Traveling by Car:

The easiest way to get to Lakeside is by car. A car is also useful, but not essential, in order to get around locally, because the Laboratory is located some miles from restaurants, theaters, bars, etc.

We are located on Highway 86, north of Milford IA.  As you get close on Highway 86, look for the silver water tower on the opposite (west) side of the road from the Laboratory. Lakeside's entrance is marked by stone gates that are normally open. When you arrive please check in at the North Office. There is plenty of free parking.

Traveling by Bus/Plane:

Public transportation is very limited in Northwest Iowa. The closest commercial airport is Sioux Falls, South Dakota (FSD). (Please do not confuse this with the Sioux City, Iowa airport (SUX), which is farther from Lakeside Lab.)

The day before each summer session begins, and the day after it ends, Lakeside provides a shuttle from and to FSD. Because of the distance between the airport and the Lab, we normally make one trip per day, timed around the last arrival and first departure. The cost is $50 each way. To help us in coordinating this service, please contact with your airline, flight number, and time of arrival or departure before you book your flight.


Housing and Meals

Iowa Lakeside Laboratory provides three types of housing:

Cabins are furnished with only essential furniture (a bed, dresser, and lamps) and are served by a nearby bathhouse. Some have screened-in porches.

Cottages are available to faculty and have a number of rooms that house 2 to 4 people each. Rooms are furnished with beds and dressers. Some cottages have bathrooms, while others are served by an adjacent bathhouse.

Motel-Style Units house one or two people, have bathrooms, are furnished, and are heated and air-conditioned. These units are available when all other housing is full.


Cooking is not allowed in any housing unit. During the summer sessions, breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the Dining Hall. Combined room and board packages are available, and these offer considerable savings over separate housing and meal plans.

Meals in the weekly room and board package start with lunch on Sunday and end with lunch on the following Saturday. Dinner on Saturday night and breakfast on Sunday morning are not served.


Housing and meal rates are given in the Lakeside fee schedule below. These are fixed fees and no rebates are possible for missed meals or overnight absences from campus. Room and board fees will be billed with tuition, unless other arrangements are made with the Director.

Merit scholarships are available that will cover all or part of the room and board fee.

Additional Information For Students

When staying in a cabin, please bring your own bed linens, blankets, and towels. Bring a sleeping bag if you have one. A limited supply of blankets and linens is available for rent. There is a coin laundry on campus.

Housing becomes available on the afternoon of the day prior to the start of classes, which is normally a Sunday, and all students should try to arrive no later than the 6 p.m. on the day before their class begins. Housing ends on the morning of the day following the last day of class (normally a Saturday).

Only a few rooms are available for students bringing spouses or families. These will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Requests for family housing must be made on the Housing Form. 

Visits by students' guests are welcome, but only possible if room is available. Sheets, pillowcases, and towels can be rented for guests.

Because the Lakeside campus is a wildlife refuge, no pets of any kind are allowed.

 Iowa Lakeside Supply Checklist

 Click here to see the campus map.

Housing, Facility and Meal Fees

Summer Session Room and Board Weekly Rates for Students and Researchers

Room without bathroom
Meals included $250 per week

Room with bathroom (double occupancy)
Meals included $300 per week

Room with bathroom (single occupancy)
Meals included $475 per week

Researchers who stay less than one week will be charged the daily room and meal rates.

Lodging and Food Daily Rates for Visitors

Overnight guests of students and faculty are welcome if lodging is available. Please contact the Mary Skopec at to make arrangements. Daily rates for lodging are applicable all year.  Click here to see a full listing of options.

Cabin-style accommodations cost $20 per person per night. Cabins are not climate controlled, and guests share a bathhouse. Guests provide their own bed linens and towels.

Motel-style accommodations cost $90 per room per night. Rooms have heat, air-conditioning, and private baths. Bed linens and towels are provided.

Meals are available in the Dining Hall when classes are in session. The cost is $8.50 for breakfast, $12.00 for lunch and $15.00 for supper. Children under 5 eat free when accompanied by a parent who has purchased a meal.

Facility Rentals

Community organizations are welcome to use Lakeside for retreats, meetings, and small conferences. Please contact the Director to check on the availability of facilities and schedule their use.

Fees for using the teaching laboratories, classrooms in the Waitt Water Quality Laboratory, the Library, Mahan Hall, and other facilities are $17 per building per hour (maximum of $68 per day) plus the actual cost of any special set ups and for cleaning up afterward, if necessary.

The Dining Hall normally serves meals only during the summer session. Catered meals, however, can be arranged for groups meeting at Lakeside, and the Dining Hall can be rented for meal services. The fee is the same as other buildings.

Overnight lodging is available at Lakeside when university classes are not in session. Lakeside can accommodate up to 92 guests as follows: 47 in cottages and hotel-style units with private baths, heat, and air conditioning; and 45 in unheated cabins served by separate bath houses. Overflow lodging can sometimes be provided.  

Sorry, but Lakeside's facilities are not available for weddings.

Shuttle Service Rates

To or from Sioux Falls Airport (FSD): $50.00 one way or $100.00 round trip. To or from Ames, IA: $50.00 one way or $100.00 round trip. To or from Iowa City, IA: $75.00 one way or $150.00 round trip. This fee will be added to your University of Iowa bill or your invoice if you are an international scholar.

Please indicate on the registration form if you will need an airport shuttle. Two weeks before your class begins you will need to contact with your airline, flight number, and time of arrival. Further questions about air travel can be directed to