Upper Gar Lake

 ----------Upper Gar Lake, area Community

Upper Gar Lake is connected to  Lake Minnewashta and East Lake Okoboji.  Known for its 5 mph speed zone, Upper Gar offers boaters a chance to slow down the pace, putz through and enjoy the scenery as much natural shoreline exists here.  The living on this lake consists mostly of condos and seasonal homes in areas such as Lakewood Park.  The great thing about upper gar is that it still provides you access to all of the other lakes, and you can walk just a few blocks to the Amusement Park and the Emporium.  Upper Gar offers the most affordable condo living as well.  Condos range from about $200000 to $325000.  Single family homes are not abundant and rarely come available.

The following is from the Iowa Great Lakes Water Safety Council:

 

Upper Gar Lake connects the south bay of East Okoboji Lake to Minnewashta Lake. At 37 acres, Upper Gar is the smallest of the Iowa Great Lakes chain. This lake is basically a shallow channel connecting two larger bodies of water. The average depth of Upper Gar is 3.5 feet, therefore warranting a maximum 5-mph speed limit on the lake. At its Northern end

Upper Gar Lake connects to East Lake Okoboji at the Hinshaw Bridge (near Trigg’s Resort) and at the Southern end it connects to Lake Minnewashta at the Sawmill Bridge. The Gar Lakes were named for their outlet known as Gar Outlet. This was because schools of Gars, a type of fish, were working their way upstream. Originally, there were three lakes known as the Gar lakes, forming a chain about two miles in length, and were called Upper, Middle, and Lower Gar Lakes. Around 1900, the name Middle Gar was changed to “Minnewashta,” which is Dakotah for good or nice.

 

Area Insights

Healthy Living Program Center Spirit Lake

Healthy Living Program Center Spirit Lake in Spirit Lake

Healthy Living Program Center Spirit Lake
802 Lake Street
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
One of the many convenient locations offered by the Bedell Family YMCA is conveniently located in downtown Spirit Lake on the corner of Hill Ave and Lake Street.

Offered at this Center are exercise equipment, cardio machines, free weights for ages 14 and up. Personal Training is also offered.



Hours open are

Monday - Thursday 5 am to 11 pm

Friday 5 am to 9 pm

Saturday 6 am to 9 pm

Sunday closed

WEST Algona

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Lakes Agent Insight Description of West Lake Rush Lake in the Lake Section of the Area Category

Arnolds Park Amusement Park

Arnolds Park Amusement Park in Arnolds Park

Having lived in Okoboji all my life, there are a wealth of memories of Arnolds Park. I, like many of the locals, miss the nostalgia of the old Roof Garden, the fun house, the water slide and much, much more. With time comes change, and the amusement park continues to reinvent itself. Currently with over 20 rides to choose from, the family is sure to have a good time. The main attraction, The Legend Roller Coaster, is the 7th oldest coaster in the United States and apparently the 13th oldest in the world. Reaching speeds of up to 50 mph, the roller coaster has undergone substantial renovations in the last year. In front of the amusement park on West Lake is the Queen II excursion boat, and Pirate Jacks Bar. The sunsets here are unparalleled. If you have a chance to visit, make sure to check out the tipsy house, the three sons, and all of the shops. Just to the east is the green space, which provides great entertainment and in 2013 OAR came to play, which is a pretty big name for Okoboji.

Matuska Taxidermy

Matuska Taxidermy in Spirit Lake

Matuska Taxidermy
3735 Hwy 71
Spirit Lake, IA 51360

Another neat experience you don’t get to see every day. Stop in and check out the amazing display of work done by Tom Matuska and Matuska Taxidermy. On display you will find all kinds of animals and fish.

Also offered is the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy which is a 9 week course offered two times a year designed to get you started on a successful career in taxidermy.

Boji Roots Salon

Boji Roots Salon in Milford

Go check out Boji Roots Salon in Milford! Sherri does an amazing job of doing exactly what you ask and is very good at giving you ideas on new trends. The salon it's self to so cute inside! She also offers a great supply of products for you to purchase so you can feel like your at the salon even at home. Sherri is very flexible and also fast! When you are very busy its great knowing you wont be sitting at the salon for hours!

