Storm Lake, Iowa, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Storm Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Storm Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Storm Lake

Lake Locations: USA - US Midwest Region - Iowa - Northwest Iowa -

Storm Lake is located in Buena Vista County in northern Iowa. At 3,097 acres, the lake is one of the largest natural lakes in the state. On the northern shore of the lake is the town of Storm Lake, a thriving community of around 10,000 people and the home of Buena Vista University. Although the town is small, Storm Lake prides itself on its active downtown and its outdoor recreational opportunities including the lake itself, several city parks, and a lakeside resort-style development.

Fishing and boating are, of course, popular activities on Storm Lake. The lake is especially known for its walleye, but there are also large populations of channel catfish, crappie, and white bass. Northern pike, tiger muskie, largemouth bass, perch, bluegill, and bluehead can also be found in Storm Lake, but in smaller numbers. Fishing tournaments are held at the lake year-round, with ice fishing being common in the winter months. The lake has good shore access for anglers, as well as public boat ramps. Because the lake has no restrictions on boats, Storm Lake is also a popular destination for water skiing and jet skiing. Sailboats are equally at home on Storm Lake, and sailboat regattas are a common sight during the summer months.

The city of Storm Lake maintains 100 acres of park land surrounding the lake. There are several public parks to enjoy, offering tennis courts; softball, soccer, and baseball fields; picnic areas; and playgrounds. Many of the parks are connected by the Lake Trail, a five mile path that provides a perfect place for hiking, biking, roller blading, and nature watching. Much of the trail stretches along the shoreline of Storm Lake, offering scenic water views.

Storm Lake also provides facilities for swimming and camping. Lakeside Beach, at the east end of the lake, and Casino Beach, at the west end of the lake, are favorite destinations in the summer, providing visitors with a place to cool off when the weather is hot. Camping is available at two lakeside campgrounds: Sunrise Campground, which is maintained by the city, and Lakeside Marina and Campground. Both campgrounds offer RV access with electrical hook-ups, and campers can enjoy bedding down just steps away from the sparkling waters of Storm Lake.

The city of Storm Lake has been busy developing its newest attraction, a community and economic development project called Project Awaysis. The centerpiece of the project is a resort-style hotel, owned by the city, with an indoor/outdoor waterpark and restaurant. The project also includes a lighthouse with an observation deck, a family playground, and a skate park. In conjunction with this project, the city is also redesigning the municipal golf course, Sunrise Pointe, as well as upgrading the marina at Casino Beach and the Sunrise Campground. The city hopes that these projects will not only increase the quality of life for its residents, but also attract more visitors to the shores of Storm Lake.

The combination of its scenic appeal and new community developments means that Storm Lake has a lot to offer visitors. Whether you enjoy fishing and boating the lake’s waters, or strolling the city’s lakeside trails, you’ll find plenty to love in Storm Lake. With its mix of carefully preserved nature areas and modern amenities, Storm Lake promises a relaxing getaway in a resort-like setting.

Things to Do at Storm Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • City Park
  • Playground
  • Casino Gambling

Fish Species Found at Storm Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Tiger Muskellunge
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

Find Places to Stay at Storm Lake

If you’re considering a Storm Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Storm Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Storm Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Storm Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 3,097 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,401 feet

Average Depth: 7 feet

Maximum Depth: 20 feet

Lake Area-Population: 10,076

Drainage Area: 22 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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