Upper Gar Lake

 Upper Gar Lake, area Community

Upper Gar Lake is connected to  Lake Minnewashta and East Lake Okoboji.  Known for its 5 mph speed zone, Upper Gar offers boaters a chance to slow down the pace, putz through and enjoy the scenery as much natural shoreline exists here.  The living on this lake consists mostly of condos and seasonal homes in areas such as Lakewood Park.  The great thing about upper gar is that it still provides you access to all of the other lakes, and you can walk just a few blocks to the Amusement Park and the Emporium.  Upper Gar offers the most affordable condo living as well.  Condos range from about $200000 to $325000.  Single family homes are not abundant and rarely come available.

The following is from the Iowa Great Lakes Water Safety Council:

 

Upper Gar Lake connects the south bay of East Okoboji Lake to Minnewashta Lake. At 37 acres, Upper Gar is the smallest of the Iowa Great Lakes chain. This lake is basically a shallow channel connecting two larger bodies of water. The average depth of Upper Gar is 3.5 feet, therefore warranting a maximum 5-mph speed limit on the lake. At its Northern end

Upper Gar Lake connects to East Lake Okoboji at the Hinshaw Bridge (near Trigg’s Resort) and at the Southern end it connects to Lake Minnewashta at the Sawmill Bridge. The Gar Lakes were named for their outlet known as Gar Outlet. This was because schools of Gars, a type of fish, were working their way upstream. Originally, there were three lakes known as the Gar lakes, forming a chain about two miles in length, and were called Upper, Middle, and Lower Gar Lakes. Around 1900, the name Middle Gar was changed to “Minnewashta,” which is Dakotah for good or nice.

 

Area Insights

EAST SUNNYVILLE

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Lakes Agent Insight Description of East Lake Sunnyville in the Lake Section of the Area Category.

Comfortec Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

Comfortec Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Estherville

Comfortec has trained and licensed technicians who can handle the job whether you have no heat or a loud noise coming from your equipment. We are a Carrier, Ruud and Lennox dealer giving us an advantage when it comes to working with different types of furnaces. We carry a wide variety of parts and can service any brand of furnace or AC. When it comes to needing someone to come handle your heating or cooling issue, we get there fast and get the job done right anywhere in our service region. Additionally, we provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because problems with your heating and cooling systems or plumbing rarely only occur during a normal workday.

Consumers Lumber Company

Consumers Lumber Company in Spencer

Consumers Lumber Company is the only locally owned and operated building center in the area. They have been proudly serving the best builders and homeowners with the best materials and services since 1906.
They have locations in Spirit Lake and Spencer Iowa with a complete line of building materials and builder’s hardware. They also have full showrooms of millwork, stone, decking and cabinetry.
Dollars spent with Consumers Lumber stay in Dickinson and Clay counties. They support all the area schools and youth organizations along with several other community charities. Consumers Lumber Company is also very proud of the fact that their 15 employees have over 200 years of combined service to our company and that they all live, shop and play here.
They offer timely and accurate project bids and drawings to better serve the areas builders and homeowners. They also provide free and fast delivery to the four county area.

Cheap vs high end quality. A buyer's perspective.

Cheap vs high end quality.  A buyer's perspective. in The

Here's the scenario. You are building a house or remodeling your house. Material costs are up. Labor costs are up. You ask yourself, where can I save a buck? Before answering this question, you must be careful, especially if your home is located in an area where other quality homes are built, whether on the lake, off the lake, or in higher valued developments such as golf course developments, etc. Growing up in construction and with a plethora of new construction and remodels under my belt, let me share with you some of the easy things that your future buyers will recognize when they are looking for quality.
1. One of the first things buyers of higher end homes will look for is to determine if the owner used hollow core doors. It's an immediate sign that the seller was looking for ways to save money (where else then did they cut back that I can't see???)
2. The second most obvious is the counter tops. Did the sellers spend for a quality granite, quartz, or other hard surface, or was formica used?
3. The third item that might stick out is the cabinetry. Do the drawers have dovetail construction with hardwoods? Did they use "soft close" drawers? Are there pull outs for the pots and pans?
4. Flooring is an easy one also. Was laminate used, or is it engineered or hardwoods? Does the carpet convey a quality feel and plushness? Is there a nice thick pad underneath the carpet?
5. Though there are many other items to look at, cheap vs quality lighting and plumbing fixtures are probably the next major focus.

There is nothing wrong with with using lower cost materials, especially when trying to keep a project within budget, especially when trying to build more house for less money. Just be aware that most buyers looking to spend in excess of $300k for off lake homes and $500+ for East Lake chain homes, and $1M+ for West and Big Spirit will expect the very best materials and finishes.