Shade of the Tree Counseling Services

Shade of the Tree Counseling Services in Spirit Lake

Substance Abuse Services Based on the 12 Step Model.
Employing the Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care.
Person-Centered Therapy
State Licensed

The Family Diner

The Family Diner in Spirit Lake

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.

Pheasant Hunting

Pheasant Hunting in Outdoors

For the outdoorsmen that like to go track a pheasant, once again, you’ve come to the right place. The conditions and habitat in this area allow upland game populations to thrive. There is a vast amount of state land as well as private land prime for pheasant hunting. Season runs from October 29 to January 10

New Testament Baptist Church

New Testament Baptist Church in Spirit Lake

New Testament Baptist Church
2105 Gary Ave
Spirit Lake, IA 51360

Services
Sunday at 11 a.m and 6 p.m.
Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Keelson Harbour

Keelson Harbour in Spirit Lake

Keelson Harbour
2810 Aurora Ave
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
Keelson Harbour offers assisting living apartments. 42 one and two bedroom assisted living apartments. Also, Keelson Harbour offers memory care suites for those seniors diagnosed with Alzheimers.

Haywards Bay

Haywards Bay in West Lake Okoboji

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.

Lisa's Bake Shop

Lisa's Bake Shop in Spirit Lake

Located in Spirit Lake Lisa's Bake Shop offers a large selection of bakery items along with to-go deli items. If you are looking for something specific you certainly can call ahead and order a personalized cake or cheesecake or just stop in a grab some of their famous cinnamon rolls and caramel rolls. If you cant decide what to have for lunch or dinner stop in and check out their large selection of take and bake meals and soups. You will not be disappointed!

EAST SUNNYVILLE

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Lakes Agent Insight Description of East Lake Sunnyville in the Lake Section of the Area Category.

Furniture Mart

Furniture Mart in Spirit Lake

Furniture Mart
2502 17th St
Spirit Lake, IA 51360

Located just west of Walmart and next door to the Ramada Inn, The Furniture Mart offers a HUGE floor space filled with a great selection of furniture. Selections include Living Room, Dining, Bedroom and Office furniture. They also offer Mattresses, TV Stands and different Decor and Accent pieces. In home delivery available as well.

Saint Mary's Catholic Church

Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Spirit Lake

Saint Mary’s Catholic Church
1005 Hill Ave
Spirit Lake, IA 51360

Services
Saturday at 5 p.m. (confessions at 4:30 p.m.)
Sunday at 8:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Thursday - 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday - 9 a.m.
Friday - 12 p.m.

SUNNYVILLE BAKERY

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in SunnyvilleAgent Insight on the Sunnyville Bakery in Sunnyville City

Big Acai Bowls

Big Acai Bowls in Okoboji

Welcome to Big Açaí Okoboji, a local food truck offering healthy sorbet based bowls topped with granola, fruit, seeds/nuts and more. Go to their Facebook page: Big Açaí Bowls - Okoboji for their weekly locations/days/times.

The Style Loft

The Style Loft in Estherville

The Style Loft Boutique, located downtown Estherville, has all the latest trends in apparel. They offer a wide variety of clothing brands and also have the seasons must-haves in shoes and jewelry as well. Check out The Style Loft, you won't be disappointed!

Okoboji Bible Conference Ministries

Okoboji Bible Conference Ministries in Arnolds Park

Okoboji Bible Conference Ministries
7 S. Highway 71
Arnolds Park, IA 51331

Every summer the Okoboji Bible Conference is held in the heart of the Lakes Area, drawing in thousands of Christians of all ages to the area. The conference has a number of speakers as well as musicians. 2017 will be the 83rd year of the Okoboji Bible Conference.

