The Midwestern United States is just as full of activity as the coasts, and has much to offer in the realm of relaxing lake destinations. A lake vacation offers the benefits of being on the beach and soaking up the sun, with a relaxing natural feel and without the hassle of long and stressful travel. Each Midwestern state (and the lakes within it) are very different, so plan to spend some time looking for the perfect place to go. In Missouri, there are so many gorgeous lakes that you can visit, so we created this list of the best places to go.

Top 6 Lake Vacations in Missouri

1. Branson

Branson is a great destination for just the right amount of culture and entertainment that a relaxing lake vacation calls for. After a day of soaking up the scenery and activities on beautiful Table Rock Lake in the southern part of the state, enjoy an abundance of live music available at night as a way to top off a delicious dinner, as well as an historic downtown district with window shopping aplenty.

2. Ridgedale

Another town situated on Table Rock Lake, Ridgedale offers a great selection of resorts that you probably won’t even feel the need to venture from. These woodsy enclaves nestled in the Ozarks offer worldly comforts to follow the plethora of excursions that the mountain air will surely inspire you embark on. If there is a desire to emerge from the all-inclusive resorts, nearby Branson offers the amenities of a bustling town with a relaxed nightlife scene.

3. Sunrise Beach

The small village of Sunrise Beach is not lacking in opportunities for the resort experience. It is located close to the Lake of the Ozarks which boasts perhaps the most to do out of the lakes in the areas on this list. This locale is great if you want to be near tourist attractions, but not necessarily sleeping next to them. There will be plenty of opportunity to explore the trails less worn down by visitors as well as enjoy the perks of being near a visitor-oriented town catering to your man-made entertainment needs as opposed to landscapes.

4. Camdenton

If you like to walk out your door and be steps away from any resort activity your heart could desire, look no further than one of Camdenton’s many family resorts right on the Lake of the Ozarks. One of the largest lakes in the Mid-West, there’s something for everyone whether you prefer walking around town and people-watching, or spending all day without touching your feet to land. Bask in the vacation vibes around every corner and on every block.

5. Lake Pomme de Terre

This state park offers more of a do-it-yourself kind of getaway, with plenty of campsites and enough to keep you busy for a several-day long trip. The park offers access to swimming and docks, and is ideal for the experienced fisher and outdoors enthusiast. For those interested in wildlife, the park offers a guide to bird types if you would like to expand your knowledge of your local environment.

6. Clearwater Lake

Sleepy Clearwater Lake, MO is the place to go if you are looking for a less tourist-y lake escape. This small town has all you need for a quiet break from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Classic cabin style lodging and access to swimming and water activities without the crowds is sometimes the ideal respite, and this place is where it’s at if you want fewer distractions from connecting with your travel companions.

This article was written by Noelle LaDue.