Crab Cake Benedict at The Hutt

How to Spend a Long Weekend in Okoboji


Ah, vacation. Is there anything better? This weekend, Phyll and I took a long weekend to go to Okoboji, Iowa for a friend’s wedding. We decided to go up Friday morning to enjoy the day and then have some extra time on Saturday prior to the ceremony and reception. The whole weekend was a blast!

When we decided we were going to extend the trip, I started doing a little research online. But, I didn’t have a lot of luck looking for things to do and eat, and ended up getting my best tips from a local (the bride). I think that most people that visit go because their family has been going for years – or they grew up there – so they don’t need the guidance. But a newbie to the area? It was hard! So here’s a recap of our trip … from me, to you!

Looking for something to do in Okoboji? Try …

Boating in Okoboji Iowa

Being at a lake, we wanted to do something in the water. But with just the two of us, renting a boat wasn’t super cost-efficient, so we decided to go the paddle boating route. When you paddleboat, you’re basically sitting down and cycling to power your boat. Okoboji Boat Works was super easy to rent from – we simply walked in and had a boat 10 minutes later! Then, we boated around for about an hour. First of all, definitely more work than I had anticipated. Second of all? A little terrifying being out there with all of the huge, motorized boats. I would recommend going on a less busy day. Okoboji Boat Works also offers public cruises, which sounded like a lot of fun – it just didn’t work out with our schedule.

If you’re hungry, stop for …

Snacks at the Taco House

After our long drive, followed by paddle boating adventures, we were hungry! So, we checked out a local favorite that the bride told me about, Taco House. We wandered in, checked out the super long menu, and asked the lady at the counter for some recommendations. She mentioned the nachos and the burritos, and then I added on the chips and guacamole. The nachos were unique – salsa was cooked into the meat and cheese – and the guacamole was da bomb. Super fresh, which is the best guac, for sure. I think Phyll liked his burrito, too. I’ll be honest, I probably wouldn’t have stopped at this place on my own – it didn’t have the best roadside impression. But ultimately, tasty and fast. Can’t beat that! I also really enjoyed covered the patio space.

And if you’re staying at the Arrowwood, you don’t have to go far for …

Dinner and Drinks at Minervas

Minerva’s is the restaurant and bar at Arrowwood Resort, which was our hotel for the weekend. We weren’t real hungry until late Friday night after our first day of fun in the sun (and late lunch/snack), so the easy answer seemed to be the closest one. Lucky for us, it was really good! I had the Seafood Macaroni & Cheese (‘natch) and a Manhattan. I really enjoyed the salad that came with my meal, too. It had some really different ingredients than your traditional house salad. Phyll got chicken, and I snagged a dip of his gravy. Super creamy & delish.

In the morning, drink up with …

Bloody Marys at O Farrel Sisters

Mmmhmm! We went to O’Farrell Sisters for brunch on Saturday. Bloody Mary (for me), Mimosa (for Phyll) plus some tasty breakfast fixings? Bon appetit! The atmosphere was very small-town diner – super comfy. The food took quite a while to come as they were pretty busy, but they did offer to let us order a cinnamon roll to tide us over (which we declined) during the wait (although it looked super, super good). Not the best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had, but the best I had in Okoboji, and I would certainly go there again. The fillings were spiced just right (that asparagus stick was the best) and I got to keep my cup. I call that a win.

Then, relax for awhile with …

Beers at West O Brewery

I don’t like to visit a new town without trying out a brewery, and Okoboji was no exception. The bride advised we try out West O Brewery, and it didn’t disappoint! We actually received some beer as part of our hotel stay from the wedding party, so I didn’t try a full flight as planned, but I had a half pint of the 10 Foot 10 Double IPA, the Holly L. Session India Pale Lager, and the CocO Stout. All of those were great! The staff was super hospitable, letting me try out each brew before I committed to a glass, and the environment was spacious, with a patio we might have tried, had it not been quite so hot. There was also a food truck parked outside called Farm to Fork which looked really, really good, had we not just eaten brunch. They even had CocO Stout Ice Cream! Going back? Try and stop me.

But this unique Okoboji breakfast isn’t to be missed …

Crab Cake Benedict at The Hutt

I found The Hutt through Yelp on Sunday morning when a friend told me she didn’t have the best experience at Minerva’s for breakfast. I was tempted by one thing on the menu … the Crab Cake Benedict. And boy, was I happy that I had followed my tastebuds. This breakfast was probably my favorite meal of the entire trip! A Bloody Mary to match (a little watery, but they had horseradish for me to spice it up) and I was a happy lady — even if I wasn’t ready to go home. FYI, this wouldn’t come up on Google Maps for me, so if you’re looking for it, pull the address off of Yelp and navigate from there.


Ah … already ready to go back.

Have you ever been to Okoboji?

How do you decide what to do on vacation?


  1. I have stayed in this area a few times when I worked the Clay County Fair and really had trouble finding good places to eat! I’ll have to refer back to this next time!

  2. Pingback: A Coffee Date - Alex Tries it Out

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