Friday, June 29, 2018

Learn It, Do It And Love It at The Lake Of The Ozarks

When it comes to fun, there's no reason to sit on the sidelines and let the good times pass you by at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks. With the variety of entertaining activities, visitors can partake in their favorite pastimes or embark on a journey of discovery trying their hand at new experiences. There are many opportunities to "learn it, do it and love it" at the "Best Recreational Lake in the Nation." Read on for a few ideas on how to discover new hobbies, create new family traditions and make a visit to the Lake of the Ozarks both a relaxing vacation and an exciting educational experience as well.

Ask any angler why they love to fish and they'll tell you it's the excitement and that electric sensation that travels through the body as you feel your line go taught and a fish fighting on the other end. "Whoa, I've got one!" After that, you're hooked. 

For anyone that's had an interest in learning the ropes or introducing their children to the age-old pastime, the professional fishing guides at the Lake are a great resource for anglers of any skill level. Novices can learn the basics: how to  properly cast with a spinning rod or a bait casting reel, what type of baits work best for each species and during which time of year. They'll also pick up many simple tips on easily overlooked essentials that will help beginners catch more fish and have more fun. The guides are friendly and eager to show off their "backyard playground" that is the Lake of the Ozarks. What's more, it's a great way to spend a day out on the water, enjoying the scenery and wildlife and making new friends and memories.

"I absolutely love teaching the art of angling to newcomers," says Ed Franko, owner of Big Ed's Guide Service and co-owner of Bass and Baskets Bed and Breakfast in Osage Beach. "I enjoy taking someone that's never fished before and helping them learn not just how to catch a fish, but how to tie on a lure and learn every aspect of fishing from start to finish. The biggest thrill I get is seeing the happiness on my customers' faces, especially kids, when they've learned something new and have success by catching the first fish of their life. Their face just lights up and their excitement is contagious. It can be a life-changing experience. And, I've found you're never to old to learn something new. I've been doing this for years and I still learn something new every time I'm on the water."

Some golfers make it look so easy. A perfectly fluid swing, an impossibly long and straight drive. An effortless chip and a short putt for an excellent score.

According to Rob Wilson, assistant golf professional at Old Kinderhook, everyone can get to that level. It just takes practice.

"Golf can be an intimidating and frustrating game, but it doesn't have to be," Wilson says. "Everyone has to start somewhere. With the right amount of patience and practice, any golfer can come a long way in a relatively short time, especially with the help of a golf pro. One has to remember, like anything in life, with a little dedication and practice you can go as far as you are willing to go. A pro can help you with your stance, your swing, your whole approach and can make a world of difference. Working with a pro in an easy-going, no-pressure setting can be a lot of fun and very beneficial, no matter what kind of golfer you are or if you've never played before at all."

Those that have ever desired to take up the game of golf, or work on minimizing their handicap, can benefit from a trip to the Lake of the Ozarks.  With 13 championship courses dotting the area, there's no better place to learn the finer points of the game. Nearly all 13 courses offer one-on-one golf tutorials with PGA professionals to ensure that visitors have a great first experience and/or improve their game while at the Lake. Personal attention and, in some cases, state-of-the-art video analysis will help iron out the kinks in any duffer's swing and help newcomers develop a solid foundation and appreciation for the game. All 13 courses also offer various practice facilities so golfers can work on long drives from the tees and master their short game on putting greens, chipping greens and more. Once a golfer spends a couple hours with a pro or working on their game on the practice range, they'll be ready to put their skills to the test on any of the courses at the Lake, from the most forgiving layouts to the most challenging. For more information on the courses at the Lake of the Ozarks, visit

In addition, Old Kinderhook Golf Resort, near Camdenton, offers a crash-course on the game that will help golfers new and old. The resort's weekly Golf Clinic takes place every Friday and Saturday, now until September 3. The two-hour classes run from 6-8 p.m. on Friday evenings and 9-11 a.m. on Saturdays. Also included with the instruction are two rounds of golf on Saturdays and Sundays. For complete details on the clinic, call the Pro Shop at 573-317-3575 or visit Old Kinderhook's website at

If a visitor is looking for something a little more extreme than fishing and/or golf, then studying at Kirby's School of Wake may just be the exhilarating education they're hoping to find. The instructor at the School of Wake, located in Osage Beach, professional wakeboarder Kirby Liesmann, has studied with and shadowed some of the most accomplished professionals and coaches in the wakeboarding industry. Kirby puts his years of experience to use in helping others learn the sport. Since 2008, Kirby has taught hundreds of people how to safely pursue wakeboarding with one-on-one instruction through individual classes, day camps and group clinics during the summer months. Whether a wakeboarding student is just starting out and learning the basics or trying to nail some of the most thrilling advanced tricks, they'll find Kirby's relaxed, no-pressure teaching style fun and beneficial to them obtaining their goals and progressing at a speed they are comfortable with. For complete details on Kirby's School of Wake, including a schedule of clinics and day camps, visit 

Super Dave's Paddle Craft Adventures, located in Sunrise Beach on the white sand beach near Frankie and Louie's Bar & Grill, offers a number of rental options for those looking to paddle around on the Lake, including kayaks, pedal boats and the newest craze to hit the paddling world, stand-up paddle boards. Stand-up paddle boarding, which is like a cross between surfing and kayaking, is one of the fastest growing sports world-wide and offers a unique and enjoyable experience as boarders glide across the surface of the water, providing a totally different perspective of being on the Lake compared with traditional skiing, boating or wakeboarding.  

