Wooden Roller Coaster at Arnolds Park on West Lake Okoboji, Iowa

Wooden Roller Coaster at Arnolds Park on West Lake Okoboji, Iowa.
In 1927, the park’s wooden roller coaster began thrilling passengers. It is now the 13th oldest roller coaster in the world and rated in the top 10 among wooden coasters in the country. Its lazy loop out across the waterfront is particularly refreshing on a hot summer day, and provides a colorful outline across the lake on a warm summer evening.

Roller coaster engineering, one of the original degrees from the fictitious University of Okoboji, remains one of the institution’s most coveted majors for historic reasons.

The lopsided and irregular surface Tipsy House is among the more popular of the attractions and 17 rides at the park include bumper cars, a Ferris wheel, log flume and miniature golf. A ring toss, balloon darts and other games of chance provide simple and honest fun, plus memorable souvenirs of this vacation getaway.

Throughout the summer, free concerts, art events and car shows fill Preservation Park adjacent to the amusement park, where strolling along eating cotton candy and sipping on a fresh-squeezed lemonade is about as pleasant and all-American as any destination can get.

Have more family fun playing mini-golf, mining for rare gems and playing games, including bocce ball at Ranch Okoboji. Reminisce at the farm as kids explore “Kids Kountry” and indulge in hand-dipped ice cream.

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