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Wining, Dining, and Cruising


Watch the world go by on the “Fun Lake.” BELOW: Cruise the lake
at sunset. Exploring the lake is fun
for all ages. Bring your swimsuit for a boatload of water sports, including waterskiing and
wakeboarding. Enjoy a fall day fishing for bass and catfish.

Wining, Dining, and Cruising

Nestled in the Ozark Mountains of south-central Missouri is a world-class boating, golfing,
shopping, and fishing
mecca. The Lake of the Ozarks—with more miles of coastline than California’s ocean beaches—is the
premier lake resort. Only a couple hours from St. Louis, Jefferson City, and Branson, the “Fun Lake” is
as one of the best places to own a second home. Why is this area of the Show-Me state so special? It
won’t take
long to see why.


In the late 1920s, the construction of the
Bagnell Dam was primarily done by hand. Its
goal was to produce hydroelectric power, but
as a result, the Lake of the Ozarks was born.
The Bagnell Dam impounded the Osage River
(named after the local Native American tribe),
creating a reservoir encompassing over sixty
thousand square miles. The coastline of the Lake
of the Ozarks is defined by its dramatic limestone
bluffs and rolling mountains with forests of
birch, maple, white oak, and dogwood.


One of the best ways to experience the lake
is by boat. Whether via private watercraft, rental
pontoon, or tour catamaran, the perspective
makes it easy to understand why so many have
made the Lake of the Ozarks an annual vacation
spot. Get active with water sports such
as parasailing and stand-up paddleboarding
or keep it mellow by fishing for bass and catfish. The natural beauty of the area is complemented
by outstanding dining and entertainment
options like Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
Lake Resort, making it a win-win for
families and couples.


Photography by Lake of the Ozarks CVB (


Off the lake, you can play a round of golf
on one of sixteen courses or shop at numerous
retail outlets and malls; however, if adventure
and adrenaline are more your style, opt for a
bird’s-eye view of the ninety-two-mile-long
lake via helicopter tour. For adventurers of all
ages regardless of the season, Thunder Mountain
Park and its Bridal Cave delight with an
array of stalactites, stalagmites, and giant
columns. Not surprisingly, Bridal Cave is the
place for lake weddings and vow renewals.


Lake activities would make anyone hungry
and thirsty. You can boat or drive to JB Hook’s for legendary steaks and seafood with a side
of stellar lake views and romantic sunsets.
Oenophiles shouldn’t miss the Lake of
the Ozarks Wine Trail, which consists of
visiting and sipping the best of seven local
wineries. For those who prefer a handcrafted
cocktail or local brew, there is the Ozark
Distillery and Brewery in Osage Beach.
Select from its creative mixology menu,
including both Missouri bourbon whiskey
and moonshine cocktails.


Did you enjoy the show? The Lake of
the Ozarks truly pulls out all the stops.
The nearly one-hundred-year-old reservoir
has sparked lifelong memories of summer
barbeques, fishermen’s stories, and fun
in the sun. Now it’s your turn to experience
all the region has to offer while watching
the world go by from your balcony on
the Fun Lake.

editor’s note

We are passionate about travel and
appreciate collected experiences. A
new-to-you country, town, or landscape
can introduce a fresh perspective and
enhance your life in unexpected ways. At
press time, the world was bonding over the
safety of home versus the thrill of travel.
Although travel is in a state of flux, there
is always value in education. Whether this
article serves as research for a future trip
or provides a real-time adventure from the
comfort of your own home, we hope it
helps you experience a new destination.