Spencer Golf & Country Club

Spencer Golf & Country Club in Spencer

Spencer Golf & Country Club, established in 1919, is a Semi-Private Golf Club featuring its well manicured 18 hole championship golf course and full service restaurant experience. Outstanding membership rates are available to residents, non-residents, and corporations. If a membership isn't right for your needs, non-residents of Spencer are welcome to play anytime that the course is available, as often as you would like. If you are looking to host a corporate outing, organization fundraiser outing, or group golf outing, look no further than Spencer Golf & Country Club. We can accommodate groups as big as 200 golfers and more with all the professional golf tournament services. The Country Club is also an excellent choice for your next business meeting, banquet, or wedding reception.

Woody's Pizza

Woody's Pizza in Estherville

Woodys Pizza is the oldest existing pizza restaurant in Northwest Iowa. In 1961, Woody and Mae Condon started their first restaurant in Estherville, with four tables, an eight seat counter and carry-out service. There was no alcohol served. It became a gathering place for the young people of Estherville.
In 1980 they sold their restaurant to their son, Anthony, he and his family operated Woody's for over 30 years. On Jan. 1, 2018, Dave and Tasha Welch of Estherville are the new owners.
Now, Dave & Tasha are thrilled to be taking the reins to continue not only bringing you great tasting pizza with the original famous recipe, but to bring you excellent service as a family-run business Estherville can be proud of.
Dine in or Call 712-362-5610 for Carry Out and Delivery!

Sunshine Foods

Sunshine Foods in Milford

Sunshine Foods, located on Highway 71, is Milford's only full service supermarket offering Fresh Produce - Butcher Fresh Meats - Deli - Kitchen

"The Bridge"

"The Bridge" has been referred to by the Wharf Bridge, the Kentucky Fried Chicken Bridge, the bridge connecting East and West, among other names. In the good old days, this was actually a draw bridge converted to the current permanent structure. In the 90's when the 3 lane was installed, there was talk about removing the bridge and making some drastic changes. All in all, the base of the bridge remained, and the upper structure was improved. I remember as a kid jumping off the bridge, and fishing on and under the bridge. In fact, an unforgettable memory I have is when I was fishing with my cousin and I casted out trying to reach the opposite corner of the bridge with my lure. In mid air, a pigeon flew and the timing was so great that my line wrapped around the pigeon, and the pigeon went into the water. I reeled it up and had caught a pigeon. My cousin then decided to hold this pigeon inside the front of his coat. We went to show people at Okoboji Boats what we had caught. When we got there, he opened his jacket, and the pigeon had pooped all over his white shirt.

Hill Avenue Dental

Hill Avenue Dental in Spirit Lake

Your family deserves advanced dental care provided in a warm, friendly environment. Hill Avenue Dental excels in giving people of all ages beautiful smiles and healthy teeth. Your comfort is the highest priority of Dr. Dotson and Dr. Hartzell and their skilled dental care team.

"Turn-Over" Thermocline

Referred to locally as the lake turning over the thermocline is a feature of lakes with deep water. The water on the top of the lake changes temperature much more variably during the year. On West Lake, it can reach as much as 75 degrees in July while the water below, greater than 35 or 40 feet deep is relatively stable around 45 degrees. In the fall and early winter, the top strata of the lake will cool to below 45 degrees, and then because it becomes denser, it will "sink" below the lower strata, thus, displacing it and making the lake "turn-over". In the deepest part of West Lake (near the 136ft mark), no light is availble, and hence little life is known whether fish or plant. Typically questions are raised as to why the surface water gets dirty for a short period of time in the fall, this this is the standard answer.

Ace Hardware

Ace Hardware in Estherville

As your local Ace Hardware, we are one of 5,000+ Ace stores locally owned and operated across the globe. But we are not just about numbers. We are about helping neighbors, because each one of our stores is a part of your community. We are all committed to being "the Helpful Place" by offering our customers personal service, quality products and a convenient shopping experience from the local experts who know you best. As the helpful hardware folks in your neighborhood, we promise that helping you is the most important thing we have to do today.

WEST Algona

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Lakes Agent Insight Description of West Lake Rush Lake in the Lake Section of the Area Category

WEST Algona

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Lakes Agent Insight Description of West Lake Rush Lake in the Lake Section of the Area Category

Okoboji Mattress Co.

