Tuesday, May 22, 2018

2018 Lake Race Brings High-Speed Action To The Lake Of The Ozarks

A week of speed-themed activities bookends one of the fastest-paced events at the Lake of the Ozarks, the 2018 Lake Race, Saturday, June 2.

The Lake Race is one of two powerboat races that take place at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the Nation and features some of the fastest boats from all over the country as they compete for big prize money and bragging rights.   

Leading up to the main event, there are several Lake Race festivities, including the "Festival of Speed" on Thursday, May 31. The Festival of Speed takes place at Big Thunder Marine Showroom, 3401 Bagnell Dam Boulevard in Lake Ozark, and features both indoor and outdoor exhibits of many models, shapes and sizes of fast boats. The Festival of Speed runs from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.

On Friday, June 1, the lower area of the historic Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark, from west end of the "Strip" to the dam, will shut down to traffic and transform into the Lake Race headquarters. There will be a  Lake Race Street Party at 5 p.m., complete with a family-friendly race "village" where the public can meet the racers and check out all the impressive power boats.

The official Offshore Powerboat Association-sanctioned Lake Race gets underway on Saturday morning with the opening ceremonies beginning at 10:40 a.m.  at Beavers at the Dam restaurant, 1076 Bagnell Dam Boulevard. All the high-speed excitement kicks off at 11 a.m. as competitors thunder across the officially designated four-mile race course to see who can clock the fastest  time. The races last until 5 p.m., at which point all competitors will have completed their heats. There will be designated anchor spots along the course for attendees viewing the races from their boats. On land, spectators will be able to watch all the thrilling action from prime viewing spots along Bagnell Dam as well as at many of the sponsoring establishments as boats run from the zero-mile marker to the four-mile marker of the Lake of the Ozarks. 

The winners of the 2018 Lake Race will be announced that evening during the award ceremony held at Camden on the Lake Resort, 2359 Bittersweet Road in Lake Ozark. Afterward, back at the Bagnell Dam Strip, there will be an after-party with live music and entertainment.  

In the days following the boat race, other events include the Lake Race Poker Run from Camden on the Lake on Friday, June 8, the Lake Race 5K fun run/walk race along the Bagnell Dam Strip on Saturday, June 9 and the "Paddle Battle" kayak race at Super Dave's Paddlecraft Adventures located at Frankie and Louie's Beachfront Bar and Grill, 1028 Deer Valley Park in Sunrise Beach, on Tuesday, June 12.

For more details on all the 2018  Lake  Race events and a full list of viewing locations and participating sponsors, visit www.LakeRace.com.  

To get additional information about all the fun  events,  attractions  as well as  dining  and lodging options available  at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the nation, call the  Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau  (CVB) at  800-FUN-LAKE , or visit the CVB's award-winning website at  www.FunLake.com . 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Big Summer Concerts Coming to Lake of the Ozarks for Summer 2018

Live music is an integral part of living the "Lake life" at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks. On any given day during the summer months, visitors can enjoy live music performed by local artists and big name acts at nearly all of the 200 restaurants and bars, as well as resorts and entertainment complexes at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the Nation. And, two of the area's biggest outdoor venues host legendary recording artists during their summer concert series.

Shawnee Bluff Vineyard, located off Highway 54 at 8 Tolwood Road in Eldon, has for years hosted many nationally-acclaimed musical acts. The 2018 concert series at the sprawling 40-acre vineyard kicks off with "Chicks with Hits," a concert featuring celebrated female country vocalists Terri Clark, Pam Tillis and Suzy Boggus on Saturday, May 12. 

On Friday, June 1, Shawnee Bluff hosts an evening of alternative rock heavyweights from the 1990s. Gin Blossoms, who dominated the '90s air waves with their pop singles "'Til I hear It From You," "Hey Jealously," "Allison Road," and "Found Out About You," will be joined by Tonic and Vertical Horizon. In Addition, t he month of June sees several big-name country bands play the vineyard stage. Diamond Rio comes to the Lake of the Ozarks on Friday, June 8, followed by Steve Earle and The Dukes on Friday, June 22. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of his hit country-rock album "Copperhead Road," Earle and The Dukes will be playing the celebrated album in its entirety as well as many of his other hits. The Grammy-nominated Cam brings her brand of wildly successful pop country to Shawnee Bluff on Saturday, June 30.

