Get Nostalgic at Arnolds Park Amusement Park

The Oakwood Inn is a Select Registry Bed and Breakfast Inn located in Okoboji near Spirit Lake.

Photo of Arnolds Park Amusement Park near our Hotel in Okoboji, IA

One of the most iconic attractions in our area is Arnolds Park Amusement Park on Lake Okoboji. The historic 20-acre site offers visitors and locals 23 rides, including one of the oldest wooden coasters, music venues, museums, boat rides, carnival games, and so much more. Spending the day at Arnolds Park Amusement Park offers people of all ages a way to connect with their inner child, experience some thrills, and create special memories. 

The history of Arnolds Park Amusement Park dates back to as far as 1864 when Wesley Arnold purchased the property on the lake. He began welcoming large tourist parties from the nearby cities to his property to experience Lake Okoboji. When Arnold passed away in 1905, he willed the site to his three daughters, two of whom, along with their husbands, began developing more aspects of an amusement park.

Many people remember visiting the park as kids—why not re-live some of those fond memories as an adult on a romantic getaway? 

While there are many lodging options near the amusement park, one of the best places to stay is our boutique hotel in Okoboji, IA, about five minutes from Arnolds Park. We’re an adults-only resort, so for those of you joining us for a romantic retreat, a ride on the Ferris wheel or an outdoor concert at the park is the perfect (child-free) addition!

When you choose our intimate bed-and-breakfast-style Inn, you’ll be set back from the hustle and bustle of the park area, away from the crowds, have the most serene accommodations, and be treated to a beautiful morning meal. Reserve your room at The Oakwood Inn today! 

Head to Arnolds Park Amusement Park near our Hotel in Okoboji, IA

Spend the Day at Arnolds Park Amusement Park

Throughout its nearly 135-year history, the park has seen highs and lows and was almost entirely demolished in 1999. Thankfully nostalgia won and a “Save the Park” campaign was incredibly successful, and Arnolds Park Amusement Park has since seen multiple upgrades, restorations, and additions to the roster of activities at the park. 

Here are eight fantastic things to do at Arnolds Park Amusement Park

  1. Hit the Thrill Rides: There are more than 20 rides to choose from at the park, from intense roller coasters and high-flying adventures to the classic tilt-a-whirl and carousel. Be sure to head to the Legend Roller Coaster first. 
  2. Test Your Luck at the Carnival Games: As you enter Arnolds Park Amusement Park, you can’t miss the tunnel of carnival games. Winning a giant stuffed animal is still a romantic gesture, no matter your age! 
  3. Ride the Queen II: Perhaps as famous as the park itself, the Queen II is a classic boat ride on Lake Okoboji. We prefer the latest sailing for a lovely evening ride during the summer. 
  4. Check out the Maritime Museum: View rare artifacts and antique wooden boats, and immerse yourself in the history of the Iowa Great Lakes Region. Enjoy one of the walking tours with knowledgeable guides.
  5. Catch a Show at the Rooftop Garden Ballroom: As one of the best music venues at Lake Okoboji, there’s nothing quite like watching a fantastic live show on the rooftop. They welcome a diverse mix of entertainment and performers to the stage. 
  6. Live at the Lake at Preservation Plaza: Grab a free summer show at Arnolds Park Amusement Park. The outdoor venue is great for dancing and relaxing!
  7. Grab an Iconic Chocolate Covered Banana: No visit would be complete to the park without stopping by the Nutty Bar Stand, a staple since 1949. You’ll find an excellent selection of food options to keep you going throughout your visit. 
  8. Head Down to the Beach and Lakefront: Not every amusement park offers visitors a free trip to the beach! Pop down to the sandy strip on Lake Okoboji and dip your toes in the water. Or, if you want to get out on the water, they offer clear-bottom boats and jet ski rentals. 
photo of the back patio at our Hotel in Okoboji, IA, near Arnolds Park Amusement Park

The Best Hotel in Okoboji, IA, for Your Next Adventure

Our elegant and intimate hotel in Okoboji, IA, The Oakwood Inn, offers visitors to our busy tourist area a quiet place to stay off the beaten path. We’re adults-only, so you won’t encounter unexpected noise or crowds. We’re centrally located and close to everything, including Arnolds Park Amusement Park. However, you’d never know it as you explore our stunning garden grounds and relax on our outdoor patio by the fire—best enjoyed in the evenings with a glass of wine. 

Inside our beautifully and recently remodeled hotel in Okoboji, we offer plenty of shared spaces for couples and friends to spend quality time together over a game of pool, a favorite movie, or just catching up. In your private suite, you’ll have everything you need for a restful and romantic getaway. Comfortable king or queen-size beds, beautiful en suite baths (choice rooms have double air-jetted tubs), and plenty of modern amenities. 

A homemade and thoughtfully prepared breakfast is included with your stay each morning. It’s one less thing to worry about! Join us in our bright, airy dining room for our favorite sweet and savory recipes. We can’t wait to host you at the best hotel in Okoboji, IA! Book your lodging today. 

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