The smells of hay and freshly picked apples mingle with the shouts of children on the annual Erie Shores Farm Tour. An organized event between four very different, yet equally welcoming, farm facilities, the self-guided tour encompasses fall foods and a range of harvest-themed activities. Hillcrest Orchards welcomes visitors with attractions such as hayrides, a corn maze, and pedal carts, while staff at Dostall Farms lead their guests on a guided tour of their humane meat-processing facility, where animals are fed only grass or corn. The event ends with a prize drawing at Matus Winery, where staff also give a guided tour of the wine-making facilities, including the giant barrel where the winemakers sleep every night. To ensure participants don't lose their ways, Erie Shores Farm Tour provides a complimentary map and suggested travel routes between locations.
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:
If it weren't for Sheena, stand-up paddleboarding––a sport that originated in Hawaii and developed a mass following on the California coast––may never have found its way to Iowa. Or at least it would have taken a lot longer. Yet thanks to the SUP Iowa paddler-in-chief, visitors to Oak Hill Marina on Lake Okoboji can now participate in the invigorating aquatic sport through lessons, camps, by-the-hour rentals, as well as fitness classes and corporate or team-building events.