Take the hassle out of planning a trip and let Lake Expo do it for you! Scroll our list of pre-made “Wonderful Weekends” — trips that are perfect for a romantic get-away with a loved one, a family-trip to remember or just a fun time out at Lake of the Ozarks!

The Lake of the Ozarks is a great place for a family vacation, from water-sports to family fun centers and unmatched natural beauty, the kids will not be bored (and there’s plenty for parents to do too!).

Where to stay

Choosing a place to stay is one of the most important decisions you can make on vacation. Vacation rentals are always a great choice to unwind by the water, and you can find plenty of Lake of the Ozarks vacation rentals at Four Seasons Property Management and YourLakeVacation.com. Of course there are always the national websites, but we like the local guys (they know the Lake and you’ll get a better experience overall).

A variety of smaller, family resorts nestle along the shoreline, including Point Randall Resort (conveniently located in Lake Ozark), Alhonna Resort (beloved by anglers), and Bear Bottom Resort (especially popular for the camping crowd).

For a full-service experience, Margaritaville Lake Resort, The Lodge of Four Seasons, and Camden on the Lake offer lodging, dining and play all in one place! 

Let the weekend begin

1. Saturday Morning/Afternoon

Rise and shine! The kids are ready to get on the Lake, so start your Saturday off right with a morning on the water!

You should reserve your boat rental well in advance of your vacation. Check out Pirate’s Point, Dirty Duck, Point Oasis, Big Thunder at Glencove, Point Randall and Paradise Marina and Watersports.

Don’t want to drive the boat but want to get on the water? Check out Celebration Cruises for a leisurely cruise down the Lake to see the beautiful water and shoreline (plus the beautiful architecture of the homes on the water!). Want your own personal captain? Check out the Lake of the Ozarks Captain’s Association for qualified and licensed captains.

Celebration Cruise

The Lake’s shoreline is rocky (welcome to the Ozarks), but there still some great places to play in the sand, so make sure to stop by one of Lake of the Ozarks’ Public Beach #2, a calm spots for little ones to enjoy the water.

Want something to eat and drink on the “beach”? Head to Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill or Franky and Louie’s Beachfront Bar and Grill: both offer expansive sandy beaches with plenty of places for kids to play, parents to lounge, and something on the menu for everyone.

On the Lake of the Ozarks 10 Mile Marker, Franky and Louie’s has long been a staple for visi…

Captain Ron’s offers just about every grog that a pirate could ask for! From the classics to…

Captain Rons-033.jpg

Captain Ron's Cannonball Beach

The Beach at Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill offers cool water, cold drinks, and warm sun.

You might eat lunch at one of those places, or head to the The Cave, on the Niangua Arm. Swimming in a cave is an experience the kids will remember, and there’s a kiddie pool next to the main pool, so everyone can have a good time.

When you step off the boat onto the docks at The Cave Bar & Grill, you can just tell the…

2. Saturday Afternoon/ Evening

Rather get off the water earlier? It’s a good idea on a summer Saturday. Book a four-hour morning boat rental with water toys. Pull the kids on the tube or get them up on a wakeboard. But it’s good advice, for the novice boater in a smaller boat, to get off the water by noon on Saturdays during the summer. Lake of the Ozarks is the powerboating capital of the Midwest, and once the big dogs are out, it gets rough until dark. 

Young Boy learning to Wakeboard

Young Boy learning to Wakeboard

If you’re more adventurous, go for it! It’s not dangerous if you boat safely (not too fast) and learn to quickly handle big boat wakes.

It’s just more comfortable boating all day Sunday-Friday at Lake of the Ozarks. Really, the rough water happens from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturdays during the summer. The rest of the week and the rest of the year, it’s simply a boating paradise. 

Off The Water And On The Strip

Once off the water, get lunch on the Bagnell Dam Strip!

One of the most recognizable leisure spots, the Strip in Lake Ozark has everything from a Sky Rail for the kiddos and wonderful boutiques and restaurants/bars for adults. At lunchtime, check out Tuckers Shuckers, then enjoy Malted Monkey’s zany milkshakes (spiked shakes for adults!) and let the kids monkey around on the Sky Rail. Then, take a walk down on the Bagnell Dam Bridge for a look at the incredible structure that created the Lake of the Ozarks!

