When the sun goes down on the Lake of the Ozarks, it's easy to see why it is one of the most popular destinations in the Midwest.
1. The Four Seasons
While we love the summer, we also enjoy the cooler quieter spring, summer and winter months. The snowy bluffs and hills of the Ozarks offer beauty that can’t be found anywhere else. For those who only see the Lake during the summer, you are missing out. Make sure to plan a trip in October when the Lake's scenery takes on a whole new look.
You don't have to be an expert slalom skier to enjoy watersports at the Lake. Wakeboarding, skiing, paddleboarding, kayaking … it’s all here for everyone to enjoy. You’ll find everything from families in pontoon boats to a professional race crew doing a practice run make up the myriad of boats found making their way down the main channel.
People come to the Lake to have a good time. There is a vast amount of live music to be found at watering holes and nightclubs.
4. The History
Bagnell Dam might be the most photographed and most recognizable landmark at the Lake. It’s where it all began. Willmore Lodge in Lake Ozark is a great place to learn more about how the Lake was built. The Miller, Morgan and Camden county museums, will give you a more in-depth glimpse into the past.
5. The Food
From waterfront bars to elegant dining, chefs everywhere are serving delectable dishes every night of the week. Grab a drink at one of the many swim-up bars or have a more fine-dining experience with someone special.
6. The Strip
Everyone has a favorite place to go on the Strip. The landscape of this historic destination has changed over the years, but it's popularity never fades.
7. Parks & Wildlife
We have some of the best parks in the state! Ha Ha Tonka and the Lake of the Ozarks State Park offers camping, hiking and a habitat for wildlife. Nature lovers will rival in the many species of waterfowl, game, birds and other creatures that can be found.
8. Friday Night Football
This time of year, there is no other place to be on a Friday than a high school football game. Whether you are a Laker, Mustang, Tiger or Osage fan, big crowds show up to cheer on their favorite team.
Home to hundreds of fishing tournaments a year, bass and catfish and crappie are plentiful.
Grab a glass of wine and enjoy the view! Shawnee Bluff Winery has miles of Lake views. You can launch a kayak out of Sugarloaf Winery or take in the rolling hills at Seven Springs Winery. Others include Casa de Loco, Golden Rock Winery and Shawnee Bluff Vineyard.
Hundreds of paved and dirt-covered trails make enjoying the great outdoors a favorite pastime. The trails on Horseshoe Bend are great for biking or walking but there are secluded paths at the state parks that offer more peace and quiet. You’ll find easy one-mile trails or ones that will take half the day. Plan your next adventure by going to www.mostateparks.com.
12. Farmers’ Markets
Seasonal produce and homemade goods can be found at any of the farmers markets in the area. Sunrise Farm Market is open year-round in Sunrise Beach. Be sure to check out the Eldon Farmers Market Fridays from 3-6 p.m. at the Rock Island Park. The Osage Beach Farmers Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in front of the Osage Beach Outlet Marketplace. The Camdenton Farmers Market is in front of the courthouse on the Square in Camdenton Saturdays from 7 a.m.-noon. Get there early for the best selection!
13. Events and Festivals
There is never a lack of things to do. Year-round events can be found at the Lake. Pay special attention to what’s coming up in the fall when there seems to be a number of festivals taking place like the Lake of the Ozarks Air Show, the Turkey Festival and the Apple Festival.
Memorial, July 4th and Labor Day holiday weekends bring with them fireworks on the water. Big shows are typically held at Tan-Tar-A, the Lodge of Four Seasons, Old Kinderhook and Bear Bottom Resort.
When the sun goes down on the Lake, it's easy to see why it is one of the most popular destinations in the Midwest. Spectacular views can be found all around.
16. Mennonite Country
Take a road trip to the countryside. You won’t be disappointed by the number of small, family-owned businesses along the way. The Versailles, Barnett and Stover areas have the heaviest concentration of mennonite businesses. Bulk food stores, farm-raised meat, furniture, greenhouses and other businesses make for a fun day of shopping.
There are more than a dozen signature golf courses surrounding the Lake. If you are a golfer, you’ll never get bored.