2017 schedule- July 30 - August 7, 2017

SUNNYVILLE BAKERY

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in SunnyvilleAgent Insight on the Sunnyville Bakery in Sunnyville City

Wyman's Spudnuts

Wyman's Spudnuts in Okoboji

SPUDNUTS!!! The newest tradition in the Lakes Area. Amazing donuts (called Spudnuts), coffee and a fun place to take a break from your day. These are made from potato flour which is where the name comes from. You can choose from glazed donuts, chocolate or maple frosting, donut holes(my kids' favs), cinnamon twists, cinnamon balls OR even maple frosting with bacon.
Find them at 1104 S Hwy 71 in Okoboji, across the street from Tweeters.

EAST Algona

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Lakes Agent Insight Description of East Lake Rush Lake in the Lake Section of the Area Category.

Codit Tree Care

Codit Tree Care in Spirit Lake

CODIT is a licensed, insured and internationally certified arboriculture tree care business, which specializes in hard to access areas.

SUNNYVILLE

Info on SunnyVille and then insights in the City of Sunnyville category. Here provide insights on all things Sunnyville. Allow agents to Score points for their online profile by encouraging them to add content here which in turns adds content to the website.

Carpet One

Carpet One in Spirit Lake

The beautiful Carpet One showroom in Spirit Lake features a huge selection of all the latest flooring, window coverings and more. They have certified flooring pros can get your project rolling with a free, no-obligation pre-measure - just call (712) 336-5559 today or visit their website at www.carpetoneiowa.com

PHEASANT HUNTING DEMO

Specific Agent Insight description of pheasant hunting here........

Okoboji High School

Okoboji High School in Milford

Welcome to Okoboji High School. At OHS we are Pioneering Pathways for Every Student by building on the outstanding foundation and diverse learning opportunities available to students at Okoboji Elementary and Middle Schools through high expectations, caring and supportive teachers, world class learning opportunities, and a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities.
High Expectations - We speak of, model, and expect Pioneer Pride from every member of our learning community. Pioneers hold themselves to high standards in all aspects of life. Whether it is in academics, extracurriculars, or just in the way we treat one another, Pioneers lead the way.
Caring and Supportive Staff - Our staff believes that every member of this learning community is important and deserving of respect and care. Our staff comes to school each day looking for ways to positively impact the lives of our students and families and truly care about our students both inside and outside the building and beyond. Students who have graduated often come back to thank teachers and staff members who made a positive difference in their lives.
World Class Learning Opportunities - OHS is committed to preparing students for a productive life in a changing world. This means a focus on constant improvement, integration of technology to support learning, and ever changing opportunities. Some of these include new courses in computer coding, engineering, and more. In order to be successful, students need knowledge and the skills to apply it. OHS is focused on Universal Constructs such as creativity, complex communication, adaptability, productivity, collaboration, and other skills that will enable students to apply their knowledge to new and changing situations throughout their adult lives.
Wide Variety of Extracurricular Opportunities - Our students are encouraged to get involved in a wide variety of sports, fine arts such as speech, debate, and music, and school clubs and organizations. More than 85% of our students are involved in our extracurricular programs. Whatever a student’s passion, they can plug into a team or organization here at OHS. Our size also allows students to explore multiple passions in many different areas with
We are very proud of the past, present, and future of Okoboji High School, and even more proud of the students, families, and community we serve. We would love to help you arrange a visit to learn more. We believe you too will see why we are proud to be Pioneers!

Yours in Education,

Brian Downing
Okoboji High School Principal

Chaplin's

Chaplin's in Arnolds Park

Chaplin's is a great neighborhood bar with food, value priced drinks, the best karaoke, friendly and happy staff, plenty of parking and a welcoming atmosphere.

Erpelding, Voigt & Co., L.L.P.

Erpelding, Voigt & Co., L.L.P. in Okoboji

For more than 45 years, we have been providing tax preparation, business planning, financial reporting services and personal financial planning. Founded in 1974, Erpelding, Voigt & Co., LLP has grown to encompass more than 49 professional associates and staff in five locations. As a progressive accounting firm employing the latest technologies, we have developed a reputation for professional excellence through the consistent high quality services we provide. We bring a wealth of knowledge and value to each of our clients.

