Lake Ozark Travel Guide

  • Anything you think yoyu want found here
    Anything you think yoyu want found here
    by BruceDunning
  • More of the good stuff to pile through
    More of the good stuff to pile through
    by BruceDunning
  • Picture of the dam and road over it
    Picture of the dam and road over it
    by BruceDunning

Lake Ozark Things to Do

  • Truman Lake and Dam

    The lake is blocked and near the center of all the other lakes in the region. It is 796 feet in deepest spot and covers 690 acres of land. The dam was built in 1960's and still controls much of the water flow in the area. The museum features some history and also some ecology of the dam, besides the description of original settlers and then...

  • Parks and Hiking

    There are may acres to hike and camp in the area. Lake of the Ozarks State Park is 17,441 acres in itself. There are 12 primary trails to follow to go through the forests and see the variety of vegetation.

  • Willmore Lodge

    This is a lodge built right by the dam in 1931. It is a log building and is 6,500 SF overlooking the lake and trees. It was built in Oregon and dis-assembled and shipped to the lake to re-assemble. It has displays of the dam and lake and towns lost when the lake was flooded. It has a lot of displays of the building of the dam,a nd towns lost in the...

  • Caves down under

    There are a number of caves in the area. The more famed but some distance away from the lake is Meramac Cavern, the largest around mid Missouri. Local caves to see include Jacob Cave by Gravois Mills area to the west of the lake, Ozark Caverns in the Lake of the Ozark State Park, and Bridal Cave by Camdenton at the south of the lake. Jacobs Cave is...

  • Shopping is the Diversion

    The theme is once you are bored with boating or laying around the pool , go to find something to buy. The main area is near Osage Beach and that holds the Osage Beach Outlet Mall. It has 110 shops and the sprawling area has a good deal of parking and some bargins. Other areas to shop, with a more local and tacky flavor is to go to Bagnell Dam...

  • Fishing Still CAn be Fun

    There are less places to fish in the main part of the lake, but people still do find spots to enjoy and hopefully get a catch. The dam below has very huge sturgeon and gar that are now restricted as to how many can be caught. They used to be as big as 100-150 pounds range. Now fished out but the Government is trying to make a comeback for them.

  • Bagnell Dam strip

    This is one trip worth the trip. Very little has changed in the last 50 years on the strip and the lower end vacationer/tourists come and take in the shops that sell all the trinkets and gift items to take home. Most are cheap and tacky, but that is what started the lake shopping and it prevails yet. If you could only take a few hours to walk the...

  • Boating New and big vs Slow and old

    There is a definite difference in the type of boats roaming the lake these days. They used to be small little 20 footers, and many pontoons and Bass fishing boats. Now they only thing that can survive the water in the main channel of the lake is something like a 30 plus foot boat. Of course that costs money, but that is why they are here.

  • Concerts and Bands

    There are some music types at the lake. The focal pint is at Horney Toad, but also come other spots hold promise. One of the old famous is Misty Club at Lodge of Four Seasons. Others include Eddies and other bars on the strip. Shady Gators is a kind of sleazy bar with tacky signs across from Horney Toad. Beer is cheaper, but now by much, but the...

  • Maps to Search for real estate

    I really do have an enjoyable job in banking. This is a project that the bank I work for is involved in to develop. The entrepreneur is Marlyn Vandervort and he has built an small empire right at the point off HH Bend at Bittersweeet Road in the most popular spots on the lake. He is a great guy and also a real social person who is well connected to...

  • A River runs Through It

    The Osage River was chosen to use for a dam site because is was a winding river running through many deep ravines and that could hold a lot of water. There are 54,000 acres of water. The Osage actually starts as part of Truman Lake about 120 west of the Lake Ozarks, and it is another recreational area, but a lot more quite. The lake used to be...

  • Many Types of Pleasures

    The real purpose to come here is to take in the water theme and drink, and eat, but other things are available.Boating is the first big one.There are a lot of water sports on the lake. With so many inlets and channels, one can find the perfect area to satisfy the need. Going out in the main channel, however, can be treacherous. Waves can tip small...


Lake Ozark Hotels

Lake Ozark Restaurants

  • Boat Watching & Great Food

    What a great place to go on a nice afternoon. Sit outside and just watch the people and boats and have a great meal of some of the best bar food around. And, depending on how many cold drinks you have, you don't have to break the piggy bank. If you go at night, the place is really hoppen in their night clubs.Their docks are in pretty good shape if...

  • Backwater Jack's

    For great food, coctails and always a good band, Backwater Jack's is a great place to be. This is one of our other favorites at the Lake. We usually go by road in the evenings since it is at eht 17.5 mm and during the season, it is quite busy and sometimes hard to a slip at the dock.My sugestion to you is wait for a seat outside so you can watch...

  • Major make over

    Everything from steaks ,seafood, and pastas.and now sandwiches. It's a come as You are kind of place for everyone, not as stuffy as it used to be.They went through some major management and menu changes and are working on ironing it all out now. The food is still very good and some of the servers are good as well, especially Megan,She's the one I...

