The lake guide for where to enjoy a swim during the heat of summer

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
The Eldon Aquatic Center readies its slide and pool area for the opening date of May 29.

One of the best ways to kick off Memorial Day weekend is to take a dip in your pool. If you don’t have a pool, fret not. There are a number of local municipal pools in the area, as well as some options at bars and water parks. Here’s the definitive list of options for you and the family to make a splash at the lake:

Camdenton Aquatic Center

(Location: 109 City Park Road, Camdenton)

The Camdenton Aquatic Center will open for the season on May 29. The pool will be hosting a special day of free admission on opening day to honor the 90th birthday of the City of Camdenton. There will also be free hot dogs and a shared birthday cake for attendees. The pool opens at 11:00 a.m. For those looking to enjoy the celebration offerings, it is recommended that you arrive early. 

In recognition of the city’s birthday, the center will also offer family, adult and children's season passes bought onsite for 10% off. Regular prices for these passes are Adult 13+ - $100, children 2-12 - $70, family pass for up to 4 living in the same household - $200. Additional living in the household - $35 ea. Daily visits to the center throughout the season will cost $5-adult, $3-child 2-12 and fee for children under 2.

Mayor McNabb will be at the event to welcome patrons and join in the celebration. 

For more information, check

Westside Aquatic Center

(Location: 134 N Fairgrounds Rd, Laurie)

Westside Aquatic Center has officially opened to the public, with a varying schedule that can be viewed in full at

The center offers a range of swimming lesson opportunities on top of regular swim hours. These include classes such as Water Aerobics Workout, Super Senior’s Water Workout, Life Guard Training and more. 

Open swim passes have a wife variety of pricing options. Annual passes are $344 for a single-parent family, $650 for a senior couple (60+), $433 for a senior single (60+), $650 for a couple or family of 3+, $482 for adults 18-59 and $137 for youth 2-17,

For a cheaper alternative, 10 open swims passes run: Youth: $45, Adult: $65 and Seniors: $55.

Eldon Aquatic Center

(Location: 500 Franklin Ave, Eldon)

The Eldon Aquatic Center opens May 29. One-time entry for Adults - $4, Children under 3 - $2, 65 and older - $2 and military - $2. Pool passes for the season cost $175 for a family pass, $75 for an individual pass and $50 for a half-day pass. 

The center offers a range of classes, including an adult swim, water fitness classes and a family night swim throughout the season. They are currently seeking out new lifeguards for the pool.

Big Surf Waterpark

(Location: 954 State Road Y, Linn Creek)

For those looking for an option with a few more thrills, at a higher cost, Big Surf Waterpark might be your best local option. The waterpark opens May 29. The park is back to full food service capacity for the 2021 season

Among the many rides at the park, patrons can enjoy the Zambezi Falls half-pipe ride, Challenger Flumes rushing water slides, Lazy River trip, massive wave pool and more. 

The cost to enter and enjoy the waterpark is $34 for an all-day pass for ages 11-59, $29 for ages 4-10, $27 for seniors age 60+ and free for babies 3 and under. 

Season passes will run $100 for ages 4-10, $115 for ages 11-59 and $65 for seniors ages 60+. This includes unlimited access to all Big Surf has to offer. 

Tickets to the park can be purchased online at

In the Lake

If you’re lucky enough to know a friend with lake access via a dock or cove, that might be your best option for an authentic Lake of the Ozarks dip. However, there are a couple of local beaches that will allow you to dive in for free.

Public Beach 1 is located near the Lake of the Ozarks State Park Campgrounds. Follow Hwy 42 past School of the Osage until you see the sign for the State Park entrance. The signage along the route should lead you a few miles until you reach the beach access. 

Public Beach 2 may be easier to reach, as its just off the road in Osage Beach. Follow Old State Park Rd (which can be accessed off the Parkway) and you will find the Grand Glaize Marine docking area. Right alongside it is public beach 2, which is another open-access beach that patrons can enjoy for access to the lake. 


Around the lake

Many bars and restaurants at Lake of the Ozarks have pools where you can swim up and order a drink. A majority of these locations welcome families, but call ahead or go online for more information. 

Boathouse Lakeside Bar & Grill

3 MM of the Main Channel 

107 Village Marina Rd./W-20

Eldon; 552-9496

Pool, swim-up bar and live band stage. 

Tap and Grill Lake Side Brew Haus

6.5 MM of the Main Channel 

31959 Dunwandrin Rd.

Gravois Mills; 207-0029

Pool bar with swim-up tables. 

Coconuts Caribbean Beach Bar & Grill

7 MM of the Gravois Arm

15208 Red Hollow Rd. 

Gravois Mills; 372-6500

Two pools, one 21+ and new this year is Bananas Water Park (admission charge). 

Camden on the Lake

7 MM of the Lake 

2359 Bittersweet Rd. 

Lake Ozark; 365-5500

The pool bar is open to the public. Enjoy a DJ on weekend afternoons and games on the boardwalk. Children welcome when accompanied by an adult. 

Lazy Gator’s 

7 MM of the Main Channel 

132 Sweet William Rd. 

Lake Ozark; 365-6464

Outdoor venue features an infinity pool, two swim-up bars, VIP seating, private cabanas, tiki bar and a party atmosphere. 

Backwater Jacks

18 MM of the Main Channel 

4341 Beach Dr.

Osage Beach; 348-6639 

Poolside bar and entertainment six days a week this summer. Kids 10+ welcome but hours are restricted. 

Dog Days Bar & Grill

19 MM of the Main Channel 

1232 Jeffries Rd.

Osage Beach; 348-9797

Offering a 21+ pool with swim-up bar and a family-friendly pool for kids. 

RedHead Lakeside Grill & High Tide 

21MM of the Main Channel 

1700 Yacht Club Dr.

Osage Beach; 693-1525

There are three pool bars at this complex. Check out the live DJs and swim-up bars.

LandShark Bar & Grill at Margaritaville Resort

26 MM of the Lake

494 Tan Tar A Drive

Osage Beach; 348-8593

The LandShark swim-up bar pool is 21+ but the lower portion of the pool is open to everyone. Also on the property, the Lakeside Pool is an outdoor complex with 120’ water slide, toddler splash pool that is open to the public. 

Bear Bottom Resort

38 MM of the Main Channel 

Lake Road 5-36

Sunrise Beach; 374-6905 

Poolside bar and two of the largest open-flume body waterslides in Missouri. Purchase a wristband for all-day access to the slides. 

Hippopotamus Swim Up Bar at the Regalia Hotel & Conference Center

250 Raquet Club Dr.

Lake Ozark; 723-3000

The largest swim-up bar at the Lake is open with cabana rentals, lounge chairs and an outdoor stage where you can catch concerts this summer.