Fans of the fictitious, fantastical fare that is the show "Ozark" agree that writers hit the mark on several aspects of Lake life. Here are six ways they get it right.
But maybe some things about life at the Lake of the Ozarks just can’t be captured—we noticed three in particular that you can only understand when you're here...
1. The Lake’s Natural Beauty
Since much of the filming is done in Georgia on Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona, there are very few scenes in the show that highlight the infinite beauty boasted by each cove and hill at Lake of the Ozarks. In the first season, a genuine shot from the iconic spot known as “Lover’s Leap” clearly shows the beauty of the Lake area in stark contrast to the primal fear the Byrdes are going through. But this is just one of hundreds of picturesque views the area boasts. Georgia's nice, but it ain't our Lake of the Ozarks!
Whether you're driving on Highway 54 to work or arriving for vacation, this area is filled with stunningly photographable scenes. The characters in the show are, of course, more focused on surviving than exploring the views surrounding their new home. But for many who live at the Lake of the Ozarks, life is intertwined with the beauty of the area and the outdoors. Whether hiking at Ha Ha Tonka, voted the most beautiful place in Missouri in 2018 by Condé Nast Traveler, driving to work along Highway 54, or meandering through backroads, living at the Lake of the Ozarks means excursions on water and land alike, made spectacular by the breathtaking views.
2. The Lake's Unique Boating Lifestyle
Life on the Lake, according to "Ozark" Season 1, Episode 6 looks pretty much like the Party Cove days of yore. But that notion is outdated and the experience is less common. While plenty of vacationers still find the Lake is a perfect place to party, for most people “taking the boat out” is really more about relaxing on the water with good people, good drinks, swimming, tubing, wake boarding, or just coving out with friends and family.
Also, thanks to the Lake's unique layout, it's easy to boat from one fun Lake spot to the next. “Ozark” misses the fact that for many Lake-goers a day on the boat involves the dozens of locally owned waterfront restaurants and bars. For locals and vacationers alike, there is nothing better than enjoying food, drinks, and live music from the deck or patio of your favorite place.
3. The Friendliness of the Community
Community members in “Ozark” who are not involved with the drug trade, the cartel, or money laundering are portrayed as cautious, isolated and wary of outsiders. But that's not what most folks experience here. In reality, people at the Lake of the Ozarks are welcoming, caring and always ready to help someone who needs it. Local businesses are charitable, the community is tight-knit, and generally residents are glad of the economic benefit brought in by tourism.
Whether a big charity event raising money to support victims of domestic violence or a call-out on Facebook for extra clothes for a family that just lost their home in a fire, the people here seem ever willing to come together to support each other. Chances are you’ll run into someone you know at a local grocery store: that along with the dozens of active churches, community chapters, legions and groups are all active in making this community something special.
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