Nestled in the heart of Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks is a sprawling reservoir that has become a destination for boaters. With its vast expanse of crystal-clear waters, over 1,150 miles of shoreline, and covering over 54,000 acres, the Lake was formed by the construction of the Bagnell Dam in the late 1920s. The Lake of the Ozarks is surrounded by lush forests, rolling hills, and towering bluffs, creating a picturesque backdrop for boating adventures.

The Lake is characterized by four distinctive arms, each offering unique experiences for visitors. The Gravois arm is quieter with plenty of boat ramps, the Grand Glaize arm is a hotspot for water activities, the Niangua arm is tranquil and calm, and the Osage arm is renowned for its lively events.

Lake of the Ozarks Activities

Whether you're swimming, fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding, or tubing, there's something for every boater. If you're craving an adrenaline rush, the vast open waters are perfect for wakeboarding, tubing, water skiing, and jet skiing.

With many full-service marinas, the Lake of the Ozarks has everything you need. Enjoy boat slips, fuel, supplies, repair services, and even lodging options. Plus, there are 50 public boat ramps for easy and affordable lake access. For even more convenience, check out the commercial ramps associated with marinas and resorts. While they may charge a fee, they offer extra perks like parking, restrooms, and fuel. Experience the ultimate boating adventure at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Known as one of Missouri's premier fishing destinations, the lake offers abundant populations of black bass, crappie, white bass, catfish, and bluegill throughout the year. The lake has designated fishing spots like the Niangua Arm, which is known for its bass, crappie, and catfish populations. Additionally, coves near the main river and creek channels are also excellent spots for your next fishing adventure.

Exploring the Area

There are so many eateries and bars around the lake but there are a few stand-outs that we favor. Located right on the lake, Baxter's Lakeside Grille provides a beautiful setting for enjoying American cuisine, including steaks and seafood. If you love fish then their Alaskan Sea Bass with smashed sweet potatoes is very good!

Known for its seafood and stunning lake views, JB Hook's offers a great dining experience, but get there early to grab a seat with a view for the most amazing sunset views!

If you're a fan of high-speed water sports and adrenaline-pumping action, the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout is an event you won't want to miss. Held every August, this world-renowned boat racing event features high-speed powerboats and thrilling competitions.

Every April, the Lake of the Ozarks Boat Show provides an opportunity to explore the latest marine innovations and trends. This event showcases a wide range of boats, watercraft accessories, and nautical lifestyle products. It is a great opportunity for boating enthusiasts to discover new products, interact with industry professionals, and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in the marine world.

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Nearby Attractions

Don't miss out on a visit to Ha Ha Tonka State Park. This incredible park is famous for its breathtaking castle ruins, bluffs, and caverns. Hike through the lush forests, where you'll find hidden waterfalls and caves.

Just a few miles away you will find the Stark Caverns. These are an enchanting underground world of stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone formations. Join guided tours through illuminated chambers, showcasing nature's captivating sculptures.

If you love old period houses and museums, then Willmore Lodge is a great visit. This transformed estate now houses a fascinating museum. You can wander through its grand rooms, filled with period furnishings and artifacts, and uncover the tales of its past residents.

Around 3 miles from the lake you will find the Main Street Music Hall in Osage Beach. This vibrant venue showcases a diverse range of musical performances, spanning from bluegrass and country to rock and roll.

Few golf destinations in the Midwest can match the all-around, award-winning excellence of Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail. Recently voted as the ‘Best Golf Weekend’ most experts and golfers agree the Lake has most, if not all, of the boxes checked, from challenging courses, stunning landscapes, luxury lodging, and plenty of entertainment and activities after your round.

Visiting Lake of the Ozarks offers a multitude of activities and attractions to explore. While we have highlighted a few access points and facilities, there is so much more to discover in this beautiful destination. Plan your visit and embark on an unforgettable experience at this scenic Midwest gem.

Lake Access and Hours

Most public boat ramps are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, some ramps may have limited hours, especially during the off-season. It is always best to check with the local park or marina for the most up-to-date information.