Vacation rentals in Lake of the Ozarks
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Your guide to Lake of the Ozarks
All About Lake of the Ozarks
One of the Midwest’s most popular destinations for high-energy outdoor activities and low-key rest and relaxation, the snake-shaped Lake of the Ozarks winds through Missouri’s northern Ozark Mountains. Thanks to the lake’s unique shape, there are more than 1,100 miles of shoreline to enjoy, making it easy to find your own little slice of paradise.
Bagnell Dam — which is responsible for the reservoir that forms the lake — is the largest landmark in the area, and you’ll find arcades, ice cream shops, souvenir stalls, and more along the hopping Bagnell Dam Strip. The largest city in the area is Osage Beach, which is filled with boats anchored at lakeside bars, restaurants, and shopping outlets. Big-name musicians are regularly booked at the Ozarks Amphitheater, and popular plays, musicals, and dance troupes can be found at The Royal Theater. On the quieter side of the lake, known as the Niangua arm, you’ll find Bridal Cave, Ha Ha Tonka State Park, and more family-oriented restaurants and activities.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Lake of the Ozarks
The weather is warm enough for beach lounging in spring and hot enough for swimming, boating, and water sports during the summer, but although these are some of the most popular times to visit, expect plenty of humidity and rain during these seasons as well. Fall brings cooler temperatures and fewer opportunities for lake activities, but it also welcomes a new season of excitement thanks to the annual Fall Festival and the Versailles Apple Festival, which are both held in early October and offer live music, vendors, and events around the area. Winters are cold with occasional snowfalls, but dedicated fishing enthusiasts can catch plenty of bass, and those brave enough to face the icy waters can participate in the annual Polar Plunge held in late February.
Top things to do in Lake of the Ozarks
Lake of the Ozarks State Park
Missouri’s largest state park was designed to help visitors maximize their opportunities for outdoor adventure on and around the lake with paved boat ramps, boat rentals, two public beaches for swimming, 13 trails for hiking and horseback riding, and picnic areas. Don’t miss the chance to explore the Ozark Caverns, where you can see multiple species of salamanders and bats, either on your own or with a park guide.
The center of commerce and entertainment in the Lake of the Ozarks, this small city on the eastern bank exudes energy, especially during the summer months. Most bars and restaurants have nautical themes, live music or DJs, dance floors, and many even have their own pools. Osage Beach is also the best place to book parasailing excursions or to rent boats, paddleboards, and other watercraft.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park
About five miles from Camdentown lies a truly unique state park that provides visitors with a taste of a European vacation in the heart of Missouri: The towering ruins of a stone castle from 1905 serve as the focal point for this 3,700-acre protected park. Situated along the lake’s no-wake zone, this quiet wooded area has 14 hiking trails, natural bridges, a spring, small caves, picnic areas, and lake access.