The Best Things to do in Okoboji in 2023

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

One of the best Things to do in Okoboji, IA, is hit the lake. Photo of a happy couple lounging on the lake

While the seven beautiful Great Lakes of Iowa are the biggest draw to our area, there’s plenty more to experience than just time on the water. The surrounding communities are quaint and charming—and are home to so many of the best things to do in Okoboji, including dining, shopping, golfing, wine tasting, and so much more. Our area is a popular vacation destination during the summer, so for those craving a particularly lively getaway, July and August will be your best bet. 

However, we’ve noticed that our area is also becoming a hot spot for couples hoping for a retreat with romance in mind. From the nostalgia of Arnolds Park Amusement Park, live concerts and classes at Pearson Lakes Art Center, and fine dining opportunities, you’ll find everything you need for a lovely getaway just for two. If that’s on your agenda, you’ll want to avoid the lakefront lodging properties and book a boutique hotel with bed and breakfast amenities. The best way to relax in Okoboji! 

With so many great things to do in Okoboji, you’ll want to pick a great place to make your home away from home. You’ll spend your days on the lake, golfing, hiking at the State Parks, or exploring the local attractions, so finding a peaceful place to unwind and relax in the mornings and evenings is essential. Don’t opt for a boring hotel room when you can stay at one of the most unique places in Iowa for a truly memorable getaway—that fantastic option is our romantic Hotel in Okoboji, IA, The Oakwood Inn. Check our upcoming availability and book your room today! 

The best things to do in Okoboji near our Hotel in Okoboji, IA, aerial photo of Arnolds amusement park

By the Seasons: The Best Things to do in Okoboji, IA

While Summertime is the most popular time to visit our resort town in Iowa’s Great Lakes region, there’s plenty to do all year round. If you come during the off-season, you’ll encounter fewer crowds and experience a more restful atmosphere. Not that the lively days of summer should be avoided, it just creates an entirely different getaway. Here we’ll break down the top three things to do in Okoboji each season.

Things to do in Okoboji this Spring:
  1. Pearson Lakes Art Center: Spring is the perfect time to explore your creative side. Sign up for an art or cooking class at this community arts hub, and keep an eye on their live concert series.
  2. Walleye Weekend: Each May, the Iowa Great Lakes Region celebrates the official fishing season for Walleye with a bang. Ten Walleyes are tagged, and anglers race to get the best catch!
  3. Hit the Links: With more than 82 unique holes, golfing is one of the best things to do in Okoboji in the spring. You could golf on a different, well-manicured course each day of your stay! If you only have time for one, don’t miss Brooks Golf Club.
Must-do Summer Activities in Okoboji:
  1. Cruising on the Lake: Getting out on the water is a must during the height of summer. For those hoping to rent a boat as a guest at our Hotel in Okoboji, IA, we recommend contacting Extreme Watersports, Okoboji Boatworks, or Boat Okoboji Rentals. 
  2. Lakefront Dining: While there are lovely restaurants in Okoboji all year, there are only a few warm-weather options not to miss. Be sure to check out O’Farrell Sisters and Prime Boji. 
  3. Okoboji Summer Theater: Catching a show here is a time-honored tradition in the Iowa Great Lakes Region. The professional summer stock theatre company has been delighting audiences for decades—and it’s only about a 10-minute walk from our hotel in Okoboji, IA!
Best Things to do in Okoboji this Fall:
  1. Hiking at the State Parks: While hiking in this area is fantastic in spring and summer, there’s something particularly magical about hitting the trails as the green leaves turn to autumn’s golden and crimson hues. Check out the West Lake Trail, which connects Gull Point State Park, Lakeside Lab, Emerson Bay Recreation area, and Garlock Slough. Our Hotel in Okoboji, IA, is directly next to the intricate trails system in the area. 
  2. Wine Tasting at Round Pond Vineyards: One of the most relaxing things to do in Okoboji is planning a trip to our favorite local winery, Round Pond Vineyards. Enjoy a flight of their unique wines, tour the beautiful vineyards (incredibly scenic in the fall), and grab a meal at the on-site restaurant. 
  3. Romance at Arnolds Park Amusement Park: Avoid the summer crowds and head to soak up the nostalgia in the autumn at this iconic amusement park on the lake. Hop aboard the Queen II steamboat and cruise the lake. 
Winter Activities in Okoboji:
  1. Okoboji Winter Games: Brining more than 30,000 visitors to the Iowa Great Lakes region in the winter, this annual festival is full of the best things to do in Okoboji. There’s something for everyone, from high-flying kites and snowmen to ice skating and the broomball tournament. 
  2. Antiques and Shopping: Unique specialty shops and antique stores feature beach attire, home décor, garden art, and second-hand treasures tucked away along the shores of the Iowa Great Lakes.
  3. Okoboji Classic Car Museum: You’ll find more than 70 classic vehicles restored to their prime at this local museum. There are also classic cars for sale if you’re interested in adding to your own collection.
The best things to do in Okoboji, IA, this year, photo of our Hotel in Okoboji, IA

The Most Delightful Hotel in Okoboji, IA

Now that your itinerary is filled with all the greatest things to do in Okoboji this year, we can’t wait to be your hosts at the best boutique hotel in Okoboji, IA. With only eleven modern and freshly renovated guest rooms, you’ll never encounter crowds or unwanted noise at our Inn. 

Each romantic guest room is thoughtfully appointed and outfitted with a broad range of amenities, including things like fireplaces, patios, luxurious Comphy linens, and Aveda bath products. Some choice suites also have in-room whirlpool tubs for that added touch of romance and intimate time together at our Hotel in Okoboji, IA

Along with your private room, you’ll have access to our indoor shared spaces and our expansive grounds, which are absolutely lovely year-round and feature delightful gardens with a historic burr oak savannah remnant. Our beautiful green space attracts local wildlife and birds for mornings of nature gazing, always paired with our daily breakfast service and freshly brewed coffee. Book your room today! 

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