  • Eat, Drink and Enjoy!

    I love Shadys! Good food , From all around favorites to cajun style quisine. The Gator Bites are especially good, They have good entertainment, good food, great drinks, friendly people , it's a come as You are type of place, none of the phonys or arrogance, usually associated with alot of the lake bar and grills from people that come in from out of...

  • Great Fresh Cooked Everything!!!

    Kind of Hidden from the mainstream eateries. This restaurant really tries to appeal to everyone and pulls it off. Wood - Fire grilled Steaks is the reason we go there but the friendly locals and staff are why we keep going back. Also if we don't feel like dropping money on some steaks we can eat in their bar which has burgers, sandwiches etc....

  • On the Edge

    This is an old tradition at the lake. It has not changed much, even though was updated about 10 years ago. It still feels like going back to the 1970's. It needs another upgrade now, and I have talked to them about that. They may do so in the next few years. Food used to be a lot better than now. They had problems with a chef for a long time, and...

  • The Old But Tradition

    This is one place that has been at the lake for about 20 years. They do not try to promote the name much anymore since locals know where to go and when. Tourists also are familiar with the name if they traveled to the lake in the past. The food is getting somewhat stale and needs an re -vibrance to compete. However, it is still good and many...

  • Do Miss the Food

    The atmosphere is not conducive to food eating, and the food is not that good. In busy season, it is noisy and what most people want is a snack to wash down their drinks. Kitchen is small and I am sure the cooks are just hat, and not trained to put out good food. The theme is sell food, but that helps sell drinks. The special is basically nothing...

  • Local trying to make good

    If it is still there when you get to the lake, the experience is amazing. The employees look like they are relatives of generations that "kept to themselves", thereby creating a unique group. This restaurant is new and started by Terry Ewens, who will serve pizza, buffet breakfast (if they do not run out of food or forget to cook it), lunch, or...


Lake Ozark Nightlife

  • The Place to Be seen

    The Horney Toad complex is the most popular on the lake at this time, and has been for some 3-5 years now. It brings in the crowd of age range 25-35, with a smattering of old folk like us to take in the scene and the fun lifestyle of the young and vibrant. It is a nightclub, and entertainment area where there is a stage for so many famous name bans...

  • Live Music Sports Bar

    The Horny Toad is a large entertainment complex on Toad Cove in Lake Ozark. There are 3 levels: Lower level is mostly outside seating (some inside) with a large stage for live music. The middle level is more like a club. I've heard it described as a Martini bar, but did not go into this level. Someone said there was a $10 cover charge. The upper...

  • Lake Ozark Hotels

    21 Hotels in Lake Ozark

    3 Reviews

Lake Ozark Shopping

  • Outlet Mall

    The mall is made up of about 100 stores, all supposed outlet malls, where you are led to believe the prices are more reasonable. Not always, and mostly not at all. The interesting part is strolling between the various shops and take in the tourists and shoppers. They are on a mission to find all the deals and buy whatever.

  • Outlet Mall

    The Osage Beach Premium Outlet complex is part of the Chelsea Premium Outlet chain that operates in the US. There are several higher-end stores, such as Coach, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren, along with the usual outlet stores (Liz Claiborne, Totes, etc.)If you're not an outlet shopper, don't be fooled. The prices are really not very much of a...

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Lake Ozark Warnings and Dangers

  • changeinlatitude's Profile Photo

    Be Careful

    by changeinlatitude Updated Mar 21, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Every year someone gets killed at the lake. If you are boating, please be careful. Always have someone driving the boat that knows what they are doing. You can get swamped so easily out there, especially if you are in the main channel. If you are out from Friday afternoon through Sunday, it gets very rough and if you don't know what you are doing, you can get into trouble fast.

    Don't take this the wrong way. The lake is a great vacation spot, just be boat safe. My advise to you, if you have a smaller boat, stay away from the main channel during the weekends. There are plenty of things to do in the quieter parts of the lake. Get a lake map, its a life saver.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Family Travel

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Lake Ozark Off The Beaten Path

  • Variety of sites and water places

    There are many things to see/do around the Ozark area that are away form the main touring and shopping areas. They are better in there is not as much traffic/people.

  • Roadside Trash to Pick From

    Many places in the Ozarks have families selling their wares and treasures; better know to some as "trash". This was a special spot to drop off and see how nothing has changed in the last 20-30 years, but adding more junk around the old stuff

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Lake Ozark Favorites

  • Sunshine64's Profile Photo

    Look at all the fancy lake houses

    by Sunshine64 Written Aug 14, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: yeah, it's not a tour, but as you boat around the lake you'll see some amazing homes - most of which are not the primary residence, but just a little vacation home that is used part of the time.

    The featured photo is the lake house of a major home builder in St. Louis. It has a heli-pad and a pool with a waterfall going into and coming out of it.

    Laek house with helipad and pool

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