The Malted Monkey is the perfect place to monkey around at Lake of the Ozarks! 

Let’s go to Tucker’s! You’ll hear that phrase ringing around Lake Ozark just before lunch an…

Bagnell Dam - Aerial

After an action-packed day on the water and hanging out on the Strip, you’ll probably be ready to relax and unwind. Hopefully, you’re staying at a lakefront house, condo or hotel with a view. There’s little more enjoyable than grilling out lakefront, as the day gets long, boats race back to docks, and you’ve got a meal the whole family is sure to enjoy, because you’ve cooked it. Hopefully you’ve rented a place with a pool, to lounge with a cold drink as the sun sets over the Lake, the kids swim and the relaxation part of the vacation really sinks in.  

We’ll leave the party nightlife to a different edition of Wonderful Weekend.

Boats At Sunset Over Lake Of The Ozarks

Sunset Behind Isla Del Sol

Sunset at Miller's Landing on Lake of the Ozarks

3. Sunday Morning/ Afternoon

Wiped out from an action-packed Saturday? Grab a late breakfast or brunch at First Watch (Osage Beach), Rusty Rooster (Lake Ozark), or RJ’s Family Restaurant (Camdenton) and then tee-off in a morning game of mini-golf! Check out Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf in Osage Beach for a pirate-themed romp through waterfalls, ships cannons and of course, plenty of holes of golf! In Lake Ozark, Sugar Creek Mini Golf is tucked into a protected valley under the trees: it’s much-needed shade on hotter days.

For lunch, check out Wobbly Boots for some of the best BBQ at the Lake.


There are three miniature golf courses open to the public at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Fried Shrimp Po’ Boy - Wobbly Boots

Wobbly Boots Roadhouse is a Lake of the Ozarks BBQ staple, and for good reason. With eclecti…

If you’re craving Mexican Food, you’ve come to the right Lake. The local taquerias are fabulous, our favorites being Sergios and Pablitos. But for amazing tacos to-go “para llevar,” La Tapatia simply can’t be beat (their salsas verde and rojo both have bite, so go easy — or go all-in for fiery goodness). 

If you want the real deal, La Bomba you’ll not soon forget, visit MaMaCitas and order the Molcajete. We’re not even going to write about it, because words can’t possibly do the Molcajete any justice. You just have to experience it for yourself. 

Mama Cita’s means authentic and delicious Mexican food in the Lake area. It’s the perfect pl…

After that kind of lunch, you might just need to walk it off. The Lake of the Ozarks boasts among the best places in the world to do just that — Ha Ha Tonka State Park. Ranked among the best state parks in the country, Ha Ha Tonka’s unique beauty and well-kept walking trails keep locals and visitors coming back over and again. It just never gets old. 

Summer is in full swing, and at Lake of the Ozarks, stay-at-home orders feel like a distant …

4. Sunday Afternoon/ Evening

As it starts getting late and the Lake is getting dark, Lake Escape is a great option for evening family fun. This escape room center has four full rooms that are sure to keep you guessing. Enjoy this pulse-pounding brain teaser and build family memories as you try to escape!

For a memorable dinner, check out JB Hooks! This upscale-dining experience offers incredible views and even more incredible food.

Want something more casual? Head to Pappo’s or Shorty Pants Lounge (cajun food!) in Osage Beach.

Lake Escape

JB Hooks Scallops – Lake pf the Ozarks Fine Dining

JB Hooks, perched high atop the lakefront cliffs at the 16.5 Mile Marker, is where you eat d…

Time to head home? You’ve really only just scratched the surface of the Lake. Make your plans to return again next summer… or this summer!

Plan your next trip at LakeExpo.com/Vacations, or check out more “Wonderful Weekend” planners, below:

So you got to Lake of the Ozarks, and it’s raining.

Take the hassle out of planning a trip and let Lake Expo do it for you! Scroll our list of pre-made “Wonderful Weekends” — trips that are perf…

Take the hassle out of planning a trip and let Lake Expo do it for you! Scroll our list of pre-made weekend trips that are perfect for a roman…


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