An Iowa Beach Vacation: Honey Creek Resort


Living in land-locked Iowa, there aren’t a ton of options for a beach vacation, right? Wrong! You can enjoy your very own beach vacation in the timespan of Moana (well, if you drive fast and don’t break for the bathroom).

How’s that possible you ask? Take a road trip to the fantastic Honey Creek Resort on Lake Rathbun and find out how you can enjoy your very own Iowa beach vacation!

honey creek resortHoney Creek Resort is on Lake Rathbun in Moravia, IA, approximately one hour and 45 minutes away from Des Moines.

Sandy beaches, swimming, and boating are your standard beach vacation must-haves. But Honey Creek Resort takes it a step beyond with their family-friendly indoor waterpark! So if sandy feet aren’t your thing, you can still have fun in the water.  

Here are my tips on how you can the biggest bang for your buck at Honey Creek Resort:

  1. Take full advantage of the organized activities. My kids enjoyed family kayaking (led by resort staff), an amphibian monoprint paint activity, and fishing. All we had to do was show up at the right place!
  2. Each room has a mini fridge, so bring your own snacks and munchies. The resort has its own restaurant, which is delicious, and a snack bar. We especially liked brunch! But if you are all-hours snackers or have a picky eater, I suggest bringing your own snacks. There aren’t a ton of food options in Moravia, so come prepared with your own snacks and drinks.
  3. Bring two sets of swim clothes. Between beach activities and the indoor water park, the opportunities to get wet are endless and no one likes putting on a wet swimming suit.
  4. There is a small nature center on property that has things like turtles, salamanders, and snakes. If you can convince your family to take a short break from the water, it’s a fun place to ask some questions to DNR staff and learn a bit about the surroundings.honey creek resort
  5. S’mores. There is a fire pit they light up every night and when aren’t s’mores delicious? The staff will give you a small package with the all the s’mores fixins, so make sure you enjoy a campfire moment with your family. 
  6. We didn’t get a chance to experience this, but there are also the most adorable looking cottages on property if you have a larger group and you want to visit. I’ve heard good things!
  7. Honey Creek Resort is really geared toward families. They have bikes, bike trailers, and kids’ bikes available for rent, but there are a limited number so don’t delay scheduling your rental time. The trails are scenic and well-marked. It was one of my favorite parts of our time there and a really peaceful time to enjoy a sunset bike ride.
  8. Tired of being in the water and having shriveled raisins for fingers, but your kids still have more energy? Visit the playground area. It’s awesome and kids ages two to ten will find something that will entertain them. 
  9. Get the breakfast veggie skillet or the pancakes for breakfast. Neither will disappoint.
  10. Stay an extra day. It’s worth it!
    honey creek resort


About Honey Creek Resort 

Honey Creek Resort
12633 Resort Drive
Moravia, IA 52571




Honey Creek Resort is a great vacation spot whether you are looking for a beach vacation or a getaway near Des Moines. It is family orientated and fun for everyone! Book your visit today!

Honey Creek Resort provided hotel and accommodations in exchange for my review.
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Kara Knaack
Kara originally hails from northwest Iowa where she met her husband, Lance, through a 4-H fashion show. After a decade of living in central Iowa, Kara is still figuring out which way is north. Wearing the hat of “wife, mommy, employee, chef, ribbon tie-er and family calendar organizer,” Kara knows a bit about juggling life and work. Kara became a boy-mom in June of 2011 to Lucan and a girl-mom to Gracelyn in December of 2014. Most days you can find her mixing up metaphors and oversharing life’s moments via social media. Kara enjoys yoga, reading, gardening, cooking, sewing in straight lines and singing along to musicals. A spender by nature, but thrifty by necessity, Kara is always in hunt of a bargain. She’s an active member of Northpoint Church and a resident of Grimes. Her vision for life includes “doing the best we can with what God gives us.”


  1. Great story and wonderful place. I’ve stayed a few times. Truly a hidden treasure. You forgot to mention the golf course however.


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