2021 T-Bone Trail · Family Adventures · Iowa Food · Museums and History · Northwest Iowa

Waterslides, Tacos, Steaks, & Lakefront: Iowa’s Buena Vista County Specialties

*Western Iowa has lakes EVERYWHERE! One of the most well known lakeside communities is Storm Lake and they have many ways to enjoy the watery activities we love when the weather is nice and warm. Both in the lake and while zipping down slides at the local waterpark. There’s a lot of sunshine available for all of us here in Storm Lake and more to come while the summer stretches on. Our visit here was sponsored by Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation. Some of the meals, services, and goods were complimentary. The views expressed in this blog post are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!

Literally the first thing I did upon arriving to Storm Lake, Iowa and you can too!

Buena Vista County, Iowa

One of the greatest Father’s Day weekends of my life was spent in Storm Lake. It was around 5 years ago and we stayed at King’s Pointe Resort, enjoyed the waterpark, walked around the lake, ate some awesome food, and then wondered if we would ever be back again when the trip was over. Well, guess what….We’re back for another round of this BV community and the kids are older and bigger, the Gallivant nation has expanded, and we were ready to tackle our favorite places in Storm Lake and get to know more of this NW-Iowa county. There’s still some great ways to hold onto the summer in Buena Vista County!

Waterpark Time!

Hey, King’s Pointe! We’re back! 1520 East Lakeshore Drive-Storm Lake, Iowa 712-213-4500

Hot summer days are easily managed with plenty of entertainment in Storm Lake, and in large part by their exciting waterpark that towers over the landscape when you arrive to the east side of town. It’s impossible to miss and it’s the perfect way to have the car come to a screeching stop from a long road trip. My kids already had their swimsuits on and were in the rushing waters of King’s Pointe Resort & Waterpark within a few minutes after parking the family mini-van. These are the days that they don’t waste a second of time!

I wasn’t kidding when I said that you can’t overlook the waterpark in Storm Lake. Imagine if they made lighthouses like this. I’d never leave my post if they did that!

Your King’s Pointe memories are ready to be made. Watch the video of Gigi within 15 minutes of arriving to Storm Lake!

Nice landing! Now, just perfect your form by doing it 700 more times while we’re here.

Be lazy at King’s Pointe. Be VERY lazy all day if you’d like…..

Those lazy rivers are perfect sun soaking masterpieces. The Storm Lake afternoon featured a lot of laps around this watery passage by all of us. Nice teamwork you two!

The great outdoors are always the preferred way to enjoy a waterpark, but King’s Pointe has another option as well. need a break from the rays outside? Then go indoors and starting zipping down those slides too! You can enjoy their waterpark in the cold months ahead because we all know that cabin fever and the cravings for being active are coming this winter. Just check the King’s Pointe Waterpark calendar for times when its open during those weeks when you’re starting forget how your swimwear felt.

Yup. I’m thinking a winter vacation trip when the kids are out of school. However, let’s enjoy the last days of summer while we still can in Storm Lake!
Even the littlest of kids will find something they can handle at King’s Pointe!


Like a giant lakeside lodge! That was my first impression, years ago when we first arrived at King Pointe Resort. Beautiful layout and very welcoming atmosphere inside and out.

The folks at King’s Pointe know that you’re here for a wonderful lakeside experience. Which is why this resort embraces the iconic lake that seems to be in constant view while you’re here. Sure, they want you to enjoy your stay in their lovely and entertaining facilities. But, they also keep the scenery of Storm Lake front and center in just about everyway possible on this property.

Welcome to the lobby! Begin relaxing immediately or rush to the waterpark. Your choice!
Another island of comfy furniture in the King’s Pointe lobby. One of the best views you’ll get of the lake anywhere.
You don’t even need to get out of bed if you want to stare out at the lake. I love it when the breezes and summer sunlight pour into rooms like this. And I can always find these moments in Storm Lake.

Need a cold beverage after a long day of waterslides and sunbathing? Just steps from the lobby is the Regatta Restaurant and it’s full bar with another amazing lakeside front seat waiting for you.

Give that big’ol beer mug the best view it’s ever had when you’re at the Regatta!
Full breakfast menu is also available at the Regatta! You don’t have to go far at all to get your morning kickoff started the right way at King’s Pointe.

It’s been a busy season for Storm Lake this year and King’s Pointe was getting a steady stream of guests checking in when we showed up to the front desk. The lobby was looking exquisite and it supplied the first marvelous view of the lake from its huge picture windows. The staff kept up with the check-ins, phone calls, and general requests like the champs they are. We put our key card to use and then we observed an unforgettable sun filled room when he opened the door. The lake was just yards from our sliding door and we could enjoy its splendor from anywhere within our suite. This is one way to keep the TV off and just lose yourself while viewing this NW-Iowa destination that’s been sparking imaginations for generations of visitors. However, we had more of the area to see, so it was gallivanting time once again. Stay tuned to TIG because this isn’t the last of what we have to say about King’s Pointe Resort & Waterpark!


One of my favorite features of any trip I make. What’s within walking distance of my room! One of the coffeeshops I always stop at, while in Storm Lake, is Grand Central Coffee Station, and it’s right across the street from the waterpark.