Memorial Park Spirit Lake

Memorial Park Spirit Lake in Spirit Lake

Memorial Park
300 Lake Street
Spirit Lake, IA 51360

Located on a huge property, this park was renovated in 2012 adding new playground equipment with areas designated for young kids and areas for older kids all wrapped around a Splash Pad that the kids just love.
2 shelters, including the Clayton Seeman Memorial Shelter house. Also, access to bike trails, walking paths and around 1,500 feet of East Lake Okoboji shoreline, 2 docks, 2 handicap-accessible piers and more.

Thee Garage Sale:

Thee Garage Sale: in Milford

An exceptional thrift store located in Milford that supports the programs and services of the Cherish Center. Great selection of furniture, decor, kitchen items, children's clothes, toys and more! Located on 22nd Street in Milford. Just 2 blocks South of Perkins.

Memorial Park Milford

Memorial Park Milford in Milford

Memorial Park Milford
Located on the Northern side of Milford, Memorial Park offers not only playground equipment for the kids but several softball/baseball fields. The fields not only house Little league/School baseball and softball games but also a very popular Slow Pitch Softball league on Sundays during the summer months.

Hill Avenue Dental

Hill Avenue Dental in Spirit Lake

Your family deserves advanced dental care provided in a warm, friendly environment. Hill Avenue Dental excels in giving people of all ages beautiful smiles and healthy teeth. Your comfort is the highest priority of Dr. Dotson and Dr. Hartzell and their skilled dental care team.

Los Pueblos

Los Pueblos in Arnolds Park

Los Pueblos is a family owned business known for serving some of the best food around with a very festive atmosphere. Enjoy one of their famous margaritas while you munch on some chips and salsa. Whether you are in the mood for enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, or fish tacos, they have something the whole family can enjoy!

RE/MAX Lakes Realty

My local expertise, experience in other markets, combined with the power and influence of RE/MAX, enables me to help achieve all your objectives in your home purchase or sale. Call me, Lynn Thompson to discuss today's Real Estate opportunities.

Sawmill Bridge-Park

Sawmill Bridge-Park in Arnolds Park

Sawmill Park/Bridge
Located at 314 Rohr Street in Arnolds Park sits a great family park, with newer playground equipment, a basketball hoop and a shelter area.
Also located here is the Sawmill Bridge which separates Upper Gar Lake and Lake Minnewashta.
Don’t share this secret too far, but this is a good location to catch a fish or two at certain times of the year.

"The Bridge"

"The Bridge" has been referred to by the Wharf Bridge, the Kentucky Fried Chicken Bridge, the bridge connecting East and West, among other names. In the good old days, this was actually a draw bridge converted to the current permanent structure. In the 90's when the 3 lane was installed, there was talk about removing the bridge and making some drastic changes. All in all, the base of the bridge remained, and the upper structure was improved. I remember as a kid jumping off the bridge, and fishing on and under the bridge. In fact, an unforgettable memory I have is when I was fishing with my cousin and I casted out trying to reach the opposite corner of the bridge with my lure. In mid air, a pigeon flew and the timing was so great that my line wrapped around the pigeon, and the pigeon went into the water. I reeled it up and had caught a pigeon. My cousin then decided to hold this pigeon inside the front of his coat. We went to show people at Okoboji Boats what we had caught. When we got there, he opened his jacket, and the pigeon had pooped all over his white shirt.

Beware the (I'll get your home sold in a week) agent

Beware the (I'll get your home sold in a week) agent in The

I hear this one all the time from prospects looking to list their house. "Well, agent xyz told us that if we listed with her, she'd have it sold in a week." This would fall into the category of "If it sounds too good to be true, the probably is." The majority of agents are not going to make this claim, but rather will give you an honest market analysis, inform you as to how weak or strong the market is, especially the market in which your home resides, and present the objective facts. A good agent will then lay out an effective marketing plan, where the majority of the focus should be on "online marketing". Be careful to not get caught up in empty promises, reduced commissions, and being talked in to lowering your price below market value (unless you must have a quick sale). The key to choosing a good listing agent is to objectively determine who is going to provide you the best opportunity to sell your home. Will your listing agent also aggressively work to find buyers, or will they just list your home and wait for another agent to do the work.