The owners of Super Dave's, Lisa and Dave Bertel, fell in love with paddle boarding after being introduced to the sport while on vacation in Florida. According to Dave, it was tough going for him at first. "The first time I tried it, everyone else just took off with no problems at all, and I just kept falling in. I'd get back up on the board and fall right back in. Get back on, fall back in," Dave says. After a few more tries and a lot of laughs from his friends at his expense, Dave was up and paddling and never looked back. "Once I figured it out, I absolutely loved it. It's a blast," he says. "I told my wife, Lisa, we have to bring this to the Lake. It'd be perfect."

In 2012, the Bertels opened Super Dave's at the Lake of the Ozarks and began renting paddle boards  and all sorts of other paddle craft. In addition, the Bertels started  teaching customers all about the sport so that visitors will have better luck than Dave did his first time out. "I love seeing the pure joy that people derive from trying paddle boarding," Dave says. "A lot of people are afraid at first or think it's going to be hard. Then they get the hang of it and have a blast. Often times it's the most reluctant person in a group we're teaching that's always the last person back in because they've had the best time. We're all about having an adventure and having fun. Teaching new people paddle boarding and watching them fall head over heels for the sport makes our job the best job in the world," he concludes.

The crew of two at Super Dave's makes sure to set each intrepid adventurer up for success. Each  paddle board rental comes with personalized instructions from either Dave or Lisa where they teach their customers how to safely and successfully get on the board, stand up on the board, how to paddle efficiently and how to control their board before making their way out into the quiet Lake cove. This can take anywhere from five to 15 minutes, depending upon the customer, however, additional assistance and coaching is provided if desired. "We want to make sure everyone is successful and has a great time," Dave says.

Each rental from Super Dave's, whether a kayak, pedal boat or stand-up paddle board, costs $15 per hour. All paddle craft rentals come with up to 30 minutes of instruction to make sure customers feel comfortable with their vessel and have a safe and enjoyable time on the water. Super Dave's is one of the only paddle craft rental companies located in a large no-wake cove at the Lake of the Ozarks, providing a carefree day of fun on the water. To learn more about Super Dave's Paddle Craft Adventures, call 239-233-3038 or visit them on Facebook

Looking to learn more about the Lake's natural state? Lake of the Ozarks State Park and Ha Ha Tonka State Park both feature park naturalists who can enhance visitors' experiences at the parks with a wealth of knowledge about the flora, fauna, geographical and topographical makeup of the parks and the natural areas available within. 

During the summer months at Lake of the Ozarks State Park, park naturalists lead guided hikes and present evening programs to showcase the diversity of the park's natural areas as well as how the Missouri State Park system is working to restore these landscapes. There's also an interpretive center complete with displays and brochures located near the entrance to Ozark Caverns, an impressive show cave offering hand-held lantern tours. Along the half-mile guided round trip through this cave, explorers/visitors will see evidence of early spelunkers, claw marks in the sediment fills left by animals that sought shelter in the cave thousands of years ago and other natural cave formations, including an impressive "Angel Shower." Tours of Ozark Caverns are offered seasonally, from mid-May through mid-September. Complete details for Ozark Caverns, its tour schedule and admissions prices, can be found by going to

At Ha Ha Tonka State Park, which was recently voted the fourth-best state park in the country by readers of USA Today and The Most Beautiful Place in Missouri by Condé Nast Traveler, visitors can learn more about this celebrated park by visiting the  outdoor interpretive area and the visitors center located at the park office. The visitor center features a large relief map of the park carved from stone. Park brochures, trail maps and interpretive materials are available inside the park office.

Self-guided trail maps, species note cards and brochures help hikers at both parks learn about and identify different plants, trees and animals that can be found along the 25 trails located within the two parks. Informative placards also are placed throughout the parks making a trip to the Lake's state parks both an enjoyable and educational excursion in the Ozarks' natural beauty. Thousands of people visit the parks each year and many come back time and time again and always see, learn or experience something new. Both parks are open year around, though the hours of operation for the visitor centers vary by season. For more information about both state parks, visit the state parks page on

This is just a highlight of some of the opportunities visitors will find at the Lake of the Ozarks to jump into new experiences and create lasting memories and new traditions. For more ideas, or 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, 

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  

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 . 

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

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 

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 .

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 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 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 . 

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 .

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

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 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 .

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 . 

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 or call 573-302-0022.  Complete details on Air Lake Aviation's scenic flights can be found at 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 for the Tropic Island or 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

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,