Lake of the Ozarks is located in beautiful central Missouri. It stretches across four counties and was created by damming the Osage River. The Lake has a surface area of 54,000 acres, over 1,100 miles of shoreline, and a maximum depth of 130 feet. Its crystal clear waters, scenic surroundings, and diverse recreational opportunities have made it a popular vacation destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts. We have compiled an ultimate guide to exploring the Lake of the Ozarks for you. 

There’s an abundance of activities to enjoy, which makes it a popular destination for families and vacationers. Whether you explore the area’s natural beauty, spend time on the water, or savor the delicious food and entertainment, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience. This guide about exploring the Lake of the Ozarks looks at some of the best activities and areas to enjoy.

Activities and Areas to Experience at Lake of the Ozarks

Super Dave’s Paddle Craft Adventures

Super Dave’s Paddle Craft Adventures in Sunrise Beach is nestled on a serene bay’s sandy shores. You can rent a watercraft and start your aquatic adventures. For your safety, each rental includes a personal flotation device and an introductory lesson. Solo rides are available for swimmers aged 12 and up. All ages can enjoy pedal boats and tandem kayaks, which are less physically challenging than stand-up paddle boards.

Kirby’s School of Wake

Experience the ultimate watersports adventure at Kirby’s School of Wake on the Lake of the Ozarks. Learn wake surfing, wakeboarding, and cable park lessons from professional wakeboarder and coach Kirby Liesmann. Safe and enjoyable for all skill levels, Kirby’s coaching style is relaxed and pressure-free.

Paradise Parasail 

Paradise Parasail is located at Paradise Marina and Watersports at the 0 Mile Marker, next to the Bagnell Dam. Experience breathtaking views from 500 feet above Lake of the Ozarks. Choose from several free fall dips, from mild to exhilarating, that will leave you thoroughly drenched.

(Seasonal Location Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day)

Paradise Marina and Watersports 

Getting out on the Lake for adventure and relaxation is easy at Paradise Marina and Watersports next to the Bagnell Dam. They offer a wide variety of water sports activities with everything you need for a family fun day. Enjoy a day on the Lake in a fully-equipped rental boat, explore on a waverunner, or capture the Lake 600 feet above by taking a parasailing adventure. They also have stand-up paddle boards and kayak rentals. You can even book a fishing charter with the area’s best guides. 

Lake of the Ozarks State Park Marina 

Sit back, relax, and enjoy planning your day on the water at the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks. Lake of the Ozarks State Park Marina has a wide range of boat rental options to meet everyone’s needs and budget. From cruising to fishing or just lounging while taking a scenic kayak ride. They have two public beach marinas, each with unique souvenir selections and grab to go food. 

  • Public Beach 1 Marina (PB1)

Public Beach 1 Marina (PB1) in the Lake of the Ozarks State Park Marina is conveniently located between the Campground and the Public Beach Access area. PB1 hosts rentals for tritoons, fishing boats, mini pontoons, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and canoes. It also features a 2-lane launch ramp, uncovered slip rentals, and a fuel dock. 

  • Grand Glaize Marina (PB2)

Grand Glaize Marina (PB2) in the Lake of Ozarks State Park Marina is just off Hwy 54, west of the Grand Glaize Bridge. PB2 hosts boat rentals, a fuel dock with a pump-out station, rentable slips, and two 4-lane launch ramps. They also accommodate overnight trailer parking (must be registered at the Marina). 

Celebration Cruises 

Join Celebration Cruises for a comfortable and climate-controlled cruise experience in their interior cabin, available all year round. Regardless of the weather, they offer daily cruises for your enjoyment. Take in the stunning views of Lake of the Ozarks and its beautiful homes while experiencing a luxurious yachting atmosphere with exceptional service from their professional crew. Choose between a noon or sunset cruise, or hop aboard their Lake hopper water shuttle.

The Destination for Fishing

The Lake of the Ozarks is one of Missouri’s premier fishing destinations. Anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish, including bass, crappie, walleye, bluegill, and catfish. Bank fishing is open to the public on both sides of the spillway of Bagnell Dam and offers plenty of opportunities for anglers to fish from the shore. The Missouri Department of Conversation has all the fishing regulations and restrictions you need to know. Several fishing guides and charters are available for those seeking a more guided fishing experience, including:

  • Big Ed’s Guide Service allows you to fish out of a fully loaded 921 Phoenix bass boat and is licensed by the US Coast Guard. Bass fishing is catch-and-release only to ensure the Lake is an exceptional fishery for years to come. You will have the opportunity for amazing photos of your experience.
  • Catching Ozarks is a hands-on guided trip that will walk you through every aspect of getting started and get you catching those big bass. Tournament prep is available for high school, college, and seasoned anglers to prepare for tournaments. They fish responsibly and preserve the natural beauty of Lake of the Ozarks. All bass are caught and released, but you’ll still have time to take some great photos!