Okoboji Mattress Co. in Spirit Lake

Okoboji Mattress Co. is a Sleep Specialty Store located .7 miles west of the junction of 9 and 71 in Spirit Lake, IA. We are a locally owned Sleep Boutique featuring Serta and Simmons Mattresses and bases. Stop by try Malouf Z Pillows before you buy! A great selection of Serta, and Simmons Beautyrest Mattresses, Adjustable Bases, Malouf Sheets, Mattress Protectors, and Comforters, Malouf Z pillows, and more! New Sleep Lift Recliners from Mega Motion and Ultimate Power Recliner!

Little Swan Lake Winery Bed and Breakfast

Little Swan Lake Winery Bed and Breakfast in Estherville

Little Swan Lake Winery is a family owned and operated business located 1-1/2 miles north of the small town of Superior in Northwest Iowa. The tasting room, a remodeled 1920's barn, features 35 different wines all produced on site, a selection of gourmet cheeses, and buffalo meat from the owners herd which roams nearby. The vineyard consists of two acres of northern cold hardy grapes. The gift shop features clothing and wine related items. Little Swan Lake is dedicated to producing the finest and most enjoyable wines and invite you to spend an hour or an afternoon with them. The bed and breakfast is a renovated grain elevator and is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty that is Little Swan Lake! They have weekly live music, check their website for the schedule!

Rebe

Rebe in Okoboji

Re*be is one of Iowa's finest varicose vein centers dedicated to addressing the health and cosmetic concerns of men and women using the latest and most-advanced medical treatments for various body conditions.
Re*be surgeons are highly experienced with specialized training in vein diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Ronald Kolegraff M.D., A.C.P., A.S.G.S. is a Board Certified General Surgeon and Board Certified Phlebologist.
The clinic provides friendly service in a patient-centered environment to ensure an experience that exceeds your expectations of personal care.
Rebe provides complimentary cosmetic consultation or complimentary vein screening.

Carpet One

Carpet One in Spirit Lake

The beautiful Carpet One showroom in Spirit Lake features a huge selection of all the latest flooring, window coverings and more. They have certified flooring pros can get your project rolling with a free, no-obligation pre-measure - just call (712) 336-5559 today or visit their website at www.carpetoneiowa.com

Okoboji Appliance Repair

Okoboji Appliance Repair in Okoboji

Dependable & knowledgeable residential appliance repair company. Servicing most major brands of appliances in the Okoboji area. Hours are M-F 8am - 5pm. 24-hour service available.

EAST Algona

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Lakes Agent Insight Description of East Lake Rush Lake in the Lake Section of the Area Category.

"The Tressle"

"The Tressle" bridge used to carry the old railroad that traversed the area. Now the tressle is home to some of the areas best fishing. Served as a hot spot for fisherman, and a trail for walkers and bikers, the tressle is a classic structure of the Okobojis. We spent days jumping off of the tressle doing cannonballs, preachers, flips and the like. I know in my life my friends and I have caught literally tens of thousands of crappie and blue gill off the tressle bridge.

Big Acai Bowls

Big Acai Bowls in Okoboji

Welcome to Big Açaí Okoboji, a local food truck offering healthy sorbet based bowls topped with granola, fruit, seeds/nuts and more. Go to their Facebook page: Big Açaí Bowls - Okoboji for their weekly locations/days/times.

Burger & Company

Burger & Company in Spirit Lake

Gourmet Burgers, Spicy Chicken Thigh Sandwiches, Lobster Rolls on Friday & Saturday, Cubans, Hot Tots, Rosemary Sea Salt Fries, Beer Battered Cheese Curds, Scrumptious Milk Shakes, Crisp Salads, Huge Cookies & More!

Harvey's Five Star Roofing and Gutters

Harvey's Five Star Roofing and Gutters in Spirit Lake

Whether you need a new roof or roofing repairs, the team at Harvey’s Five Star Roofing can finish the job quickly & for an honest rate that works in your budget. Fully licensed, bonded and insured - Plus an unbeatable lifetime warranty!

Beware the (I'll get your home sold in a week) agent

Beware the (I'll get your home sold in a week) agent in The

I hear this one all the time from prospects looking to list their house. "Well, agent xyz told us that if we listed with her, she'd have it sold in a week." This would fall into the category of "If it sounds too good to be true, the probably is." The majority of agents are not going to make this claim, but rather will give you an honest market analysis, inform you as to how weak or strong the market is, especially the market in which your home resides, and present the objective facts. A good agent will then lay out an effective marketing plan, where the majority of the focus should be on "online marketing". Be careful to not get caught up in empty promises, reduced commissions, and being talked in to lowering your price below market value (unless you must have a quick sale). The key to choosing a good listing agent is to objectively determine who is going to provide you the best opportunity to sell your home. Will your listing agent also aggressively work to find buyers, or will they just list your home and wait for another agent to do the work.

