Discover Lake of the Ozarks

Are you seeking a vacation destination filled with beauty, adventure, and relaxation? Look no further than Lake of the Ozarks, located in the heart of Missouri. This stunning reservoir has over 1,150 miles of shoreline and offers an array of activities for visitors.

As you explore Lake of the Ozarks, you’ll quickly realize there’s no shortage of fun and recreation on the water. Fishing enthusiasts will be thrilled with the area’s bountiful supply of fish, and if you’d take a dip instead, several public beaches are available to soak up some sun. For those who enjoy a good thrill, watersports such as wakeboarding, water skiing, and tubing are popular activities on the lake.

No boat? No problem! Lake of the Ozarks has you covered with pontoon rentals and guided tours. You can rent a pontoon for a leisurely day of exploring the lake or join a guided tour for a more in-depth look at the area’s history, wildlife, and hidden gems.


Top 3 Facts about Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri


Large Man-Made Lake

With a surface area of 54,000 acres and 1,150 miles of shoreline, Lake of the Ozarks is one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States!



Lake of the Ozarks was created by the construction of the Bagnell Dam, which was completed in 1931. The dam was built to provide hydroelectric power for the region.


State Parks

There are three main state parks around the lake: Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Ha Ha Tonka State Park, and Lake of the Ozarks State Park Grand Glaize Recreation Area, covering over 40,000 acres.

lake of the ozarks2 scaled
lake of the ozarks scaled

Must See Attractions

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Bagnell Dam


The historic Bagnell Dam is the reason for the lake’s existence and a sight to behold. Visitors can walk across the dam and learn about its history and significance.

Lake of the Ozarks State Park

State Park

Missouri’s largest state park offers various recreational activities, including hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing. The park features several picnic areas, boat launches, and scenic overlooks.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

State Park

This scenic state park features castle ruins, hiking trails, and breathtaking lake views. The park is home to Ha Ha Tonka Castle, built in the early 1900s and now stands as a picturesque ruin overlooking the water.

Annual Events and Festivals

October 5-6, 2024

The Olde Tyme Apple Festival

The Olde Tyme Apple Festival takes place every year in downtown Versailles. This award-winning festival is held in October, featuring a parade, live entertainment, and delicious apple treats.

Activities like the apple pie baking contest and apple-themed games make it a fun-filled weekend for the whole family.


Lake of the Ozarks Air Show

The Lake of the Ozarks Air Show is another exciting event you won’t want to miss. Held annually in September at the Camdenton Memorial-Lake Regional Airport, this thrilling event showcases impressive aerial performances and vintage aircraft displays. Bring your camera and capture some unforgettable moments!


Lake of the Ozarks Big Bass Bash

For fishing enthusiasts, the Lake of the Ozarks hosts numerous fishing tournaments throughout the year. One such event is the Lake of the Ozarks Big Bass Bash, held annually in October. Amateurs get the chance to win big at this two-day event, with cash prizes for the heaviest bass caught.

Top Hiking Trails

Lake View Bend Trail

Lake of the Ozarks State Park, 403 Highway 134, Kaiser, MO

This scenic trail offers hikers beautiful views of Lake of the Ozarks as it winds through wooded areas and along the shoreline.

It features diverse terrain, including rocky bluffs and gentle slopes, and provides birdwatching and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Castle Trail

Ha Ha Tonka State Park, 1491 State Road D, Camdenton, MO

The Castle Trail leads hikers to the ruins of Ha Ha Tonka Castle, a historic stone mansion perched atop a limestone bluff overlooking the lake.

Along the way, visitors can enjoy scenic views of the surrounding landscape and explore the castle ruins and nearby natural bridge.

Rock Island Trail

The intersection of Highway 5 and Route T, near Versailles, MO

The Rock Island Trail is a rail-trail conversion that passes through diverse landscapes, including forests, wetlands, and farmland.

