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.
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.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
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:
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.