The rest of the summer sees other successful country artists as well as legendary rock bandsSara Evans plays on Saturday, July 7 and Survivor, best known for their double-platinum hit "Eye of the Tiger," plays on Saturday, July 28. Half of country music's biggest hit making mother-daughter team of the '80s and '90s, the Judds,Wynonna and The Big Noisewill entertain crowds at Shawnee Bluff on Saturday, Aug. 25. September sees the Bellamy Brothers playing on Friday, Sept. 7 and the vocal talents of the Oak Ridge Boyson full display on Friday, Sept. 28. The Shawnee Bluff Vineyard summer concert series concludes with the raucous rockabilly sounds of  Reverend Horton Heat on Saturday, Oct. 13.
playing the vineyard stage. Country Music Award-winning performer.

Nearly all shows are billed as being all-ages shows with doors opening at 5 p.m. Headliners take the stage at 8 p.m. during each concert, followed by professional fireworks displays at the close of the evening. Tickets for the shows range from $20 - $89 per person. For more details on the performers, or to order tickets, either call 573-365-1100 or visit www.ShawneeBluffWinery.com/concerts.

Aside from these notable acts, Shawnee Bluff Vineyard also features local artists every Sunday throughout the summer and their second location, Shawnee Bluff Winery in Lake Ozark, features live music every weekend throughout the year. For more information on both locations - the Vineyard and the Winery - as well as a full events calendar, visit  www.ShawneeBluffWinery.com. 

The Lake of the Ozarks' largest outdoor venue, Ozarks Amphitheater , marks the beginning of its 2018 summer concert series Memorial Day weekend with one of the most popular and successful country bands of all time, Alabama , on Saturday, May 26. Alabama, who charted over 40 number-one hits in their hayday, is joined by Montgomery Gentry.

In June, the amphitheater, which is located at  2629 North Business Route 5 in Camdenton, hosts a weekend double-header starting with the humorous tunes of comedian and country artist Rodney Carrington on Friday, June 15. The next day, the Grammy-winning progressive heavy rock outfit Mastadon join the experimental funk-rock band Primus on Saturday, June 16.

July sees Jamey Johnson, the 11-time Grammy nominated torch-bearer of current outlaw country, and Craig Campbell play on Friday, July 6. Fans of the late Tom Petty will enjoy Free Fallin: A Tribute to Tom Petty on Friday, July 20, complete with costume changes and accurate replications of Petty's biggest hits.

On Saturday, Aug. 11, two celebrated groups come to the Lake with performances by alternative Big Head Todd and the Monsters and the latin-infused rock and roll sounds of Los Lobos.
rock band 

For Labor Day Weekend, Ozarks Amphitheater welcomes back the Grammy-nominated, multi-plantinum recording artistAaron Lewis on Saturay, Sept. 1. To close out the summer concert series, Get the Led Out, hailed as the "American Led Zeppelin," brings the British rockers hits to life with their musically-precise two-hour set on Saturday, Sept. 22.

For most shows at the amphitheater, doors open at 6 p.m. with music starting at 7 p.m. Depending on the artist, tickets for each show run from $20 per person up to $600 for VIP seating for four.  For more information on the Ozarks Amphitheater, or to order tickets for the upcoming concert series, please call 573-346-0000 or visit www.OzarksAmp.com .

Of course, the previously mentioned concerts are not the only opportunities to see live music at the Lake of the Ozarks this summer. In addition to events taking place at the different restaurants, bars, resorts and entertainment complexes, Main Street Music Hall, 5845 Osage Beach Parkway in Osage Beach, has been entertaining audiences for over 20 years with their different musical programs. The Music Hall's shows take place from late April through December and include the Best of Main Street Opry variety show as well as the Reelin' in the Years revue that includes hits from the '60s, '70s and '80s. Details on the Main Street Music Hall can be found at www.LakeMusicHall.com or by calling 573-348-9500.

