LAKE OF THE OZARKS, MO - No matter a traveler's definition of "outdoor fun" -- whether it's in the traditional sense of hiking, camping and fishing, or more along the lines of adrenaline-pumping on-the-water adventures -- Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks has all the outdoor fun anyone could hope for.

Known as the "Fun Lake," the Lake of the Ozarks has long been the place to go for fun in the sun for millions of visitors each year. In fact, there's so much outdoor fun to be found at the Lake that the Lake of the Ozarks was recognized as the "Best Recreational Lake in the Nation" in 2015.

"The Lake of the Ozarks offers such a wide variety of outdoor activities that anyone can enjoy it, even those that aren't the traditional 'outdoorsy' types," says Lagina Fitzpatrick, executive director for the Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association. "There are so many ways visitors can enjoy Mother Nature at the Lake. You can splash around in the water, explore our state parks, play a round of golf or enjoy a wonderful meal from a spacious patio overlooking the water, and so much more. Having fun outdoors is what the Lake is all about."


This "fun lake" has been a water-lover’s paradise since its creation in 1931 and it's reputation for on-the-water fun has grown exponentially in the past few years, culminating with just recently being voted the “Best Lake for Water Sports in the Nation” by readers of USA Today. Additionally, the Lake of the Ozarks has also been repeated named one of the top lakes in the country for boaters by BoatUS magazine.

There are more than 50 marinas dotting the 1,150 miles of shoreline where adults can rent a boat by the hour, day or the week to thoroughly explore this freshwater playground. The Lake of the Ozarks' marinas as well as many of the resorts and campgrounds rent a variety of boats, including pontoons, speedboats, bass boats, personal watercraft, paddle boats, canoes and kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.

Vacationers that would prefer to leave the cruising to the captain can experience an easy and enjoyable boat ride on a leisurely Lake cruise. Celebration Cruises, based near the Bagnell Dam in Lake Ozark, offers two 80-foot luxury yachts that cruise every day, with the exception of Mondays. Celebration offers 90-minute narrated noon tours with an optional lunch and 90-minute sunset cruises with dinner optional. And, Celebration's 75-foot Tropic Island luxury yacht, which moors at Margaritaville Lake Resort in Osage Beach, offers 90-minute narrated daily scenic cruises for the public during the summer months.

Or, visitors can charter a boat from one of the numerous charter services for a stress-free hour or day can be an ideal way to get out on the water and cruise around the Lake of the Ozarks.


One of the original forms of outdoor fun at the Lake of the Ozarks is to cast a line for big fish. Having earned the reputation of being one of the best fisheries in the country, thousands of anglers return to the Lake of the Ozarks time and time again to fill their stringers or catch the fish of a lifetime.

While most anglers come to the Lake for largemouth bass and crappie, there is always a good chance of catching any variety of freshwater species, including largemouth and spotted bass; white bass; black and white crappie; hybrid white bass/stripers; bluegill; walleye; and channel, flathead and blue catfish, as well as paddlefish.

A proven recipe for success when fishing at the Lake of the Ozarks is to hire a certified fishing guide. Local guides know the waters better than almost anyone and make for a relaxing and effortless fishing experience. These professionals will take you to the Lake's fishing "hot spots," and will also provide the boat and all the equipment needed for a successful outing.


With nearly 30,000 acres of public land dispersed throughout the Tri-County area (Camden, Miller and Morgan counties) surrounding the Lake of the Ozarks, there is no shortage of opportunities to get outside and stretch your legs at the area's two state parks and 28 designated conservation areas.

The most popular trails at the Lake of the Ozarks are at the area's two celebrated state parks. In total, Ha Ha Tonka State Park and Lake of the Ozarks State Park have a combined 26 different trails covering over 57 miles. Each park showcases the area's unique natural history, terrain and beauty. Visitors can spend hours hiking, biking or horseback riding on the parks' trails; paddling in quiet coves; learning about the natural habitats; or simply enjoying the bountiful natural scenery.


One of the most memorable ways to experience the Ozarks is sleeping under the stars and enjoying the splendor of an Ozark moon while sitting around the warm glow of a campfire.

More than 20 campgrounds and RV parks dot the Lake area and offer all the amenities campers and RVers appreciate, especially Lake views and cool, shady comfort from the area's forests. 

Whether a visitor's ideal camping trip consists of pitching a tent and unrolling a sleeping bag, pulling a pop-up camper or fully-equipped fifth wheel, or even "glamping" in a comfortable cabin complete with air conditioning and pre-made beds, there are options at the Lake to suit everyone's style. And, regardless of where visitors set up camp, they will be close to a wide variety of family-friendly attractions and activities.


