1. Upper mile markers
The show features many sweeping views of a seemingly quiet and undeveloped lake. Anyone who knows the Lake of the Ozarks though knows that many miles of shoreline are packed with housing, restaurants and entertainment venues. Head to the upper mile markers to find more pristine stretches of forests and cliffs.
2. Bagnell Dam Strip
The Lake of the Ozarks began with the construction of Bagnell Dam, completed in 1932. Above the dam is the original tourist destination of the Lake, the Bagnell Dam Strip. Quirky and kitschy shops abound along with bars, restaurants and an arcade with old-fashioned skee ball and pin ball games. While most of the film was shot in Georgia due to tax breaks, there was quite a stir on the Strip when the crew and stars showed up here to film some scenes with local color. The shops along the Strip make an appearance in the show on several occasions. While you’re on the Strip, make sure to get a selfie with Chief Bagnell, also known locally as Injun Joe. This towering fiberglass Indian figure, restored a couple of years ago, is a vintage Muffler Man statue. He makes a well-deserved cameo in the show after having loyally stood guard over the Strip for more than 45 years.
3. The sign
The Lake of the Ozarks sign pictured briefly in the show is of more recent vintage. Standing proudly at the confluence of the Highway 54 Expressway and Osage Beach Parkway, this sign was completed in 2012 through a community fundraising effort. The sign, inspired by California’s “Hollywood” sign, is one of the lake area’s newest landmarks. The structure features letters measuring 12-feet tall and stretches 87-feet wide, spelling out “Lake of the Ozarks.” It lights up at night with an LED colored-lighting system.
4. Alhonna Resort
At the 8 mile marker of the main channel of the lake, is a resort with a special relationship to the Netflix drama. Bill Dubuque, the creator and writer of the series, worked at Alhonna Resort in Lake Ozark during summers as a teenager in the 1980s. Blue Cat Lodge, a major setting in the show, was inspired by this local family-owned fishing resort. Alhonna has been a mainstay for family-friendly accommodations for nearly 40 years.
5. Lover’s Leap
Ha Ha Tonka State Park is well known for its castle ruins. Indeed, they’re one of the main reasons the park was voted the fourth best state park in the country by USA Today readers. But head to Lover’s Leap for your own view of one of the local scenic overlooks featured in OZARK. The overlook is located near the paved walking trail that circles the castle ruins.