For more live music taking place around the Lake this summer, visitors should head to the event calendar at www.FunLake.com or check the websites or Facebook pages of their favorite restaurants, bars and other venues.

To get additional information about all the fun eventsattractions as well as dining and lodging options available  at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the nation, call the  Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) at  800-FUN-LAKE, or visit the CVB's award-winning website at www.FunLake.com . 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Take A Hike! Lake Of The Ozarks Trails Offer Natural Beauty And Adventure Off The Beaten Path

One of the best ways to enjoy the scenic and natural beauty of the Ozarks is by hiking or taking a leisurely walk through the mixed terrain enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the forests, glades, meadows and prairie . There are ample opportunities for visitors to the "Best Recreational Lake" in the Nation to head off the beaten path and discover the wonders of nature.

There is perhaps no better place to hike at the Lake of the Ozarks than at its two state parks. In total, the parks have a combined 26 different trails covering over 57 miles. Each park showcases the area's natural history and beauty and each has its own claim to fame.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park was voted the fourth-best state park in the country by readers of USA Today and has one of the most photographed features in the state: The ruins of a 19th century "castle" that was constructed on a high limestone bluff overlooking Ha Ha Tonka Spring and the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. The 3,751-acre park is Missouri's premier showcase of karst geology and is unique in the quantity and quality of its remarkable geological features. 

Ha Ha Tonka's fourteen walking trails, covering more than 15 scenic miles throughout the park,  make it easy for visitors to experience the honeycomb of tunnels, rock bridges, caverns, springs, sinkholes and other natural areas. Visitors can peer into caves, climb 316 steps from the spring to the "castle" on a wooden boardwalk that circles the spring chasm, or navigate well-worn paths through the woodland area and the park's glades.

Jim Divincen, administrator for the Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association, enjoys spending some of his free time hiking the trails at Ha Ha Tonka. One of Divincen's favorite trails is the park's longest, Turkey Pen Hollow. This 6.5-mile hike winds through the scenic and rugged Ha Ha Tonka Oak Woodland Natural Area.

"With some near 200-foot climbs in elevation, this trail provides many spectacular views," says Divincen. "The first time I finished the trail, I remember thinking, 'wow, that was really special.' Since then, I've hiked this trail on several occasions at different times of the year and it's an absolutely beautiful experience no matter the season or the weather."

Divincen recommends that those planning to hike Turkey Pen Hollow should allow at least three hours to complete the trail. In addition, Divincen encourages hikers of any of the trails at the Lake to be sure to bring plenty of drinking water.  More details on Ha Ha Tonka's trails can be found atmostateparks.com/park/ha-ha-tonka-state-park .

Lake of the Ozarks State Park is Missouri's largest park consisting of 17,626 acres and also is the most visited. It is a favorite among backpackers and anglers and also features a 10-mile aquatic trail, accessible only by boat.  On land, 12 trails, ranging from 0.8 of a mile to 13.5 miles, wind through the park. Lake of the Ozarks State Park also features trails that accommodate mountain bikers and equestrians for those who would like to explore the park by bicycle or on horseback. 

One of the park's more popular trails is Coakley Hollow, a self-guided interpretive trail that measures a fairly easy distance of one mile. Coakley Hollow meanders through one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the park, featuring six different types of ecosystems, including dolomite glades, fens, spring-fed streams and several types of woodlands. Interpretive stations are located along the trail, making it easy to learn about the terrain and rare species encountered along the hike.

"A great family-friendly trail at Lake of the Ozarks State Park is the Lakeview Bend Trail," says Divincen. This 1.5-mile trail begins at the campground check-in station along State Highway 134 in Kaiser and runs along the banks of Lake of the Ozarks. "There are some splendid views of the Lake from this trail, especially in-season, from June through October, when the water level is up," Divincen concludes.

