Stroll Along the Historic Bagnell Dam Strip
No trip to the Lake of the Ozarks is complete without an afternoon spent exploring the Strip! The area features old-timey shops, well-reviewed restaurants, and fun attractions. Play old-fashioned Ski Ball at the Dogpatch Arcade, try freshly made Fudge at Grandma’s Candy Kitchen, and catch a glimpse of classic cars during one of the monthly “Hot Summer Nights” events.
Take a Sunset Cruise
You can’t come to the Lake of the Ozarks without hitting the water, and there’s no better way to do that then on one of the famous Celebration Cruises. The Sunset Cruise begins boarding at 5:30PM daily near the Bagnell Dam, and returns at 7:45PM. While you can settle for just the cruise, they also offer a Dinner Add-On (Kid’s Meal is available). If you aren’t able to go during the evening, we still recommend setting out on an afternoon voyage!
Visit the Castle Ruins
Located within the stunning Ha Ha Tonka State Park sits the ruins of a turn-of-the-century stone castle. Trust us, you’re going to want to see this! While you’re there, make a day out of the hike and take in sinkholes, caves, a natural land bridge, sheer bluffs, and Missouri’s 12th largest spring. There are picnic spots, boardwalks and plenty of shade.
Set Sail on a Pirate Ship
A one of a kind experience awaits you at Jolly Charters! The Official Description of the Adventure reads, “Set sail for adventure and pirate treasure with the Lake’s official pirate, Captain Scalawag! But beware of mutinous buccaneers, cursed cannibals, ill-fated ghosts of the undead and the occasional sea beastie as you join the crew on a swash-buckling escapade! From Calypso’s Port of Call at Jolly Rogers, this one hour forty-five minute excursion takes you from covered stage to sailing the lake in the pirate ship Calypso to buried treasure on Skull Island and back again with much adventure in between. Don’t settle for an ordinary boat ride when you and your family can set sail for adventure and be a pirate!”
Go Underground at Stark Caverns
The Lake of the Ozarks area is home to several popular caves, but none more exciting than Stark Caverns. The hour long tour features beautiful colors, impressive rock, and is even partially handicap accessible! According to their website, “The caverns is partially handicap accessible. Tours are one-hour long and require you to walk approximately three-fourths of a mile. Wheelchairs can manage 90% of the pathways in the caverns. The other 10% are at the far end of the caverns and there are waiting areas.” The last couple of years, there has even been a Cave Escape Room set up for visitors to try their hand at!
See The Lake From a Different Point of View
It’s one thing to take in the Lake of the Ozarks from the ground, but you’ll get a whole new perspective when you hop into a helicopter and soar to new heights! Lake Ozark Helicopters offers several unique aerial tours of the area, and an experience that you will never forget!
Take in an Old-Timey Music Show
Turn back the clock with one of the Main Street Music Hall’s signature shows. Offering a variety of entertainment several nights a week, there is a little bit of something for everyone! Each show is packed with a well-balanced variety of extraordinary musicianship, vocals, humor, patriotism and faith that leaves the audiences longing to return, and bring a friend.
Follow the Lake of the Ozarks Wine Trail
Fancy yourself a bit of a sommelier? Take it upon yourself to visit all 6 of the Lake of the Ozarks unique wineries! The Lake has seen a renaissance in craft wineries over the last decade. Scenic beauty paired with fine wine and gourmet food make for a memorable experience regardless of the season. Touring the Lake of the Ozarks Wine trail is a fun way to spend an afternoon, day or even an entire weekend.
Step Back in Time at Willmore Lodge
There is no better way to learn about the area than by stepping into the Bagnell Dam History Museum at Willmore Lodge! Admission is free, and the helpful attendants have a treasure trove of information on the area. Be sure to walk the grounds and visit the Lakeside gazebo.