This serpentine-shaped lake in central Missouri is a premier resort destination of the Midwest. The lake, nicknamed “The Magic Dragon” for its shape, is a large reservoir created by the Osage River in the Ozarks. With both the Lake of the Ozarks State Park and Ha Ha Tonka State Park located on its shore, the lake has been a big draw for regional businesses and tourism. Now, the Lake of the Ozarks is an area landmark and beloved gathering spot for both locals and visitors alike.
Tourists will find recreational activities around Lake of the Ozarks to suit a range of budgets and tastes. Guests can enjoy world-class boating or fishing on the lake, or indulge in the shopping and dining options in the area. There are 16 golf courses in the vicinity for a round — and a view — including courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, Fred Farley and Ken Kavanaugh, to name a few. Visitors have an abundance of hiking options, with 32 lake-area trails suitable for a trek. Don’t forget to take some time exploring the two state parks near shore. If you want to feel like you’re on the coast, head for the swimming beach in Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Or if you’ve always wanted to travel to a completely different time and place, the castle ruins in Ha Ha Tonka State Park might take you there.
The counties that surround the Land of the Ozarks are home to around 300 “wild” caves, four of which have been “tamed” for visitors. Check out Jacob Cave, the largest of its kind in the lake area, famous for its depth illusion, reflective pools and the world’s largest geode. For an indoor activity, head for the Willmore Lodge museum to learn about a local dam, or to Millner County Museum in Tuscumbia for local history presented through photos and artifacts. Jefferson City makes for a history-centric metropolitan jaunt; the Missouri State Museum, Museum of Missouri Military History and Jefferson Landing State Historic Site are among places you’ll learn more about the state. To experience an entirely different culture from central Missouri, drive to Hermann Mo, a charming German town around two hours away. It’s famous for its Oktoberfest, as well as its architecture, wineries and restaurants throughout the year.
Whether you’re planning a trip with family, friends, a significant other or by yourself, there is a Lake of the Ozarks accommodation that fits the bill. Lake resorts offer plush comforts and premier service. Condos or chalets by the lake are ideal for those who desire a home away from home. Local bed and breakfasts are perfect for a romantic weekend away, or for solo time in nature. Cabins are also ideal for squirreling away in the wild. The lake also has a range of camping options, from primitive campsites to full scale RV parks.
Once called “Older Adults Transportation Service,” OATS, Inc. has expanded its transportation offerings to the rural general public, senior citizens and people with disabilities. Though not a typical hop-on, hop-off bus service, this is one of the few forms of public transportation available in the region. In terms of individual transportation, there are car rental companies including Hertz and Xpress Rent-A-Car nearby. For groups, Zee Lake Auto, Bus & Limo Rentals, Inc. or Safe Shuttle Service, Inc. may be more suitable.
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