Year-Round Events

The Lake hosts several major events throughout the year, including the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, a boating event that attracts thousands of spectators, and the Lake of the Ozarks Bikefest, which sees thousands of motorcycles cruise the area’s scenic roads. Check out LakeExpo for up-to-date information on Lake of the Ozark events. There’s something for all interests and ages!

Championship Golfing

Lake Valley Golf Club is an 18-hole championship course near Camdenton and just a short drive from Osage Beach. Lake Valley’s golf course has been around for over fifty years and is open to the public. It caters to golfers of all skill levels, making it a great place to play. The course hosts many tournaments and group outings throughout the year.

Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Lake of the Ozarks State Park offers a 10-mile aquatic trail accessible only by boat, 12 hiking trails, and biking opportunities. Rocky Top Trail and Hidden Springs Trail have stunning views of the lake and dogwood trees. The park has something for everyone, including backpackers, anglers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. Take advantage of the fall beauty on their trails.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Ha Ha Tonka State Park, ranked fourth-best in the US by USA Today readers, offers breathtaking views of the Ha Ha Tonka Spring and Lake of the Ozarks from a 19th-century castle ruin on a limestone bluff. Visitors can explore over 15 miles of walking trails, including the popular Castle Trail leading to the castle ruins. Ha Ha Tonka State Park features Missouri’s top karst geology, forests, rock formations, streams, tunnels, rock bridges, caverns, springs, sinkholes, and more.

Looking for the Finest Local Cuisine? 

There are plenty of delicious food options at Lake of the Ozarks. Luckily, you have a variety of amazing choices to choose from. Here are just a few examples:

JB Hooks Steak & Seafood Restaurant

Enjoy the unforgettable 14-mile panoramic view at JB Hooks Steak & Seafood Restaurant. They have a diverse menu for lunch or dinner, including fresh seafood, aged steaks, poultry, and pasta entrees. Their bar area has live music six days a week and the best happy hour specials at the Lake.


This classic American restaurant builds on the rich history and tradition of excellence that the Lake Area is known for. Baxter’s Lakeside Grille is a great spot for a business or casual lunch, a special evening out, or a family get-together. Enjoy hand-cut premium steaks, fresh cream and butter, and hand-grated cheese. You can also indulge in seafood flown in from sushi-grade Viking Village Sea Scallops to fresh Canadian salmon.

Lake House 13

Lake House 13 is on 13 MM in Chimney Cove at Pointe Oasis. It’s known for its delicious food, scenic views, and fun atmosphere. Their menu features a variety of dishes, including burgers, salads, and pasta. The restaurant also has live music on weekends year-round and has a large outdoor patio with fire pits. Lake House 13 has plenty of boat slips and a large covered dock available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Shawnee Bluff Winery

Located on Bagnell Dam Blvd is Shawnee Bluff Winery. Here you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Lake of the Ozarks from a beautiful hillside. Treat yourself to a delicious brick oven pizza and wine tastings in glasses or bottles. Savor your wine inside the winery’s historic building or outdoors on the patio and decks, paired with a delectable bistro menu. You can also play Bocce Ball for free on their court.


Located in the picturesque Missouri foothills between Camdenton and Osage Beach, Seven Springs Winery sits on 160 acres of land. Visitors can enjoy tastings of Missouri wines, sangrias, and microbrews catering to diverse palates. They also offer a light menu of soups, sandwiches, cheese trays, and bread with an array of dipping oils.

Choose RT Construction For Your Lake of the Ozarks Building Projects

RT Construction has completed residential and commercial projects in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas with precision and quality for over 25 years. We take pride in our work, and your satisfaction is guaranteed. We design and install decks, patio covers, and underdecking systems. We are licensed, insured, and bonded for your protection. RT Construction has over 25 years of building experience, providing high-quality results for satisfied customers throughout the St. Louis region. We are now serving clients in the Lake of the Ozarks region. No job is too big or too small for our construction crews. Call 573-261-5225 to schedule a free consultation and experience our top-notch customer service.

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