While primarily used for hiking and biking, the trail offers opportunities for birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

Best Golf Courses

The Lodge of Four Seasons – The Cove and The Ridge Courses

315 Four Seasons Drive, Lake Ozark, MO

The Lodge of Four Seasons boasts two championship golf courses designed by renowned architects Robert Trent Jones Sr. (The Cove) and Ken Kavanaugh (The Ridge).

The Cove Course offers scenic lake views and challenging play, while The Ridge Course features rolling terrain and dramatic elevation changes.

The Club at Porto Cima

133 Club House Drive, Sunrise Beach, MO

Situated along the shores of the lake, The Club at Porto Cima offers a premier golfing experience with its Jack Nicklaus Signature Design course. Known for its challenging layout and breathtaking views, the course features meticulously groomed fairways, undulating greens, and strategically placed hazards.

Old Kinderhook Golf Course

20 Eagle Ridge Road, Camdenton, MO

This Tom Weiskopf-designed course offers a challenging yet enjoyable golfing experience with its beautiful Ozark scenery, rolling fairways, and well-manicured greens. The course is part of the Old Kinderhook resort community, which also features lodging, dining, and recreational amenities.

Water Sports

Water Skiing & Wakeboarding


The calm, clear waters of Lake of the Ozarks are ideal for water skiing and wakeboarding. Many coves and quiet areas are perfect for beginners, while more experienced enthusiasts can enjoy the challenges of skiing or wakeboarding behind a boat.

Exploring the Lake by Boat


Boating is one of the most popular activities at the lake. Visitors can bring their own boats or rent a variety of watercraft, including pontoons, speedboats, jet skis, and houseboats. With over 1,150 miles of shoreline and ample open water, the lake provides endless opportunities for boating adventures.

Fish for Bass


Fishing is a popular pastime at Lake of the Ozarks, known for its abundant population of bass, crappie, catfish, and other species. Anglers can fish from the shore, a boat, or one of the lake’s many fishing docks and marinas.

Winter Activities

Winter Fishing

While fishing may not be as popular in the winter, Lake of the Ozarks still offers opportunities for anglers to catch fish during the colder season.

Layer up your fishing clothes and try your luck at catching bass, crappie, and other species that are active even in winter.

Hiking & Nature Walks

The Lake of the Ozarks State Park and other nearby parks offer scenic hiking trails that can be enjoyed year-round.

Bundle up and take a winter hike to explore the park’s natural beauty, spot wildlife, and enjoy the tranquility of the winter landscape.

Winter Wildlife Watching

The winter months can be an excellent time for wildlife watching around Lake of the Ozarks. Layer up and head out to observe wintering waterfowl, bald eagles, and other wildlife that frequent the area during the colder months.

Where to Eat

1932 Reserve

$$ – $$$ • Fine Dining

Frankie & Louie’s

$ – $$ • Pizza

JB Hooks

$$ – $$$ • Seafood

Where to Shop

Osage Beach Outlet Marketplace


Generations Art Studio

Art gallery

The Funky Buffalo Boutique

Women’s boutique

Where to Sleep

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Huron Shores. Beachy escape for the whole family

609 Lakeside Trail,Ripley,ON,CA,N0G 2R0
Bathrooms 3
Bedrooms 5
sparkles New

Jervis Bay – Lakefront with lots of beach!

77901 Dryden Lane,Bayfield,ON,CA,N0M 1G0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$145.36 / day
sparkles New

Private Setting – Kawarthas, Rice Lake, Waterfront, Fishing, Swim, Weekends & A Weekday Special

604 Baxter Rd, Hastings, ON K0L 1Y0, Canada
Number of Guests 15
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 1,450
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Smoke detectors
$2,695.00 / day
sparkles New

10-Bed 9-Bath Lakeside Villa: Kayarking, AC, WiFi

69 Marine Drive,Innisfil,ON,CA,L0L 1R0
Number of Guests 20
Bathrooms 9
Bedrooms 10
Sq Footage 6,600
Carbon monoxide detectors, First aid kit, Smoke detectors
sparkles New

Tips on Renting a Vacation Home on Lake of the Ozarks

Start Early

Begin your search for vacation rentals well in advance, especially if you plan to visit during peak season or holidays. Popular properties can book quickly, so it’s best to start looking as soon as possible.

