Ready to bring the family to Lake of the Ozarks?

With over a thousand miles of coastline, there’s plenty of space and activities to enjoy at Lake of the Ozarks. Families have numerous options for boating that can range from fishing, wake surfing, or just viewing gorgeous waterfront homes. It’s Missouri’s best place for on the water fun!


Gotta get the lodging right. Want the VRBO vibe? There are countless homes for rent, right on the water. Aiming for an off-the-beaten-path experience? Head to one of the Lake’s many, quaint, mom-and-pop resorts. Rather have the hotel experience? The Lake offers multiple unique hotel options.

Check out lots of lodging ideas on our Vacation page, here.

For starters, here are four excellent waterfront hotel options:

• Margaritaville Lake Resort

• Lodge of Four Seasons

• Camden on the Lake

• Alhonna Resort

Planning The Weekend

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Do you know where you’re headed? Those four resorts are pretty central to the action on the Lake. And since Lake of the Ozarks runs along a river bed, you’ll likely end up heading either upstream or downstream for your day on the water.

Lake locations are typically identified by their mile marker. Mile markers dot the Lake’s shoreline, but it’s a good idea to use our Mile Marker Map to get your bearings — when you’re planning the day, and when you’re on the water.

Pro Tip: Long before you head to the Lake, you’ll want to reserve your rental boat. Boat rentals can get booked pretty far ahead of time. So once you know where you’re staying, find a nearby rental (or ask your host if they have rentals), and get your boat reserved.


Take advantage of the daylight and start out on the water with an activity. You can rent wake boards, knee boards, tubes, and water skis pretty much anywhere you rent a boat.

Tubing is easy fun for everyone that doesn’t require learning a skill. Find a cove nearby — outside of the main channel — to safely play and watch your kiddos hang on!

Escape some of the sun’s peak and enjoy lunch at Paradise Restaurant and Bar, at the 24 Mile Marker. It’s the perfect spot to fuel up with food and gas if needed. Tasty cocktails refresh you and can even be served in a pineapple! The colorful restaurant has games and live music to keep you entertained.

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After being active in the sun and with full bellies, go cove out! Locate a quiet spot where your family can listen to music and swim in the lake. Make sure you’ve got plenty of flotation: life jackets, noodles and Lily Pads (floating water mats) are crucial companions for hanging out in the water. Head back to the resort for dinner.

If you’re staying at Margaritaville, you’ll be dining at at LandShark Bar & Grill. With yummy seafood options and lots of “Little Sharks” choices, it’s a great spot to end the evening. Try the sea salt caramel cheesecake for dessert! Alternately, buzz across the channel to Papa Chubby’s for some Chicago-inspired dinner!

At Camden on the Lake, their Horny Toad restaurant serves up delicious dishes with lots of live music. Across the channel, Tap & Grill is another popular place for dinner.

At the Lodge of Four Seasons, dine at HK’s Bar and Grill, or hop across the channel to Lake House 13.

At Alhonna, the on-site restaurant Blue Cat Lounge is famously good. Or cruise just a couple miles upstream and across the channel for fun Key West vibes at Franky & Louie’s.

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Back on the boat Sunday morning? Keep reading. Opting for an on-land day? From mini golf to go karts to hiking, there’s so much to do. Plan your on-land day here.

(Keep in mind when your boat rental needs to be returned!)

If you want to try some wake sports, go up to Linn Creek Cove, a popular wakeboarding and wakesurfing spot. If you want to wakesurf, you’ll need a special wake boat; otherwise, you can probably wakeboard behind what you’ve got.

Need tips for getting started? Click here for our guide to wakeboarding.

Nearby you can have lunch at Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill for pirate-themed dining. From ahoy appetizers, to yo-ho-ho wraps and sandwiches, to pirate pizza, you’re sure to find something delicious. While you wait, lay out on the sandy beach, try some volleyball, or watch your kids on the playground!

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On your way back, stop at The Cave Bar & Grill, which has quickly become one of the Lake’s most popular restaurants. The winding pool makes its way along a cliff, and then goes into a (huge) cave! Play some cornhole, let the kids enjoy the kiddie pool, and enjoy great pizza and grinders as the sun sets.

There’s too much to do at the Lake in one weekend. So the final tip for this guide: rinse and repeat!


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