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Okoboji, IA, USA

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Okoboji Lake, what a cool name for a lake, uh? The name is derived from the language of the Sioux Indians and is loosely translated as a "place of rest," "field of grass" and "spreading out”, which is appropriate. There is a chain of six natural lakes covering over 12,000 acres and has nearly 70 miles of shoreline.  These beautiful lakes are the result of a geological movement that occurred over 14,000 years ago. As the earth warmed and the glaciers began their retreat from across what is now considered America, the underlying earth was sculpted with unimaginable power and beauty. The result was a fashioning of the landscape now known as the Iowa Great Lakes. As a matter of fact, West Lake Okoboji is one of only three blue water lakes in the world. It is spring fed and 136 feet deep.

Tourists and visitors journey to this area to enjoy the many activities available as well as to embrace the sheer beauty of the landscape. As you might imagine, water recreational opportunities, from boating to sailing to various water sports, are boundless. Lake Okoboji and her sister lakes are teeming with trophy fish such as walleye, northern pike muskellunge, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, crappie, and bluegill.

Okoboji is a major summer tourism area. A growing number of resorts around the Iowa Great Lakes and the proximity of other tourist-friendly sites, such as Arnolds Park and Spirit Lake, have contributed to its growing popularity.

Okoboji has also become a recognizable name around the country due to the sales of many products that proudly display the town name in bold letters. Visitors to Okoboji will immediately notice bumper stickers, mugs and sweatshirts touting the fictitious University of Okoboji where many locals claim to have received an education. University of Okoboji T-shirts or sweatshirts are popular with college students in the Midwest.

The waters of the Iowa Great Lakes have comforted, thrilled, and given joy to endless processions of vacationers. The Iowa Great Lakes chain is one of the largest tourist destinations in the state, attracting more than a million visitors annually. Families have made this their summer vacation destination for generations. That is why the area, collectively referred to as Okoboji, has come to be known as the land of lakes and family fun.

From the beautiful lakes to the many historic landmarks, the rich traditions of the past coupled with  a forward look to the future will hopefully encourage future generations of visitors to come and experience all the Okobji has to offer.

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