LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — A recent story published by Microsoft News (MSN) named the Lake of the Ozarks as the "Best Weekend Getaway" in Missouri.
The MSN Lifestyle article which listed the best weekend getaway in each state began, "If done correctly, the weekend getaway can be just as rewarding as the full-fledged vacation. [These] destinations offer an escape from the ordinary and the chance to live your best Friday to Sunday life." A description like that was seemingly written for a place like Lake of the Ozarks.
For Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks (#26 in the state-by-state list), the author summed up its appeal by saying: "No matter the season, a getaway to the Lake of the Ozarks is sure to reset your dials. Rent a boat (or provide your own) in order to spend your Saturday in a hidden cove and then top it off with a night out at one of the many lakeside watering holes."
This isn't the first time the Lake of the Ozarks area has been a favored destination in a large online poll or list.
In 2018, Lake of the Ozarks was named the 2nd-best place in the U.S. to see fall foliage, in a USAToday/10Best poll. (It so happened the foliage in 2018 was especially good, too. Here's a photo gallery of Lake CVB photos of fall foliage in recent years.)
In 2015, Lake of the Ozarks was named the best recreational lake in the nation, in a USAToday/10Best poll.
And also in 2015, Ha Ha Tonka State Park was named the #4 state park in the nation in a USAToday/10Best poll.
With more shoreline than the Pacific Coast of California, the Lake of the Ozarks attracts around 5 million visitors each year and is a well-known top-tier vacation destination for travelers of all interests and budgets.
"The Lake of the Ozarks is centrally located, so it's an easy drive from most anywhere in the state or the surrounding area," said Jim Divincen, administrator for the Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association. "The Lake offers such a wide variety of amenities and attractions coupled with friendly Midwestern hospitality, so there are so many ways to build a perfect weekend getaway at the Lake of the Ozarks."
Some of the most popular Lake-area attractions and amenities include 14 championship golf courses designed by some of the biggest names in the sport, five area wineries where visitors can sample and enjoy multiple varietals made from locally-grown grapes, four celebrated spas where visitors can relax and be pampered in style and four impressive show caves that highlight the area's underground beauty. There are three horseback riding stables offering guided trail rides along a variety of landscapes. Additionally, there are two unique state parks that encompass over 21,000 acres in total and feature over 26 different trails covering 57 miles of scenic terrain. And that doesn't take into account that the Lake has one of the largest top brand-name outlet stores in Missouri as well as several other local shopping areas, kitschy souvenir shops, antique stores and specialty boutiques.
For on-the-water fun, there are numerous marinas where visitors can rent the watercraft of their choice, or they can paddle around on stand-up paddleboards, canoes or kayaks. They also can get some high-flying action on a wakeboard or a water-propelled "Flyboard." Of the area's 200-plus restaurants, over 60 of the eateries are located lakeside ensuring the meals are as memorable as the views. And, the region's knowledgeable professional fishing guides make sure any trip to one of the best bass fisheries in the nation is a success.
Visitors find a variety of accommodations at the Lake of the Ozarks for getaways of any length. There are full-service large-scale resorts and smaller family-owned and operated resorts as well as charming bed and breakfasts or comfortable cabins and cottages. There is no shortage of fully furnished vacation rental homes and condominiums. For those who prefer sleeping under the stars, there are spacious campgrounds and RV parks interspersed throughout the area.