Hidden below the surface of Lake of the Ozarks State Park is  Ozark Caverns, one of four show caves in the Lake area. Informative park interpreters lead hour-long, narrated hand-held lantern tours of Ozark Caverns' underground beauty from mid-May until mid-September. For more information on the trails and features of Lake of the Ozarks State Park, visit mostateparks.com/park/lake-ozarks-state-park.

Both state parks are free and open to the public year around.  Each offers spectacular shows of color during the spring and fall and native plant species and wildlife thrive in all seasons.

Five unique Missouri conservation areas at Lake of the Ozarks welcome hikers and feature designated walking trails, birding areas and natural areas to explore as well. The conservation areas also are free and open year around. For more details on all the Lake-area conservation areas, their trailheads, and other activities and amenities available, call the Camdenton Conservation Service Center at 573-346-2210, or head to the Missouri Department of Conservation website at www.mdc.mo.gov to access an interactive atlas for detailed maps of the different areas.

There are many lodging options available in close proximity to the state parks and conservation areas, making it easy to relax and unwind after a day on the trails. Accommodations range from full-service resorts to smaller, family-owned resorts; quaint bed and breakfasts to fully-equipped vacation rental homes and condominiums; rustic cabins and comfortable campgrounds and RV parks and familiar hotels and motels. For a complete listing of lodging options available around the Lake area, visit the accommodations page at  www.FunLake.com .

To find out more about all the attractions, fun  events  as well as  dining  options available  at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the nation, call the  Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau  (CVB) at  800-FUN-LAKE , or visit the CVB's award-winning website at  www.FunLake.com . 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Experience the Splendor of Autumn at Lake Of The Ozarks

Every year, from mid-September through early November, the hardwood forests that line the winding roads, rolling hillsides and shorelines around the Lake of the Ozarks transform from verdant greens into a vibrant palette of varying shades of red, orange and yellow. 

There are many excellent ways to experience the splendor of the season at the "Best Recreational
Lake in the Nation," from self-guided scenic driving tours to languid cruises on the Lake of the Ozarks, hiking in the area's state parks to playing a round at one of 13 championship golf courses, fighting fish in a colorful cove or taking in the scenery from a favorite lakeside restaurant. However visitors decide to spend their time at the Lake, they will want to bring their cameras because they'll be in for a treat during one of the most visually stunning times of the year in the Ozarks.

"We have many visitors return every autumn for the changing of the seasons," says Tim Jacobsen, executive director of the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau. "A lot of them come from around Missouri, but we get quite a few from all over the Midwest and even the west coast because they don't get to experience fall like we do here in Central Missouri. They plan their entire vacations around it."

Those that live at the Lake of the Ozarks enjoy the beauty of the seasons on a daily basis, but for visitors, just driving from their lodging to wherever their trip to the Lake may take them, it can be a very special experience.  And, stopping briefly off the beaten paths and main roads throughout the Lake can reveal many colorful surprises for those hoping to bask in the autumnal glory of the Ozarks.

There are multiple designated scenic overlooks in the Lake area, each offering visitors a unique vantage point of the Lake and its impressive features.  The Ameren Scenic Overlook, located just off the Bagnell Dam on Upper Power Plant Road in Lake Ozark, offers a unique perspective of the Bagnell Dam and the Lake of the Ozarks. Visitors get a distinct view of the Lake as well as the significant elevation change from the Lake of the Ozarks to the Osage River, the Lake's main tributary.  Just down the road from the Ameren Overlook, visitors to Willmore Lodge, 1 Willmore Lane, can enjoy in the panoramic view of the Lake from the back deck of this Adirondak-style building that was constructed in 1930 as an administration building and recreation hall for Union Electric executives. Willmore Lodge now houses a history museum dedicated to the creation of the Bagnell Dam and the Lake of the Ozarks. 

In Camdenton, there are three noteworthy scenic overlooks each offering an exceptional vantage point of the Lake and its fantastic fall foliage. On the way to Bridal Cave, there's the Thunder Mountain Park overlook located on Bridal Cave Road. From this overlook, visitors are afforded a view of the lush hillside leading down to Bridal Cave as well as the shimmering waters of the Lake. Nearby, located in the surrounding Camdenton Conservation Service Center off Thunder Mountain Road, there is a 100-foot tall fire tower with an observation deck situated 80 feet above ground that's open to the public for expansive views of the rolling topography.

About four miles south of Camdenton, visitors to Ha Ha Tonka State Park get a wonderful treat of colors at several overlooks located off paved trails that circle around the park's iconic "castle ruins." Ha Ha Tonka, which was voted the fourth best state park in the nation by readers of USA Today, is a popular attraction at the Lake during the fall. This park offers 14 walking trails covering more than 15 miles throughout the park, making it easy for visitors to experience the different geological formations - tunnels, caverns, springs and sinkholes - as well as the park's pristine woodland areas and glades.  There's also a wooden boardwalk that winds around the natural spring, as well as 316 steps leading up to the stone skeleton of the once-majestic rural estate of Robert McClure Snyder.

Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Missouri's most visited park and also its largest at 17,626 acres, boasts 12 hiking trails ranging from 0.8 of a mile to 13.5 miles winding through the park, including trails that accommodate mountain bikers and equestrians. These trails are great for leisurely strolls and/or more vigorous hikes through a variety of terrain and ecological systems, including hardwood forests, glades, fens and prairies. They also take hikers along the shores of the Lake and atop bluffs with picturesque views of the water below. This park is very popular with anglers and boaters as it also offers boat rentals, public ramps, docks and a designated self-guided aquatic trail. 

For a birds-eye view, visitors can book an aerial tour with either Lake Ozark Helicopters, located off Bagnell Dam Boulevard in Lake Ozark, or Air Lake Aviation, located at the Camdenton Memorial Lake Regional Airport in Camdenton.  Both offer narrated photography tours throughout the year, weather permitting.  Lake Ozark Helicopters offers six different tour options and Air Lake Aviation offers a 30-minute scenic plane ride which covers most of the Lake area, including the historic Bagnell Dam, Ha Ha Tonka State Park and everything in between.  For more information, or to book a tour with Lake Ozark Helicopters, visit www.LakeOzarkHelicopters.com or call 573-302-0022.  Complete details on Air Lake Aviation's scenic flights can be found at www.AirLakeAviation.com or by calling 573-348-1088.

Those interested in taking in the sights by water can charter a narrated scenic cruise on one of three luxury motor yachts: the Tropic Island, the Celebration and the Celebration II. The Tropic Island, which accommodates 150 passengers, moors at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach and offers 90-minute cruises Tuesdays through Sundays. The original Celebration docks near the Grand Glaize Bridge in Osage Beach, while the new Celebration II docks near the Bagnell Dam in Lake Ozark. The original Celebration offers luncheon and dinner cruises Tuesdays through Sundays while the Celebration II offers 90-minute afternoon and sunset cruises every day of the week except Tuesday. Each ship captain's narration places an emphasis on the history of the Lake of the Ozarks as well as the stunning homes and lakeside restaurants that overlook the water. To learn more about the different cruise options available at the Lake, visit www.TropicIslandCruises.com for the Tropic Island or www.CruiseLakeoftheOzarks.com for the Celebration yachts.

Two favorite Lake of the Ozarks pastimes heat up as the temperatures begin to cool down in the fall. Anglers and golfers alike both favor the fall weather when pursuing their favored hobby. Both fishing and golf are four-season sports at the Lake, but, there is a certain charm in being outdoors in the Ozarks in autumn. Anglers find the quieter waters favorable for fishing in secluded coves along the 1,150 miles of shoreline, as their time on the water proves to be both beautiful and productive.  Largemouth bass and catfish are plentiful, while white bass become a highly sought after target in the shallower waters this time of year. Crappie become active again around brush piles planted in the Lake in September and continue to bite well into the winter.

