Wake up near the water at these wonderful waterfront resorts.
Spend a day on the water at Honey Creek Resort in Moravia. Rent a motorboat or pontoon and enjoy 11,000-acre Lake Rathbun. Or find adventure in a rented kayak, jet ski or stand up paddleboard. Make shore-side memories at the resort’s beach, or explore trails that weave through Honey Creek State Park that surrounds the resort. Bikes and helmets are available at no charge. Kids, especially, love Buccaneer Bay Indoor Waterpark that entertains with a waterslide, lazy river and large hot tub.
Finish a fun-filled day with a meal at Lakeshore Grille that overlooks the lake. Then curl up with a book next to the lodge’s large, two-sided fireplace, or enjoy a sunset game of golf on the 18-hole championship course.
Stay in the main lodge by the lake or relax in one of the resort’s 28 luxury cabins. Each is equipped with a full kitchen, wrap-around deck and living room fireplace.
Stay in one of King's Pointe's 104 guest rooms, many of which overlook picturesque Storm Lake, or get away in the nearby Sunrise Pointe Cottages. These two-story cottages provide all the comforts of a home, while fire pits and large decks preserve the outdoor experience. Practice putt-putt at Pirates’ Pointe Mini Golf. Or, take a swing at Sunrise Pointe Golf Course, a newly renovated, nine-hole course. Both golfing experiences are part of the resort.
King’s Pointe delights guests with both an indoor and outdoor waterpark. The outdoor waterpark features five waterslides, two diving boards, Spray Island and Kiddie Castle, and kiddie water slides for little swimmers. The indoor park has three water slides, a water playground, a lazy river and a snack shack. If you still haven't gotten enough of the water, walk down to the nearby beach and park, featuring state-of-the-art playground equipment and a lighthouse with picturesque lake views.
Enjoy a grown-up getaway at Lakeside Hotel and Casino in Osceola where more than 600 slot machines and several table games make this casino on West Lake a dreamboat for gamers. You can bet the food at the Heartland Café and Buffet, which is connected to the casino, is fit for a king. Visit on a Friday for Crab Leg night, or dine on steak each Saturday evening. Summer is the best time to catch a show at the outdoor theater. Located along the lake, it is the site of live music and beautiful sunsets.
Listen from grassy hillside seating or from a hotel room, many of which have lakefront and amphitheater views. Three boat docks and several shoreline fishing spots let visitors make memories on the water.
4. Lakeside Inn
The only hotel located along the shores of Clear Lake, the Lakeside Inn offers all guests lakefront rooms. Take advantage of the private dock, perfect for boating and fishing. Put on those dancing shoes and swing by The Landing Patio Bar and Grill, a waterfront restaurant that hosts live music on Friday nights during the summer and cleverly serves dinner in a steel bucket.
Want to be in the middle of the action? The spacious, lakeside condos at West Oaks Resort in Arnolds Park are literally steps away from some of the best Okoboji area attractions – Arnolds Park Amusement Park, Queen’s Court shopping, the Emporium and downtown bars and restaurants. If that isn’t enough, lakeside units have a to-die-for view of Okoboji sunsets and you can watch all of the boating action from the large decks.
The fully-furnished condos come outfitted with a full kitchen, living room, master bedroom with jacuzzi tub and two additional bedrooms. The resort offers a private indoor and outdoor pool, game room and free canoe/paddleboat rentals.
Nestled between the beautiful 27-hole Brooks National Golf Club and the scenic Iowa Great Lakes, Arrowwood Resort in Okoboji promises a memorable getaway. Spend a day outside swimming, boating or paddling at the lake, or stay indoors to explore Water Playland. Dodge water cannons, slip down the frog slide and score a basket. The playland is separated into two age-specific sections.
No trip here is complete without dining at the on-site Minerva's Restaurant and Bar. With several award-winning dishes, it’s the place for pasta, steak and seafood. Come for a specialty night like Art of Pasta on Tuesdays where you can build you own pasta bowl. Sundays feature a Breakfast Extravaganza.
A stay at Fillenwarth Beach Resort includes a complimentary cruise aboard one of two 49-foot, custom-made cruisers on popular West Lake Okoboji. Or, set sail on your own with free access to the resort’s sailboats, rowboats, paddleboats and canoes. The resort also provides slips for visitors who bring their own watercraft.
The resort provides guests with accommodations ranging from lakefront chateaus, studios and penthouses to a collection of cottages, duplexes and apartments. Each offers various amenities, including kitchenettes, tennis courts, beach access, picnic areas and more.
Five on-site restaurants mean guests never go hungry. Lounge under a colorful umbrella at the island-themed Bracco Waterfront Grill and Island Bar or try out the swim-up bar in the summer.
Activities abound at the resort, including the SkyRyder Zipline that sails adventurers backwards to over 110 feet high. Stop for a moment to take in the spectacular lake views before plunging back down the line at 40 mph. Boji Splash indoor waterpark provides more subdued fun with a lazy river, waterslides and water cannons. Keep the kiddos busy in the arcade or reel one in at the on-site private fishing pond (no fishing license needed).
Although technically on the shores of a river, adventure still awaits at the Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark in Dubuque. Guest rooms overlook the historic downtown or the mighty Mississippi. Enjoy an on-site meal at Tony Roma’s Restaurant and Lounge that also offers river views.
The resort’s 25,000-square-foot Mississippi River-themed water park entertains families with waterslides, tube rides, rope ladders and a lazy river. Stand below the “Four Story Splash” that’s perched atop the Huck Finn II Tree House. Every eight minutes, this gigantic bucket dumps 350 gallons of water on squealing, giddy kids.