Iowa Public Television


Road Trip Diary: King's Pointe Lakeside Resort Waterpark, Storm Lake, Iowa

From beautiful campus grounds at Buena Vista University to an indoor/outdoor waterpark at King's Pointe Lakeside Resort, Storm Lake has something for everyone.

Hosted by Dan Kaercher, Iowa's Simple Pleasures is a new series produced by Iowa Public Television that highlights fun things for Iowans to do, see, and taste, right here at home. Below are excerpts from Dan's journal of his travels in the state.

Road Trip Diary: King's Pointe Lakeside Resort Waterpark, Storm Lake, Iowa

… Although my focus in Storm Lake is the new lakeside resort and water park, I get a grand tour with some local boosters, Gary Lalone and Mike Wilson: Postcard-pretty University with its innovatively designed underground business school, Sunset Park with its Living Heritage Tree Museum, and a view of reborn Storm Lake itself (thanks to extensive ongoing dredging) from atop the “lighthouse“ (Storm Lake’s emblem) next to the waterpark.…

... Being a tree-hugger, one of my favorite stops is the tree museum, which includes thriving descendants of specimens associated with diverse notables such as George Washington, Sir Isaac Newton and Johnny Appleseed. At the other end of the spectrum, when a tree dies around here, it often gets a new life in the studio I visit belonging to local chain-saw sculptor Jeff Klatt, whose amazing works can be seen all over town…..

…If you’re a coffeeholic like me, stop at the Grand Central Coffee Station in town. I mingle with the friendly crowd and visit with John and Karen Keenan, who returned to Storm Lake after years in South Dakota, Washington state, and other points west. Boy, is their white chocolate-apricot cookie ever good! Then I shamelessly head downtown to Page’s Storm Lake Bakery for a fluffy, gooey cinnamon roll. You see evidence of Storm Lake’s blooming ethnic diversity in the Mexican and Asian shops and eateries around town. When it comes to something more substantial, Martini’s, a tavern downtown, serves some wonderful entrees and salads (the prime rib is terrific)….

… My spiffy room at almost-new King’s Pointe, which interestingly is owned by the City of Storm Lake and just opened in 2007, is large and more than pleasant. The food in the resort’s Regatta Grille restaurant is outstanding (I have a patty melt for lunch). I encounter people here for a family reunion, as well as some waterpark visitors and business people here for a meeting. There’s a great sunset view of the lake from both my room and the lobby, but I don’t want to spend my time sitting. I’m here to get soaking wet, and Waterpark Manager Nick Edwards is more than happy to oblige me...

... The five twisting high-rise outdoor water slides, where I’m spending my time today, are a blast (there’s also an adjoining 20,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, so this is a year-round attraction)! They twist and turn downward from platforms several stories high...

... I also see lots of kids and families (the weather’s perfect, so the place is really packed) on the park’s diving boards, rocketing down the two high-speed slides, shooting basketball hoops, lap-swimming (I even get in some exercise swimming), and doing the Discovery Plunge raft ride that starts with a 420-foot descent...

… My only moment of panic comes when my glasses slip off as I plow into the water at the foot of one of the spiraling slides, but the panic is momentary: I do a quick dive and somehow locate them at the bottom. Only one thing is missing: I need to return one day with my grandkids….

Tags: Buena Vista County colleges Iowa IowasSimplePleasures parks resort tourism travel water


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