing in Okoboji, you will not be disappointed!

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!

Boji Toes

Boji Toes in Arnolds Park

If you're visiting the lakes area, and want to be pampered, Boji Toes gives the best pedicures in town! Also offering manicures, from traditional to shellac, as well as waxing, they really take pampering to the next level. I also know that they love to get male clients, and will even offer them a beer! Talk about great service!

The Three Sons

The Three Sons in Milford

Founded in 1960, the Three Sons has been a staple of Milford, IA retail. From Herman and Emil Richter, owners, was born the University of Okoboji, a ficticious university that calls the entire Iowa Great Lakes the campus of the U of O. Part of the experience of shopping the three sons, if walking the old battered floors, and taking a trip upstairs for half price, plus a buck. Brands you would expect in Milford Iowa are abundant, such as Patagonia, Oakley, Under Armour, Tommy Bahama, and more. There are currently 2 other stores; one at the amusement park, and another near the Regal Beagle called the bridge store. No self-respecting visitor to Okoboji leaves without visiting one of their stores.

Arnolds Park Amusement Park

Arnolds Park Amusement Park in Arnolds Park

Having lived in Okoboji all my life, there are a wealth of memories of Arnolds Park. I, like many of the locals, miss the nostalgia of the old Roof Garden, the fun house, the water slide and much, much more. With time comes change, and the amusement park continues to reinvent itself. Currently with over 20 rides to choose from, the family is sure to have a good time. The main attraction, The Legend Roller Coaster, is the 7th oldest coaster in the United States and apparently the 13th oldest in the world. Reaching speeds of up to 50 mph, the roller coaster has undergone substantial renovations in the last year. In front of the amusement park on West Lake is the Queen II excursion boat, and Pirate Jacks Bar. The sunsets here are unparalleled. If you have a chance to visit, make sure to check out the tipsy house, the three sons, and all of the shops. Just to the east is the green space, which provides great entertainment and in 2013 OAR came to play, which is a pretty big name for Okoboji.

Hidden Gem

Hidden Gem in Ayrshire

Beautiful views and living on the lake without all the other commotion. Silver Lake in Ayrshire is a great place to find tranquility with every day life. Boating, fishing and friendly neighbors is what you will find in this hidden gem.

Humane Society of NW Iowa

Humane Society of NW Iowa in Milford

The Humane Society of NW Iowa is an amazing non-profit organization in the lakes area. They are a no-kill shelter, run on donations from locals, and special events in the area throughout the year. The facility has started "PAWS with a Cause," a program that gives back to the community, by bringing animals to care facilities in the area, as well as provide a program for the youth in the area to teach them about how to be a responsible pet owner.

Lisa's Bakery

Lisa's Bakery in Spirit Lake

New to Spirit Lake is Lisa's Bakery. We have heard wonderful reviews of her caramel and cinnamon rolls and has a variety of other bakery goods. Set up for convenience, Lisa’s Bakery also offers a variety of take and bake meals for the busy working family or a nice break for the stay at home mom who wants a healthy satisfying meal for her family without having to be in the kitchen for hours. This place is all about convenience with a new fun twist on getting home cooked meals from Lisa's table to yours.

Beware the (I'll get your home sold in a week) agent

Beware the (I'll get your home sold in a week) agent in The

I hear this one all the time from prospects looking to list their house. "Well, agent xyz told us that if we listed with her, she'd have it sold in a week." This would fall into the category of "If it sounds too good to be true, the probably is." The majority of agents are not going to make this claim, but rather will give you an honest market analysis, inform you as to how weak or strong the market is, especially the market in which your home resides, and present the objective facts. A good agent will then lay out an effective marketing plan, where the majority of the focus should be on "online marketing". Be careful to not get caught up in empty promises, reduced commissions, and being talked in to lowering your price below market value (unless you must have a quick sale). The key to choosing a good listing agent is to objectively determine who is going to provide you the best opportunity to sell your home. Will your listing agent also aggressively work to find buyers, or will they just list your home and wait for another agent to do the work.

 

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