Located in central Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks is a 54,000-acre reservoir boasting over 1,000 miles of shoreline. This means plenty of room to explore, relax and just enjoy being around your family and friends. The Lake of the Ozarks combined with the Lake of the Ozarks State Park offers every recreational opportunity from boating to hiking. Lake of the Ozarks vacation rentals vary from small lake cabins to grand houses near town. Check out these top 12 Lake of the Ozarks vacation rental locations when planning out your trip.

1. Lake Ozark

The city of Lake Ozark lies at the western head of the serpentine lake where it meets up with the Osage River. Not only do you get water slide rentals complete with you own lake house and dock, but you’re also within strolling distance of the downtown area. Grab a bite at Tuckers Shuckers Oysters and Tap or Alley Cats Pizzeria, among others. If you don’t have a boat, rent one at Mike Fink’s Marina Boat and Wave Runner, or really get into the spirit of things and go to Iguana Sports where you can rent all sorts of water toys from paddle boards to tubing inflatables.

2. Village of Four Seasons

The Village of Four Seasons lies in the bend of the lake, offering dozens of waterside rentals. If you want to get away from the business of the lake, opt for a home on the inland ponds like Treeline Lake or Good Oak Lake. Either offers the privacy to fish and swim outside of the crowds. Stop for some grub at Ruthie D’s or Li’l Rizzo’s without having to leave the immediate vicinity. You can even work on your handicap at the Cove Golf Course.

3. Osage Beach

Osage Beach lies between the lake and the Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Spend your morning hiking and horseback riding through the park—it covers nearly 18,000 acres—and your afternoons swimming and boating on the lake. The park abuts the lake, offering public boat ramps and beaches so that you can enjoy the water even without a lake house rental. Not only does the park boast more than a dozen trails, but it also has caverns. Explore the streams, fens, and woodlands, and then, move to the caverns for an adventure.

4. Rocky Mount

Rocky Mounts lies along the northwest side of the lake. While the town is tiny—though big enough for a small shopping center, post office, and eatery—it has plenty of waterside houses. Give up your big city cares and relax in the rural setting for a few days. If you need a hot meal, go to Lake House Cafe.

5. Gravois Mills

At the northern tip of the lake is Gravois Mills, another small community offering a rural experience where you can recharge your batteries. Opt for a waterside rental of stay inland, surrounded by trees, and get to the lake via the Gravois Mills Access area and Raymond’s Boat Launch. Kayak along Gravois Creek, which meets the lake, or stops by Ozark Bait and Tackles for a long day of fishing.

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6. Sunrise Beach

Between where three loops of the curving lake nearly meet are Sunrise Beach, a town with plenty of access to the water, whether you want a rental with a dock and pier or one on a stream. Either way, it’s a mere stroll to the beach. Rent a boat at Silver Sands or Lighthouse marina, or take a scenic drive along Sunset Boulevard. Don’t neglect to stop for a bite at ShrimpDaddy’s.

7. Linn Creek

Where one branch of the lake, just southwest of Lake of Ozarks State Park, meets Linn Creek lies the town of Linn Creek. The vacation rentals along the banks of the lake are spread out and private, making it the perfect location for a family reunion. A few convenient eateries mean that you can forego cooking if you feel like it. Also, the state park is just a quick drive away for some hiking and wildlife watching.

8. Camdenton

Camdenton is nestled along the southeastern branch of the lake. While one of the bigger cities around the lake, it’s still rather modest, giving you the best of both worlds: a small town feel and urban excitement. Drive along Highway 54 for both shopping and eating, like RJ’s and El Espolon Mexican. The highway crosses the lake if you want to take a day trip down to Springfield.

9. Roach

On the southwest side of the branch of the lake lies Roach. You can head down to the southern point of the lake to Ha Ha Tonka State Park for some hiking or swimming. Check out the Castle ruins, an early 1900-era house built to resemble castles of the European Renaissance. Hike from the castle down to the Natural Bridge and Ha Ha Tonka Spring.

10. Greenview

North from roach between two branches of the lake is Greenview. Located just off Highways 5 and 7, you have quick access to both Ha Ha Tonka State Park and the Lake of the Ozarks State Park. On the other hand, you can just stay in, enjoying your vacation rental on the water where you can swim and fish.

11. Sagrada

Sagrada lies in another of the lake’s western bends. A small community on the banks is surrounded by water and wilderness. Boat over to Attners Bluffs for a scenic view or take your significant other across the lake to the Buffalo Creek Winery for some adult fun. Although Sagrada boasts wide spaces and plenty of privacy, you can still catch a hot meal at Cardinal Cove.

12. Lakeview Heights

Lakeview Heights lies at the western side of the lake where it branches onto a multitude of creeks before reaching the Harry S. Truman Reservoir. Plenty of water slide rental makes this a prime location when staying at the Lake of the Ozarks. Plus, you’re within minutes of Warsaw for a little more city fun.

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