Starbucks

Starbucks in Spirit Lake

Starbucks is located in the HY-VEE grocery store in Spirit Lake. The employees at this location are amazing. They will always provide you with great service. Even if you are not a coffee fan make sure to stop in and try one of their freshly baked muffins or cake pops!

WEST Algona

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Lakes Agent Insight Description of West Lake Rush Lake in the Lake Section of the Area Category

The Waterfront

The Waterfront in East Lake Okoboji

The Waterfront has been a really great addition to the Iowa Great Lakes. Located on the Bridges Bay campus, it is easy to find by car or boat. Streak, seafood, pasta, crepes, pizza and numerous delicious sides on the shores of East Lake will have you always coming back for more. Also try their Sunday brunch, it will not disappoint.

South Shore Estates

South Shore Estates in Lower Gar Lake

South Shore Estates is the newest lakeshore development on Lower Gar. Here you have access to West Lake, East Lake, Minnewashta, and Upper Gar.

Great Lakes Dental Center PC

Great Lakes Dental Center PC in Spirit Lake

From first contact at Great Lakes Dental Center, PC, we are committed to your individual attention and strive to provide personalized oral health care tailored for your unique dental needs and goals. We work hard to create the ultimate stress-free and comfortable dental experience. Your health and comfort are our top priorities, and we do what it takes to help every patient understand their symptoms and treatment options in a relaxed office setting.

Florence Park

Florence Park in Milford

Florence Park, Milford
Located Directly across the street from the Okoboji High School to the East, Florence Park is a wonderful getaway for the kids. There is a lot of play ground equipment, as well as a indoor/outdoor shelter area. This is also the home of many activities during the weekend of Pioneer Days and is the common meeting ground after the parade.

Sunshine Foods

Sunshine Foods in Milford

Sunshine Foods, located on Highway 71, is Milford's only full service supermarket offering Fresh Produce - Butcher Fresh Meats - Deli - Kitchen

Speier Park of Okoboji

Speier Park of Okoboji in Okoboji

Speier Park of Okoboji

Located at the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Sanborn Ave in Okoboji and across the road from the airport, this is a very family friendly park with lots to offer.

Tennis courts and a basketball court are available. Also, one can use the very nice and newer shelter to entertain a family outing. The kids will have plenty to do at the play ground as well, with slides, swings, tether ball, monkey bars and more. Also, pets are allowed if kept on a leash.

Also, the kids can enjoy watching airplanes land and take off with the Spirit Lake Municipal Airport runway directly across the street.

Open til 10:30 p.m.

Okoboji Expedition Co.

Okoboji Expedition Co. in Okoboji

Okoboji Expedition Co is a bicycle and outdoor sports store in Okoboji, Iowa. We are located on the eastern shore of West Okoboji Lake in the Iowa Great Lakes region. The Okoboji Expedition Company carries bicycles, kayaks, cycling apparel, cross country skis, and snowshoes along with all the needed accessories for all of the above. We also specialize in custom bike fittings and offer winter spinning classes.
We offer bicycle products from Specialized, Cervelo, Co-motion and Alchemy. We also stock Oru kayaks and paddle boards from SOL, Tubbs snowshoes, Atomic cross country skis and outdoor clothing from Mavic, Pearl Izumi and Louis Garneau. Stop in and see us… you’ll be glad you did.

Cherish Center:

Cherish Center: in Milford

A local non-profit with the mission of Transforming Lives, Strengthening Families and Enhancing our Community. Offering Parenting Classes, Professional Counseling, Maternity Home for young women facing unplanned pregnancies and support for moms on infant loss. 712-338-3333

 

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Local Expert Updates

Brooke Jones

Cell: 641.420.2172

Janie Eick

Cell: 712.339.0574

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Cell: 132.465.4798

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