Siouxland, where the living is easy at the Lakes, Arnolds Park

3 Jul

I lived in the Siouxland area close to 12 years now, and until this year, had never visited the Iowa Lakes Region in northwest Iowa. It is only a 2-hour drive north, through pretty farm country and then into the lakes area. In the summer time, the lakes area is where people go to play, for families and singles. The area around Arnolds Park, East and West Okoboji and other areas are highly developed. According to history, this area has been popular a long time as a place to get away and relax. The amusement park has been a magnet for decades, as well as the lakes, where people constantly boat. My second visit this past week saw storm clouds and intermittent rain showers pass over the area. It looked dark and foreboding, reminding me more of England and images I have seen of it that of sunny Iowa, corn fields and a Field of Dreams. Personally, I liked the dark clouds, and overcast skies. I like summer, but not as much as fall and early spring. The wind gusts in the area that day were 30-40 miles an hour, maybe more. There were whitecaps on Lake Okoboji. And being early in the week, fewer people. Crowds are okay, but large crowds are not a favorite of mine.

The communities surrounding the lakes though are highly developed. Some might think overly developed. Like a university town during school, these communities overflow with humanity in the summer. Rental cabins are compressed into what space there is. Even shoreline homes are shoe horned next to one another. It is a cozy feeling. So many people trying to just get away from whatever daily routines they have to enjoy themselves and relax. People I know have family rituals and talk about their childhood memories of visiting the lake. They now take their children to the lakes region, creating another set of childhood memories and passing on the tradition. However like many popular places to get away too, sometimes prices are steep, but worth it. Real estate in the area I am told has increasingly gone up. People talk of previously owning places around the lake, now just visit, becoming more like nomads without a permanent residence.

But it is a nice place to visit. Welcoming, friendly, truly an Iowa place that tells its neighbor to stop on by and have a cup of coffee. I can see the allure, and will be making more trips to visit myself. Sometimes wondering why I waited so long, but know that I will return. One weekend I plan to watch the crowd and see the surge of humanity that flocks to the lakes with people everywhere, just getting away and forgetting the outside world for a few hours or a weekend.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

5 Responses to “Siouxland, where the living is easy at the Lakes, Arnolds Park”

  1. Bijit Dutta July 3, 2014 at 11:03 am #


    • jerrymennenga September 27, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

      Thank you. There are little gems in the “backyard” one can find if you take the time. Jerry

  2. agradecimento a deus por um amor October 10, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    Divirta-se onde você está, com que você possui, sendo do arte que é.
    Gratulação não é apenas reconhecer valor com alguma coisa,
    é também saber fazer bom proveito de tudo aquilo que a vida apenas
    proporciona desde bom.

    • jerrymennenga October 14, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

      I am not certain of the complete translation, but I believe art is what one sees and that is different for everyone as we all see differently.



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