The Lake of the Ozarks' 13 championship courses showcase the dominating features of the Ozark Highlands -- lushly forested hills and imposing rock bluffs -- along with views of the shimmering waters of the Lake. The well-manicured courses are carved from the rolling Ozark hills and highlight the area's rugged terrain, featuring tree-lined, undulating fairways and impressive elevation changes with some stunning vantage points.

The Lake's acclaimed courses were also designed by some of the biggest names in the game, including Arnold Palmer, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Tom Weiskopf, Ken Kavanaugh, Jack Nicklaus and more. Each course has its own unique personality and intriguing challenges that entice visitors from across the country.

Twelve of the 13 Lake-area courses make up the Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail, which was voted the "Best Golf Trail" and the "Best Weekend Golf Getaway" by AAA Midwest Traveler Magazine. The Lake of the Ozarks' golf courses are rounded out by the only waterfront Jack Nicklaus-Signature course in Missouri - The Club at Porto Cima. This course has repeatedly been named by Golf Digest as one of the best private courses in the U.S.


If high-flying outdoor entertainment is your idea of fun, there are several places around the Lake of the Ozarks that will get the adrenaline and excitement pumping.

The newly opened 

Adrenaline Zipline in Camdenton offers the Lake area's first zipline canopy tour. Adrenaline's Osage-8 Canopy Tour features eight different ziplines with tours lasting approximately two hours taking visitors on a high-flying tour into the heart of the Ozarks. Malted Monkey, located on the Historic Bagnell Dam "Strip," includes an outdoor ropes course that reaches up to 60-feet high across three levels and features over 45 obstacles. And, when guests need a break from climbing, the ground-level cafe specializes in smash burgers and custom milkshakes. Paradise Parasail, located next to the Bagnell Dam in Lake Ozark, has been taking customers up to 500 feet above the water for a thrilling ride and unique view of the Lake of the Ozarks for nearly 40 years.

And, Big Surf Waterpark in Linn Creek is an outdoor water park open annually from Memorial Day through Labor Day and offers the opportunity to be as laidback or as lively as you want to be. For excitement, Zambezi Falls, a three-story tall half-pipe of rushing water, delivers lots of adrenaline-pumping thrills while the Challenger Flumes are dueling 300-foot water slides, twisting and turning their way down to a catch pool. Visitors also can float leisurely down the Lazy River or choose The Rapids for a white water float.


With over 200 restaurants and nightspots, there is no shortage of options for great places to eat at the Lake of the Ozarks. However, one of the most memorable ways to enjoy a meal is dining al fresco (outdoors), where the views are as memorable as the food.


Named by Boating magazine as one of the top five destinations in the country to "dock and dine," the Lake of the Ozarks features over 60 restaurants that are situated lakeside, either with a stunning view of the water or with convenient marinas where boaters can tie up their vessels, step off their boats and onto the dock and walk up to the restaurant to enjoy their meal.


Some of the most popular "dock and dine" restaurants at the Lake offer a variety of fare, ranging from Cajun cooking to classic American cuisine and beyond. And, most feature live musical entertainment and each has its own unique amenities and experiences as well. Although arriving to dinner by water is arguably a lot more fun, having a boat is not necessary to enjoy these great lakeside dining options - all of the restaurants are also accessible by land.


Those looking to spend some time exploring the Lake of the Ozarks's great outdoors have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to comfortable 

accommodations for overnight stays. Accommodations at the Lake include full-service large-scale resorts and smaller family-owned and operated resorts, as well as charming bed and breakfasts, rustic cabins and quaint cottages. In addition, there is no shortage of fully furnished vacation rental homes and condominiums. There also is a selection of familiar hotels and motels at the Lake of the Ozarks. And, as mentioned previously, there are spacious campgrounds and RV parks interspersed throughout the area.

The "Best Recreational Lake in the Nation" brings in families, friends, anglers, business and meeting travelers and everyone in between for year around activities and fun. To learn more about all the events, attractions, activities, and available dining and lodging options, visit Or, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau at 1-800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253).

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For media assistance or high-resolution photography, please call The Beenders-Walker Group at 573-636-8282 or email Kyle Stewart, Jo Duncan, or Marjorie Beenders.

Phone: 800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253) | Fax: 573-348-2293 
P.O. Box 1498 | Osage Beach, MO 65065
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