The West Lake "Tie Up"

The West Lake

For most leisure boaters in the Iowa Great Lakes, there are 2 main hot spots to go throw an anchor, sit back, and just relax. Sometimes this will result in numerous boats tying up to one another (you may not even know your neighbor), and sometimes it results in a little more privacy where you can chill just by yourself. Every weekend, boaters make the trek across the deepest parts of West Lake to either Gull Point (North AND South side) and Miller's Bay. Thought there are many other great areas to throw an anchor, relax, and swim, these are the two hot spots. If you aren't sure where to go on a Saturday afternoon or wonder where your friends might be, these two spots would be a good start.

The Studio Yoga & Barre

The Studio Yoga & Barre in Spirit Lake

Come to one of the two locations: Spencer or Spirit Lake @ Allure & Co. to experience a community of people seeking to live healthier lives through exercising the body and mind.
The Studio Yoga & Barre offers a variety of yoga, barre, cycling and paddle-board classes for different levels of experience.
They also offer yoga and exercise apparel, as well as oils and health supplements.

West Boutique

West Boutique in Okoboji

West Boutique located at Okoboji Boat Works Marina carries all of the latest fashions for women of all ages and sizes.
Available brands: Free People, Anama, Velvet Heart, KUT Denim, Articles of Society, Grace in LA, Lush, Willow & Clay, Pink Martini, Pixie Mood, and more!

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach in West Lake Okoboji

Omaha Beach is on the north end of Echo Bay, extending out into Omaha Point. Known for its secluded private access from Lakeshore Drive, Omaha Beach properties are some of the most sought after on West Lake, easily fetching over $15000 per linear foot of lakeshore.

SUNNYVILLE

Info on SunnyVille and then insights in the City of Sunnyville category. Here provide insights on all things Sunnyville. Allow agents to Score points for their online profile by encouraging them to add content here which in turns adds content to the website.

Shade of the Tree Counseling Services

Shade of the Tree Counseling Services in Spirit Lake

Substance Abuse Services Based on the 12 Step Model.
Employing the Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care.
Person-Centered Therapy
State Licensed

PHEASANT HUNTING DEMO

Specific Agent Insight description of pheasant hunting here........

Okoboji Boat Works

Okoboji Boat Works in West Lake Okoboji

Okoboji Boat Works is home to "The Fish Shack" and "The Inconvenience Store". Formerly a marina of thriving boat sales since 1890, OBW now offers up many different rentals, a 24 hour gas dock, excursion boats, and more. I remember the days as a child of fishing for crappie and blue gill here and along the docks of Smith's Bay. Though the scenery has changed, the outstanding fishing has not.

SUNNYVILLE BAKERY

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in SunnyvilleAgent Insight on the Sunnyville Bakery in Sunnyville City

WEST Algona

Real Estate and MLS Homes For Sale in Lakes Agent Insight Description of West Lake Rush Lake in the Lake Section of the Area Category

Winther Stave & Co

Winther Stave & Co in Spencer

At Winther, Stave & Co., LLP we use a team approach. You have a team of accounting professionals at your disposal, not just one person. With specialists in many different areas, we can draw on that breadth of knowledge and experience to help with services ranging from taxes, to payroll, to wealth preservation.

Kuchel Homes

Kuchel Homes in Okoboji

Kuchel Homes is dedicated to building your dream home in your dream community. Kuchel Homes cuts no corners when it comes to building your home....from the planning, design, finishes and more we leave no stone unturned. Designed to Perform, Built to Last.

Pike's Point State Park

Pike's Point State Park in West Lake Okoboji

Pike's Point is located at 15973 213th Ave, Spirit Lake, IA on beautiful West Lake Okoboji. It is one of the largest parks in the Iowa Great Lakes, and provides for all kinds of activities including fishing, swimming, bird watching etc. This park also has a rest room, and a beach. If coming by boat, one wants to be careful as the point extends far into the lake, and there is a warning buoy roughly 300 feet from the point of shore. In 2010, many trees here were uprooted because of some severe straight line winds during the storm that reaked havoc through the Iowa Great Lakes.

"The Harbor"

The harbor is a man made inlet located on the north end of West Lake. A board walk surrounds the harbor and this is one of the most tranquil parts of the lake. Homeowners in the harbor have a more affordable way to have access to West Lake, and still get to enjoy the clean waters West Lake has to offer. Homes in the Harbor typically range from about $350k to as much as $700k.

