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Year Round Things to do at the Lake of the Ozarks
- Hiking & Biking at Ha Ha Tonka State Park (newest / smallest Missouri State Park)
- or Lake of the Ozarks State Park (largest Missouri State Park).
- Dining Out at a variety of local Restaurants
- Mini-Golf and Go-Karts
As Seen In
AAA Midwest Traveler July / August 2010
Best summer family destination: Lake of the Ozarks
It was a close race between the lake and St. Louis, but in the end, 1,150 miles of shoreline won. More than 75 years ago, the lake was created when Bagnell Dam impounded the Osage River. Today, the lake is one of the Midwest’s most popular summer playgrounds due, in part, to its central location-less than 200 miles from St. Louis, Kansas City or Springfield, and a day’s drive from anywhere in the Midwest.
Boating, swimming and fishing are popular here, and there’s something for every member of the family, no matter their ages. Family amusements-mini golf, water parks, go-carts, and arcades are here. Dad can get a round of golf in with grandpa one day while mom and grandma go shopping at Osage Beach Outlets and have high tea in the afternoon.
There’s a staggering amount of overnight rooms in the form of resorts, hotels, motels, cabins, bed and breakfasts and condos. Restaurants range from gourmet to fast food. Many have views of the water or are on lakefront property. Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri is a place to build vacation memories, which is why many people in the Midwest make it a summer ritual for their families. Information: Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau, (800) 386-5253 or www.funlake.com
Best place to find quirky souvenirs: Bagnell Dam Strip
Lake of the Ozarks was created in 1931 when Bagnell Dam was built
Shops worth stopping for include Peace Frogs, Artsy Fartsy, Ozark Candle Company, Grandma’s Candy Kitchen and the stores in the Dogpatch area.
Best shopping district: Second place: Osage Beach Premium Outlets at Lake of the Ozarks, (573) 348-2065, www.premiumoutlets.com
Best state park: Second place: Lake of the Ozarks, Kaiser, Mo., (573) 348-2694, www.mostateparks.com/lakeozark.htm
Third place: Ha Ha Tonka, Camdenton, Mo., (573) 346-2986, www.mostateparks.com/hahatonka.htm
Best golf course: The Cove - (formerly Witch’s Cove ) Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks originally designed by the Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Information: (573) 365-8574, www.4seasonsresort.com
Second place: The Club at Porto Cima, Sunrise Beach, Mo., (573) 964-3100 or www.portocima.com
Best small city for a weekend getaway: Second place: Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., (800) 386-5253, www.funlake.com
Best large hotel: The Lodge of Four Seasons: Lake of the Ozarks in mid-Missouri. (888) 265-5500 www.4seasonsresort.com.
Third place: Tan-Tar-A Resort, Osage Beach, Mo., (800) 826-8272 or www.tan-tar-a.com
Best local musician: Third place: Dale Blue, Lake of the Ozarks classic rock musician
Best chef: Second place: Chef Michael Hollingsworth, The Lodge of Four Seasons, Lake Ozark, Mo., (573) 365-3000, www.4seasonsresort.com
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