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Field Trip: Explore Iowa’s Great Lakes region


Iowa’s northwestern Great Lakes region — sometimes referred to simply as “Okoboji” — offers endless summer fun for salty sailors and land-lovers alike. Take in a drive-in movie, visit a classic car or maritime museum, or simply spend the day sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing or swimming until the sun goes down.

Distance from Iowa City: 285 miles, about 5 hours
Nearby: Spirit Lake, Arnolds Park, Milford, Lake Park, Wahpeton

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Thrill

Built in 1930, the Legend Roller Coaster at Arnolds Park Amusement Park is the 13th oldest wooden roller coaster in the world.

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Learn

Okoboji is home to the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, which offers science and ecology classes and community outreach, as well as awesome “science cabins” and hiking trails.

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Awe

The Grotto of the Redemption, located about an hour south of the Great Lakes, is built entirely of petrified wood, agates, geodes, jasper, quartz, calcite, azurite and other precious stones. The largest man-made Grotto in the world, it is sometimes referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

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Learn more:

www.vacationokoboji.com
www.okoboji.com
www.iagreatlakes.com
www.westbendgrotto.com
www.arnoldspark.com
www.lakesidelab.org

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Photos and words by Dawn Frary
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 181
 

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