Arrowood is a year-round conference center and hotel with over 100 guest rooms, whirlpool suites and a "Great Room" for hosting group events and hospitality suites. Formerly known as Village East, the resort offers an outdoor pool, deck, playground, volleyball and croquet courts and a heated indoor pool area. Hotel goers can also enjoy an on-site salon, Minervas Bar and Eatery and lit parking. Located on Brooks National Golf Course, Arrowwood Resort offers some of the finest lodging around. Years ago, Brooks Golf Course clubhouse was actually housed on the rear side of Arrowood, but since then, the course has been converted to 27 holes with a a new separate clubhouse. Also, the Racquet Club was a part of the facility, offering workout facilities, racquet ball, and tennis. However, with the addition of the YMCA, the racquet club was unsustainable and converted into retail.
The Family Diner is Spirit Lake, IA is a local favorite! They offer up a large portion for small money, but whether you come early or late you may be in for a wait. With homemade bread and the largest sausage patty you have seen, The Family Diner is consistently delicious. They are open only for breakfast and lunch and closed two days a week. In my former career at Stylecraft, the family diner was definately a favorite when our friends would visit from North Carolina. They were always inpressed with the bread and rolls and corn beef hash.
Omaha Beach is on the north end of Echo Bay, extending out into Omaha Point. Known for its secluded private access from Lakeshore Drive, Omaha Beach properties are some of the most sought after on West Lake, easily fetching over $15000 per linear foot of lakeshore.
The Dry Dock, connected to Four Season's Resort offers a simplified menu, but consistent delicious food. One of the few restaurants on West Lake Okoboji, the Dry Dock offers up legendary breakfasts, great lunches and dinners, and the local favorite Friday Night Fish Fry. Sit inside or out after arriving by foot, car, or boat.
Haywards Bay on West Lake Okoboji boasts low approaches and one of the few areas on West Lake to offer sand beaches. Renowned for the "bay of the flags", you will know you are in Haywards bay because of the all the American flags on the end of the docks. Fishing is great in Haywards Bay and the sunsets are one in a million. To get to Haywards Bay by car, one would drive the east side of the lake on Lakeshore Dr.
Referred to locally as the lake turning over the thermocline is a feature of lakes with deep water. The water on the top of the lake changes temperature much more variably during the year. On West Lake, it can reach as much as 75 degrees in July while the water below, greater than 35 or 40 feet deep is relatively stable around 45 degrees. In the fall and early winter, the top strata of the lake will cool to below 45 degrees, and then because it becomes denser, it will "sink" below the lower strata, thus, displacing it and making the lake "turn-over". In the deepest part of West Lake (near the 136ft mark), no light is availble, and hence little life is known whether fish or plant. Typically questions are raised as to why the surface water gets dirty for a short period of time in the fall, this this is the standard answer.
"The Tressle" bridge used to carry the old railroad that traversed the area. Now the tressle is home to some of the areas best fishing. Served as a hot spot for fisherman, and a trail for walkers and bikers, the tressle is a classic structure of the Okobojis. We spent days jumping off of the tressle doing cannonballs, preachers, flips and the like. I know in my life my friends and I have caught literally tens of thousands of crappie and blue gill off the tressle bridge.
For most leisure boaters in the Iowa Great Lakes, there are 2 main hot spots to go throw an anchor, sit back, and just relax. Sometimes this will result in numerous boats tying up to one another (you may not even know your neighbor), and sometimes it results in a little more privacy where you can chill just by yourself. Every weekend, boaters make the trek across the deepest parts of West Lake to either Gull Point (North AND South side) and Miller's Bay. Thought there are many other great areas to throw an anchor, relax, and swim, these are the two hot spots. If you aren't sure where to go on a Saturday afternoon or wonder where your friends might be, these two spots would be a good start.
Emerald Hills Golf Course is one of the premier golf courses in the Iowa Great Lakes. Golfers throughout Okoboji will tell you that compared to the rest of the golf courses around, Emerald Hills is probably the most challenging. When I grew up as a kid, we lived just a half block from the back side of the course. We would sneak on with a couple short little clubs and balls we found walking the course and sometimes spent more time being chased by the sprinklers than trying to hit golf balls. Emerald Hills was owned by Gordy and Bette Benit many years ago and they can be credited with growing this course into the masterpiece it has become. Later purchased by Randy Rohlfsen and a few others, Emerald has flourished as one of the best courses around. If memory serves me right, Randy has been there since the early 1990's and has always had a strong conviction to help young golfers. He has taught and coached numerous high school teams, and they also put on a 5 day junior camp every year which has been a tremendous hit. I grew up on this course and can honestly say, you better be hitting the ball straight!
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28 Dec, 2013 12:14 AM CST
28 Dec, 2013 12:14 AM CST
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