Terrace Park

Terrace Park is located in Brown's Bay on West Lake, Okoboji. It is one of the largest public beaches on West Lake and has entertained beach goers for many years. Next to Terrace Park is Boys Town out of Omaha, Nebraska. I remember as a kid spending entire days at terrace park, either riding bicycle or taking a moped (yes a moped) down to meet with friends and playing king on the dock. In 2010, the morning after "the storm", Terrace Park was carnage. Boat were stacked on top of each other. Trees were uprooted, and hoists were tossed around. Boats and other water craft were found in Terrace Park that belonged to owners on the North end of West Lake.

Ruthven Meat Locker

Ruthven Meat Locker in Ruthven

Ruthven Meat Locker is a local family owned business. Ruthven Locker at the Lakes is their 2nd retail store (with the original Meat Processing plant being a staple in the small town of Ruthven, Iowa). They are a full service meat shop providing their customers with excellent high quality cuts of beef & pork. Also provided are smoked meat snacks which they make right on site in Ruthven. Sure to please even the pickiest of palates! Ruthven Meat Locker prides themselves on promoting other local small businesses by selling them in our Spirit Lake store. You find everything from fine wood pieces to local honey, microgreens, baked goods, and delicious cheesecake. The Butcher’s Wife is always available to answer your questions and take special orders. Come on in and you’ll soon see that the rumors are true!

Pub 19 Bar & Grill

Pub 19 Bar & Grill in Spirit Lake

Established in 2005, renovated in 2016, Pub19 Bar & Grill is your premier destination for great food and drink, and a superb dining experience. With an expansive menu and beautiful facilities, we’re certain you’ll enjoy your meal and your time spent with us. Indoor and outdoor seating is available!

Okoboji View Golf Course

Okoboji View Golf Course in Spirit Lake

Okoboji View is a public 18-hole golf course with membership availability. It is a beautiful golf course with an emphasis on nature and offers many challenges with fast greens, beautiful water features, tree lined fairways and rolling hills.
The newly remodeled restaurant and bar - renamed Pub19 Bar & Grill in 2015 - is full service and you can enjoy drinks and dining on the large new deck overlooking the golf course.
Whether you need a golf lesson or a professional club-fitting, or if you need to schedule your corporate golf outing, wedding rehearsal dinner/reception or class reunion, or just want to enjoy playing at one of the best courses in Northwest Iowa - Okoboji View Golf Course, a family run facility, is for you.

Kozy Heat

Kozy Heat in Arnolds Park

The Kozy Heat Fireplaces Gallery is a fireplace dealership located just off of Highway 71 in Arnolds Park, IA. The gallery is an authorized dealer of the following items: gas fireplaces, wood fireplaces, electric fireplaces, outdoor fireplaces, pellet grills, gas grills, smokers, charcoal grills, and ceramic grills. The Kozy Heat Gallery also offers all the tools, amenities, and gear you could possibly dream of to outfit your patio or grilling station to make your house the best hangout spot in the neighborhood. Most importantly, the Kozy Heat Gallery's mission is to assist in outfitting your home or business with the best fireplaces, grills, or accessories out there for each and every customer. With a high standard for customer satisfaction, the superb staff are always excited to accommodate your every need.

Okoboji Expedition Co.

Okoboji Expedition Co. in Okoboji

Okoboji Expedition Co is a bicycle and outdoor sports store in Okoboji, Iowa. We are located on the eastern shore of West Okoboji Lake in the Iowa Great Lakes region. The Okoboji Expedition Company carries bicycles, kayaks, cycling apparel, cross country skis, and snowshoes along with all the needed accessories for all of the above. We also specialize in custom bike fittings and offer winter spinning classes.
We offer bicycle products from Specialized, Cervelo, Co-motion and Alchemy. We also stock Oru kayaks and paddle boards from SOL, Tubbs snowshoes, Atomic cross country skis and outdoor clothing from Mavic, Pearl Izumi and Louis Garneau. Stop in and see us… you’ll be glad you did.

Solma's Punkin Patch

Solma's Punkin Patch in Sanborn

Solsma's Punkin Patch began in 1999 as a way to make a little money for the Solsma kids' college education and it has continue to grow and evolve. Fireworks sales from June 1 to July 8 and in December. Pumpkin sales from Labor Day to Halloween. Fall produce of all kinds, country store, corn maze (weather permitting). Ruby Red Popcorn and Drug Free Beef available year around. Call or stop by the the store in the off season. Located 4 miles east of Sanborn, Iowa on Hwy 18. www.solsma.com 712-729-3174

 

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Local Expert Updates

Aaron Jones

Cell: 123.475.4564

Janie Eick

Cell: 712.339.0574

Alex Parker99

Cell: 132.465.4798

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