Research the Area

Familiarize yourself with the different regions and communities around Lake of the Ozarks to find the location that best suits your preferences. Whether you prefer a bustling area with many activities or a quiet retreat surrounded by nature, there are options to fit every taste.

Read Reviews

Review reviews from previous guests to get a sense of their experiences with the property and the property management company. Look for reviews on trusted websites or platforms where renters share honest feedback.

Plan Your Activities

Research nearby attractions, activities, and dining options to maximise your time at Lake of the Ozarks. Whether you’re interested in boating, fishing, hiking, or exploring local landmarks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.


Going Deeper: History and Cultural Significance of Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks is not only an essential reservoir in Central Missouri, but it also carries a rich history. Created by impounding the Osage River in the 1930s, this man-made lake spans over 54,000 acres with more than 1,150 miles of shoreline. As a result of the construction of the Bagnell Dam from 1929 to 1931, it now serves as a significant hydroelectric power source for the St. Louis area.

Beyond its breathtaking views and recreational activities, the lake is often called the jewel of the Ozark Mountains, with its surrounding forests and unique geological features. The Civilian Conservation Corps further enhanced the region during the 1930s, a United States federal program to provide employment opportunities and preserve the country’s natural resources.

The Lake of the Ozarks has a mysterious side, too. Beneath its waters lies the underwater town of Linn Creek, a reminder of the sacrifices made to create this massive reservoir. The lake has also gained some fame from the variety of fish found here – anglers love to cast their lines and see what they can reel in.

When you visit the Lake of the Ozarks, you’re not just exploring a beautiful water body; you’re witnessing a piece of United States history and experiencing the cultural importance of this remarkable region. So, grab your camera, put on a life jacket, and make your way to the Ozarks – it’s time to understand why this lake is valued by people from near and far!

Frequently Asked Questions about Lake of the Ozarks

There are numerous lodging options at Lake of the Ozarks, ranging from luxurious resorts to cozy cabins and vacation rentals. Margaritaville Lake Resort is a popular choice with various amenities, including safety deposit boxes and beach access for swimming. If you prefer a more personal touch, consider staying at one of the many vacation rental properties available throughout the area.

If you enjoy camping, you can find three Missouri State Parks surrounding Lake of the Ozarks. These parks offer campsites with various amenities, such as showers, restrooms, and picnic areas. During your camping excursion, take advantage of the well-marked walking trails and explore the beauty of the Ozark Mountains.

Yes, it is safe to swim in Lake of the Ozarks! As a popular Midwest recreational destination, the lake is regularly monitored for safety, and any pollution concerns reported to the appropriate authorities, such as the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance or county health departments, are handled promptly.

Lake of the Ozarks, a man-made haven, is known for its breathtaking beauty and diverse recreational opportunities, including water sports, spelunking, hiking, and more. With an abundance of restaurants, shopping centers, and picturesque scenery, it’s no wonder many people find Lake of the Ozarks appealing.

At Lake of the Ozarks, there’s never a shortage of fun activities! You can rent a boat to explore the vast expanse of the lake, visit the awe-inspiring Ha Ha Tonka State Park, or go golfing at The Willmore Lodge. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are plenty of hiking trails, fishing spots, and the opportunity to explore caves. Winter travelers can use the milder months to shop at local malls and specialty shops.

Lake of the Ozarks is conveniently located in central Missouri, making it accessible from numerous nearby cities and towns. The easiest ways to get there are through major highways and roads that connect the region. Once you’re in the area, you can find your way around the different cities and towns situated around the Lake of the Ozarks by following the signposts and maps available.

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