That’s exactly what I like to see. Waterslides overlooking my coffee break. You can hear the laughter and good times from the waterpark while you’re here at Grand Central Coffee Station. I told you it was nearby!
Never underestimate the feeling an ice coffee can provide. Officially ready for the rest of my day in Storm Lake!

Sweet Tooth Alert

You’ll need some energy and caffeine isn’t the only booster you should have. Carb-up at the Storm Lake Bakery and give that sweet tooth a workout!

Located on the main drag of Lake Ave and creating delightful treats to the Storm Lake legions for 105 years!
It’s nice to know that your sugary and delicious holiday cookies can be prepped and boxed up at Storm Lake Bakery! And look at all that jelly and frooooooooooooooostingggggg………
Hold on! I can get a pretzel shaped glazed donut at Storm Lake Bakery? SIGN ME UP!

History & Roadside America

I have been directing traffic to this arbor filled museum for years. Truly one of my favorite museums on planet Earth and I’ve been fascinated with it since the first time we stopped by 5 years ago. Living Heritage Tree Museum is near the lake and walking path you’ll want to enjoy while in Storm Lake. I mean it when I say that I absolutely love these grounds.

I always take way more time then expected when we stop and mosey around this park.
Each tree has a story at this outdoor museum. And they all have a plaque explaining the historical significance they all have.

Free, outdoors, and incredibly historical. This is one of the smartest concepts I can think of when it comes to the world of museums. Just watch the video below and see what I’m talking about!

That’s one happy history lover!
Just a sample of the stories you’ll read about at the Storm Lake Living Heritage Tree Museum!

Let’s Eat Steak

Time for a quick drive north to Sioux Rapids for another big and memorable meal on the Western Iowa T-Bone Trail! Wagon Wheel Bar & Grill is next up on the T-Bone Trail in Western Iowa! 605 HWY 71-Sioux Rapids

The Wagon Wheel Bar & Grill had a host of regulars enjoying some great cooking coming out of the kitchen and we made ourselves right at home with them. You’ll love what we ordered!

They know ow to burger their way around NW-Iowa too! Look at that all beef patty with tons of melted cheese!
One of the biggest “side” salads we had on the entire T-Bone Trail!
The Buena Vista County Ribeye feast I was waiting for!

Charbroiled and served juicy with an aroma I could get whiffs of while it was cooking. Small-town Western Iowa did it again with a local restaurants that makes some of the best steak suppers in the state. We’ve been to a lot of these eateries and the Wagon Wheel in Sioux Rapids did a phenomenal job on this night. As they do everyday from what their regulars told me. The service was speedy and came with a lot of humorous one-liners that I will always appreciate in any setting. Especially from a waitress that is taking care of multiple tables at a time while making everyone’s night a cheerful one. There is not an ingredient in this world that can make a meal better than that kind of genuine happiness we felt at the Wagon Wheel Bar & Grill. Click on the video below and see what it was like in Sioux Rapids!

Stay Active

One thing Storm Lake has a lot of is walking trails! I took full advantage of this beautiful way to see the lake after my huge meal at the Wagon Wheel Bar & Grill.
Plenty of shade as well. I like the summertime sun, but I like taking a break in the Buena Vista County shade just as much.

Bonus Beef

One of the best taquerias in the entire state of Iowa!

My fifth time to La Jaunita Taqueria and there is no way it’s going to be my last. I can’t imagine a trip to Storm Lake without getting some big portions of authentic Mexican food from this amazing taqueria!

Big time beef burrito and big on flavor! This is what Western Iowa road trip dreams are made of.
Trust me on this, folks. Lengua is one of the greatest tacos you can order at taquerias all over the map. It’s slow cooked beef tongue and so juicy. Packed with a beefy flavor with a fatty pot roast texture. One of my all-time favorite tacos ever! Always served on soft corn tortillas with fresh white onion, cilantro, and lime. This place also has some of the finest fresh salsa you’ll find in Iowa. Do not miss a chance to experience La Juanita’s on Lake Ave in Storm Lake!

There’s a little kid in all of us and the sight of the waterpark in Storm Lake always shines light on that side of me. The days were very hot leading up to our Storm Lake Gallivant, and King’s Pointe came to the rescue. It was very comforting to see some of the places we were familiar with while we were here because I thought of them while combing through our website last year. Everyone knew the importance of the moments we were in. Storm Lake is a place you can enjoy all year, but the summers are its obvious bread and butter. The locals were hustling through every hour of they day and not holding back on the hospitality. You made this family very happy and delightfully wiped out at the end of the day. That’s a Storm Lake story I could handle many times over. Thank you, Buena Vista County!

Be sure to like the T-Bone Trail-Western Iowa on Facebook!

Book your reservations at King’s Pointe Resort & Waterpark on their website.

Like Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation on Facebook.

Like Western Iowa Tourism Region on Facebook.

Like the Iowa Beef Council on Facebook and keep up with info, updates, events, and promotions!

See everything we’ve covered on The Iowa Gallivant in the Northwest Region of Iowa!

One more walk on the lakefront. Always give me one more of these scenes….

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