At Bridges Bay Resort's Boji Splash indoor water park, a 500-gallon tipping bucket fills to the brim before it spills over and dumps its watery contents on the swimmers gathered below. Throughout the water park, guests can swim in the gradual-entry pool, swoosh down water slides, or float on tubes in the lazy river. Other aquatic features include a pirate ship equipped with water cannons, a spray playground, and a lily-pad water walk. After working up an appetite, head to Bracco Waterfront Grill for burgers, steaks, and seafood.
Thanks to Bridges Bay Resort's location along Lake Okoboji, most of the suites and condos feature stunning waterfront views. Condominiums come with a full kitchen, outdoor patio, and living room with fireplace to burn marshmallow effigies of Lex Luthor.
400 pounds of lift. 60 pounds per square inch, more than 35 feet straight into the air—or below the water. The specifications of Aquafly's jet-powered Flyboard add up to a unique experience in extreme aquatic sports. Devised in 2011 by French jet-ski racer Franky Zapata, the FlyBoard system uses the jet discharge of a personal watercraft to propel its strapped-in pilot above or through the water. The company's factory-certified instructors help customers break the shimmering surface of Lake Okoboji in beginner through advanced pilot-training classes, divulging tips for basic Flyboard operation while introducing a range of maneuvers and complex tricks. They also provide Flyboard rentals and routine maintenance.
Along the shores of Iowa's Great Lakes?specifically near the intersection of Smiths Bay and East Okoboji Lake?Mau Marine is part of a tradition spanning more than 100 years of outfitting and sending boaters out onto the water. Specializing in boat sales, rentals, and storage, the staff works with regulars and visitors alike, seeing them off on pontoon, kayak, or speed-boat chases to rescue the nearest princess. They also stock boating gear and accessories for fishing excursions to catch walleye or nature trips to spot a white-tailed deer along the shoreline.
Tucked between a pair of lakes just 25 minutes north of Des Moines, Boulders Inn & Suites is in a scenic destination in central Iowa. A complimentary hot breakfast is prepared daily, and guest rooms are outfitted with 32" plasma-screen TVs, microwaves, refrigerators, and free WiFi. For added luxury, book the jacuzzi suite, which features a jacuzzi bathtub in a separate alcove. If you're there in April or May, book a round of golf at The Tournament Club of Iowa.
Jay's Restaurant & Lounge opened its doors in 1946. Since then, the brick building has undergone a few renovations, but it still has the same old-fashioned charm. Specialties include hand-pressed burgers and prime rib that's only served on Friday and Saturday. The rest of the menu covers a lot of bases, including Mexican dishes such as enchiladas, seafood dishes such as broiled walleye pike, and a full slate of breakfast items.
The course at Emerald Hills Golf Club sweeps over hilly terrain marked by frequent doglegs, fast greens, and stone-lined water hazards. Though the relatively short, flat first hole would lead first-timers to believe otherwise, the course rewards conservative play: most fairways bend to some degree and require distance control to avoid unfavorable lies in the rough and holes that lead to China. The par 5 fifth hole, the course's most difficult, presents an uphill dogleg left onto an elevated, two-tiered green with breaks that can be difficult to discern. Emerald Hills Golf Club also features pristine practice facilities, lessons with resident golf pros, and an onsite clubhouse with a banquet hall and a cocktail lounge.
Course at a Glance: