Exploring the Midwest

Beachy Vibes at Lake of the Ozarks | Exploring the Midwest Podcast Episode 16

Last Updated on May 30, 2021 by Paula Reece

Plan a Midwest beach vacation at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. .Guest Heather Brown, Executive Director at Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitors Bureau, shares where to find a ‘beachy vibe’ plus tips on activities & accommodations.

parasailing _ Lake of the Ozarks _ Missouri
parasailing above Lake of the Ozarks
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Where is Lake of the Ozarks?

Most people don’t realize that Lake of the Ozarks is a gem in the middle of Missouri. A huge lake with over 1,200 miles of shoreline — more than the state of California! — Lake of the Ozarks covers more than 54,000 acres and multiple towns.

Plan a Midwest Beach Vacation at Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks is a commercialized lake, meaning that you can find restaurants, businesses, and homes right on the water. Some restaurants even have their own beaches. Add live music and you’ve got an awesome ‘beachy vibes’ feel right in the middle of Missouri.

stand up paddleboard _ Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
versatile paddleboarding

Popular Restaurants with a Beach

  • Franky & Louie’s Beachfront Bar and Grill — Known as “The Key West in the Midwest,” Franky & Louie’s is located at the end of a no-wake cove and has become a staple on the lake. With white sand imported from the Gulf, the beach is full of entertainment for adults and kids.
  • Dog Days Bar & Grill — Sip on one of their famous frozen cocktails, enjoy a meal, or listen to a live band at this award-winning beach restaurant. The covered “TIKI” bar offers a second kitchen featuring a coastal cuisine menu.

Relax on ‘Lake Time’

Lake of the Ozarks prides itself on being on “lake time,” creating a relaxing environment where no one’s in a hurry. Rent a boat and chill out on the lake. Sunbathe on the beach. Swim up to a bar at one of the waterfront restaurants. Go kayaking or parasailing. Rental shops and kiosks are located all over the lake.

castle ruins_Ha Ha Tonka State Park_Lake of the Ozarks_Missouri
ruins of the ‘castle’ at Ha Ha Tonka State Park

The Lake of the Ozarks also includes the largest state park in the state of Missouri, with two free public beaches. Another state park, Ha Ha Tonka State Park, can take up a day in itself because of all its features, including a spring, a natural rock bridge, cliffs, caves, and the remnants of a stone mansion modeled after a 16th-century European castle.

Explore ‘The Strip’

Located in the City of Lake Ozark, Bagnell Dam Strip offers all the nostalgia of an old-time boardwalk, with fun for the whole family. Visit quaint shops and arcades. Try out an escape room. Enjoy water activities, mini golf, go carts, and even a ropes course.

Planning Tips for a Lake of the Ozarks Vacation

Read our tips for Planning Your First Lake of the Ozarks Vacation!

Check an events calendar before you go because Lake of the Ozarks hosts many huge events. If summer seems too busy, consider visiting in the fall. It isn’t as busy but still offers fall festivals and beautiful vistas.

The area offers a variety of restaurant options, from seafood to Cajun to barbecue to steak and fast food. No matter where you go, expect to experience Southern hospitality.

big onion ring _ Wobbly Boots BBQ _ Lake of the Ozarks _ Missouri
Order the onion rings at Wobbly Boots BBQ!

Lake of the Ozarks offers so many different activities, so plan what you want to do before you go. Choose your accommodations based on your activities.

Types of Accommodations at Lake of the Ozarks

  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Condos
  • Rental Homes
  • Large Resorts
  • Small Family-Friendly Resorts
  • Campgrounds
Jeep Gladiator_Thor Windsport motorhome_campground
our campsite at Majestic Oaks Campground

Research Lake of the Ozarks accommodations with Trip Advisor

Plan Your Lake of the Ozarks Vacation

Lake of the Ozarks is the perfect Midwest getaway that doesn’t have that Midwest feel. Whether it’s a couple, group of friends, or family with kids, anyone can find plenty of laid-back “lake time” fun no matter where you visit on the lake.

Visit funlake.com to begin planning your beach getaway!

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2 Comments

  1. I just listened to Heather Brown, exec. dir. of the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau, being interviewed by Jody Halsted. It was a great interview. I’m very familiar with the Lake of the Ozarks, but it was still fun to listen to Heather (with all of her enthusiasm) talk about all the fun recreational activities to enjoy in the Lake area. WOW! Hopefully if people are thinking about visiting the Lake of the Ozarks, they’ll go to funlake.com and make their vacation reservations soon.

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