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Your guide to Lake Ozark
Welcome to Lake Ozark
Lake Ozark is technically a small city, but most local Missourians lump it in with neighboring Osage Beach and Bagnell Dam, or any number of residential and resort communities nestled up against one of Missouri’s grandest lakes: Lake of the Ozarks. Sharing its name with the massive Ozark Mountains in the southeastern part of the state, the lake was created by a dam connecting many smaller creeks and rivers. The splintered, 54,000-acre, serpentine lake features many twists and turns. All told, Lake of the Ozarks has more than 1,100 miles of shoreline — equivalent to the Eastern Seaboard from New York to the Carolinas. Especially in the warmer months, recreation on the water comes alive. Offering access to parasailing, waterskiing, boat charters, and beach days, Lake Ozark serves as a key hub to one of Missouri’s most popular natural tourism destinations.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Lake Ozark
Like many Midwestern tourism destinations, Lake Ozark and Lake of the Ozarks come alive during the summertime but don’t exactly shut down during winter. The region’s humid subtropical climate means that summers can be intensely hot and sticky, fraught with summer thunderstorms and other severe weather. Winters, too, can be severe; they’re generally quite cold, but the lake itself sometimes reflects a warming front, which means the communities directly next to it might feel more mild. Summer is a good time to visit. Locals often plan trips around one key event, AquaPalooza, which takes place in late June or early July. The family-friendly bash brings boaters and rafters onto the water for a day of live music and fun.
Top things to do in Lake Ozark
Anderson Hollow Cove
Anderson Hollow Cove, also known as Party Cove, is a well known area a mile long and 200 yards wide that welcomes pleasure boats and rafters on summer weekends. If boat bacchanals aren’t your scene, come in the early morning with your fishing pole and you’re bound to reel in a bucket of crappie.
If you’re searching for activities on land or looking for a place to post up and do some people-watching, you’re likely to find yourself along this busy strip of Lake Ozark’s Highway 54. Known locally as The Strip, the mile-long stretch hosts the lion’s share of Lake Ozark’s shops and services, from eateries and arcades to water-sports rentals and antique shops.
Lake of the Ozarks State Park
In terms of scenery, perhaps the only rival to the lake itself is Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Comprising nearly 90 miles of shoreline with swimming beaches, trails, camping, and more, the park’s 17,500 acres make it the largest in the state of Missouri, providing plenty of shade and some solace away from the hustle and bustle of Lake Ozark.