Many of the holiday lights in Iowa are truly spectacular, and you’ll be able to find a great display no matter where in the state you visit. Many of the best are hiding in out-of-the-way locations – like a humble campground on the outskirts of Iowa City. During the year, West Overlook Campground is an affordable place to pitch a tent or park an RV on the banks of the Iowa River. But as the holiday season rolls around, it transforms into the best holiday light trail in Iowa you might never have heard of. Welcome to Holiday Lights at the Lake, a stunning display of creative lighting that can be seen from your car or on a hike around the campground. It’s only $10 per car or $5 for walkers, and the memories will last a lifetime. Check out the 2023 Holiday Lights at the Lake event below!

Related Stories

This Is The Most Iowa Sound You'll Ever Hear, And We Can't Stop Listening To It

This Is The Most Iowa Sound You'll Ever Hear, And We Can't Stop Listening To It

Visit The Heart of Mississippi River History In Iowa At The George M. Verity Riverboat Museum

Visit The Heart of Mississippi River History In Iowa At The George M. Verity Riverboat Museum

Escape To The Countryside When You Stay At This Rural Airbnb In Iowa

Escape To The Countryside When You Stay At This Rural Airbnb In Iowa

The event only began last year, but it’s already looking like it’s going to be an annual holiday tradition in Iowa. For a look back at the first year of Holiday Lights at the Lake, check out this video by City Channel 4 below!

Have you visited Holiday Lights at the Lake in Iowa City? Let us know about your trip to this unique holiday light trail in Iowa in the comments section. If you’re excited to visit for yourself, make sure to visit the Holiday Lights at the Lake website to buy tickets and the Holiday Lights at the Lake Facebook page for the latest updates on this year’s event. For another unique light festival, check out this stunning garden of lights.

Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Check out our guide to the ideal gifts for travelers.

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

More to Explore

Christmas In Iowa

What Are The Best Christmas Events In Iowa?

  • Winter Wonderscape Holiday Light Show, located in Reiman Gardens, might be the most enchanting holiday light show in all of Iowa. Taking over the state's most impressive botanical garden, it takes advantage of the natural terrain of winter plants and creates a glittering and festive landscape. Tunnels of lights and fields of lanterns are just the beginning of what awaits those who take this journey at the top Ames attraction.
  • Santa's Castle in Iowa is the most unique Christmas meet-and-greet in Iowa, taking place at a historic library in the small town of Storm Lake. The building has been transformed into a winter wonderland, featuring a meeting with Santa and a massive collection of Christmas ornaments and figurines. The highlight may be the massive model railroad, acclaimed by hobbyists nationwide.
  • The Santa Express, a special winter event on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, takes the beloved recreational railroad and museum based out of Boone and supercharges it with a dose of holiday cheer. The scenery is still the same beautiful Iowa views, but this time the route has been decked out as a journey to the North Pole. You'll enjoy seasonal treats along the way, and end with a meeting with Santa and Mrs. Claus.