For golfers, fall is great at any of the Lake's 13 courses. "Autumn is probably the best time to play golf at the Lake because the summer rush is over and the courses are all in great shape," says Paul Leahy, president of the Lake of the Ozarks Golf Council and director of golf at Tan-Tar-A Resort. "In mid-fall, especially, you have very comfortable temperatures and more affordable tee times and the foliage is typically quite stunning. It's certainly one of my favorite times to be out on the course."

Visitors also can take advantage of reduced lodging rates throughout the Lake of the Ozarks area as the peak summer travel season winds down.  "The Lake is a popular destination any time of year, but with fall being a shoulder season, it's one of the most beautiful and also most affordable times to visit," says Tim Jacobsen. "Many of the Lake's attractions are open for business year-around, so the only thing you'll be missing are the big crowds." Lodging options at the Lake range from full-service luxury resorts to smaller family-owned resorts, comfortable cabins to familiar hotels and motels, quaint bed and breakfasts to condominiums and vacation homes. For more information on the different accommodations found at the Lake of the Ozarks, click on the "Places to Stay" tab at www.FunLake.com.

To learn more about all the fun events, attractions, as well as lodging and dining options available all year at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the Nation, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB) at 1-800-FUN-LAKE, or visit the CVB's award-winning website, www.FunLake.com.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Although the first day of summer is officially June 20, Memorial Day Weekend has traditionally marked the start of the summer season at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks.  As the days grow longer and the weather continues to warm, the action at the "Best Recreational Lake" in the Nation really begins to heat up. Read on for more information on the area's Memorial Day Weekend celebrations.


Many resorts host professional fireworks displays to start their busy season with a bang. Resort guests and visitors to the area are welcome to enjoy the festivities by either land or by water.

Old Kinderhook Golf Resort in Camdenton invites the public to join them for their annual Fireworks Fun Fest from 5-9 pm. Admission to this sparkling spectacle is free and features live musical entertainment from Slick Nickel; bounce houses, clowns, face painting and games for the kids; an "All-American" cookout, which will be available for $13; and fireworks at dusk. For more information, visit www.OldKinderhook.com.

Two Lake-area resorts will put on professional pyrotechnic displays for visitors on Saturday, May 28. The fireworks at the Inn at Grand Glaize, located in Osage Beach, will begin at dusk and will be viewable by land at the Inn or by water at the 1 mile marker of the Grand Glaize Arm of the Lake. Bear Bottom Resort, located in Sunrise Beach, will feature live music by Money for Nothing followed by fireworks at 9:45 pm. And, on Sunday, May 29, the celebration continues at Bear Bottom with a double-concert featuring Money for Nothing and the return of country music star Matt Stillwell. There will be a second fireworks display at 9:45 p.m. on Sunday as well. For more information about the Inn at Grand Glaize and its fireworks, visit www.InnAtGrandGlazie.com; and for more details about the events at Bear Bottom Resort, including musical performance times, check out www.BearBottomResort.com.

Tan-Tar-A Resort celebrates Memorial Day with a weekend full of festivities for their hotel guests. Visitors can look forward to live music, cookouts, miniature golf, fun games and contests (limbo, hula hoop, watermelon eating) for the kids, a scavenger hunt, swim-up movies, cosmic bowling and more. The resort's fireworks take place at dusk on Sunday evening, May 29. For more information, visit www.Tan-Tar-A.com, or call 573-348-3131. Also, those who would like to see Tan-Tar-A's fireworks display on the water, but don't have a boat, can reserve a spot on the Tropic Island luxury cruise yacht. Make reservations by calling the Tropic Island at 573-348-0083 and view their website at www.tropicislandcruises.com. This cruise fills up fast, so travelers should reserve their spots early.

The Lodge of Four Seasons will also be hosting a large-scale fireworks display on Sunday beginning at dusk.  The fireworks can also be viewed by water at the 13-mile marker.  Call 800-843-5253 or visit www.4SeasonsResort.com for more information.

For more information on all Memorial Day Weekend events, as well as Lake Area lodging, dining, attractions, golf and more, visit www.FunLake.com.