Visitors and locals alike will have an opportunity to enjoy the changing fall colors while enjoying a day out on the water and fun festivities at many of the Lake of the Ozarks' most popular restaurants and marinas during the 34th Annual Fall Harbor Hop on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Visitors and locals alike will have an opportunity to enjoy the changing fall colors while enjoying a day out on the water and fun festivities at many of the Lake of the Ozarks' most popular restaurants and marinas during the 34th Annual Fall Harbor Hop on Saturday, Oct. 12.

The Fall Harbor Hop, which is a casual and entertaining poker "hop," is a semi-annual event where participants try to complete the best poker hand (or hands) by traveling on the Lake or on land to their choice of waterfront checkpoints across the Lake of the Ozarks. Depending on the location, "hoppers" can grab a bite to eat, enjoy a tasty beverage and listen to live music as well. And, to sweeten the pot, there are a number of prizes to be won for the best hands as well as the worst hands.

Tim Jacobsen, executive director of the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau, always looks forward to the Harbor Hop events. "The Harbor Hop is a lot of fun," says Jacobsen. "It's a great opportunity to get out on the water with your friends and make a day of it. We have a lot of groups that have been attending the Harbor Hop for many years and it's become a fall tradition for them. Many of them have a lot of fun with it and dress in Halloween costumes, too. You'll see a lot of really creative and funny costumes throughout the day."

Over 40 businesses, consisting primarily of restaurants, bars and marinas, make up the Harbor Hop stops. "Hoppers" arrive at the participating establishment of their choice to register and pick up their first card(s) before traveling, either by boat or by car, to their next locations to collect the remaining six cards to complete their hand(s). There also is the option of purchasing an eighth card at the last stop in hopes of improving their final poker hand.

Harbor Hop hours vary from location to location, with venues opening between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. and closing from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. All poker hands must be turned in at the participants' last stop to qualify for prizes.

For complete details and a full list of participating venues and their hours of operation, visit www.FunLake.com/harborhop.

Visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks area that would like to schedule a fall getaway around the Harbor Hop have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to comfortable accommodations. There are full-service large-scale resorts and smaller family-owned and operated resorts as well as charming bed and breakfasts or rustic cabins and cottages. There is no shortage of fully furnished vacation rental homes and condominiums. For those who prefer sleeping under the stars, there are spacious campgrounds and RV parks interspersed throughout the area.