Trip Ideas: Summer at Lake of the Ozarks
The Lake of the Ozarks is a complete summer destination in Missouri. From spending a day on the water, to award winning golf courses and tons of family fun, you are sure to make the Lake your summer family vacation ritual for years to come.
Day One
Check out the lake from the sky! Take a helicopter tour to experience a unique view and all the beauty of the Lake of the Ozarks. At Lake Ozark Helicopters there are six routes from which to choose. Customized, sunset and commercial flights are available. Watch this YouTube video for a sample. Tickets start at $29 per person. Located in the parking lot at Paul's Supermarket; at the intersection of Business 54 and Route HH. Open daily, May-September.
2101 Bagnell Dam Blvd., Lake Ozark MO 65049, 573-302-0022
Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. ~ After 7 p.m. by appointment.
One-stop fun for the family. Two 18-hole mini-golf courses with waterfalls, caves and fans to keep you cool; bumper cars; skee ball; video games; a children's merry-go-round; figure-eight go-cart track with a kiddies' track. Open daily, mid March-Labor Day weekend.
5440 Osage Beach Parkway, Osage Beach MO 65065, 573-348-2127
Hours: 10 a.m.- 11 p.m.
Baxter's Lakeside Grille is a classic American restaurant. They offer upscale yet casual dining. A gluten-free menu is offered. The bluff-top view is spectacular, especially the sunsets. Call for reservations since it is such a popular spot.
2124 Bagnell Dam Blvd., Lake Ozark MO 65049, 573-365-2669
Hours: Sun.-Thu., 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. ~ Fri.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Day Two
The remains of a huge, circa 1905 European-style stone castle add an air of mystery to this park. Situated atop towering bluffs, the views of the Lake of the Ozarks are majestic. More than 15 miles of winding trails take you past caves, a spring, sink-holes, a natural bridge and down to the lake. This park features camping, picnicking, hiking and an ADA accessible shelter.
1491 Route D, Camdenton MO 65020, 573-346-2986
Hours: Grounds and Visitor Center: April-Oct.: daily, 7 a.m.-sunset ~ Nov.-March: 8 a.m.-sunset.
Drive right up in your boat or car to the docks or parking lot of Bridal Cave. Tours travel over concrete pathways, through the cave's 60-degree Fahrenheit environment. One-hour guided tours begin every 15 minutes. A stalactite adorned Bridal Chapel is inside the cave where guests can have a wedding ceremony or vow renewal. Located on Route 5, at Lake Road 5-88, two miles north of Camdenton; by water, at the 10-Mile-Marker on the Big Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. General Admission: $16; ages 5-12, $8.
526 Bridal Cave Road, Camdenton MO 65020, 573-346-2676
Hours: Open at 9 a.m.; closing time varies by month.
Lake of the Ozarks' favorite Cajun restaurant. Located right on the lake with a marina with gas dock and outdoor tiki bar. Shorty Pants offers authentic creole cuisine at the water's edge. With a menu that is straight out of New Orleans featuring rubs and spices direct from Louisiana, you just might think you are eating in the French Quarter and not central Missouri. Sit inside, outside by the fireplace, or on the huge waterfront deck to enjoy live music and a great atmosphere.
1680 Autumn Lane, Osage Beach MO 65065, 573-302-1745
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Located in beautiful Osage Beach, The Vine offers elegant dining and a carefully selected list of fine wines. The Vine is a vibrant gallery of fine art from many regional artists. Since 2007 the Vine has served as a hub of artistic activity for the Osage Beach area.
1375 State Road KK, Osage Beach MO 65065, 573-302-0066
Hours: Tue.-Thur., 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Day Three
Big Surf is a waterpark that offers a variety of fun activities. Experience a three-story drop, down a massive half-pipe full of rushing water; race side-by-side, on 300-foot-long waterslides; relax on the 600-foot-long lazy river; spend time in the wave pool, but be prepared for three-foot-high waves every 10 minutes; enjoy special areas just for the youngest members of the family; play "dry-land" games such as volleyball and basketball; and grab a bite at our on-site grill. Big Surf is located at the Lake of the Ozarks, between Osage Beach and Linn Creek: from Route 54, turn onto Route Y, then turn left at the "T" in the road, and Big Surf will be on your left.
954 Route Y, Linn Creek MO 65052, 573-346-6111
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
At Captain Ron's eat some wonderful food while enjoying the surroundings and the lake. Lay out on the beach, take a stroll along Treasure Pass, or just hang out with your friends at the Tiki Bar. A lake front restaurant and attraction, you can drive your boat right up to the docks and enjoy a meal.
Lake Rd. 5-50, Sunrise Beach MO 65079, 573-374-5852
Hours: 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
Osage Beach Premium Outlets is home to more than 110 designer and name-brand outlet stores.
4540 Osage Beach Parkway, Osage Beach MO 65065, 573-348-2065
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
This winery serves Missouri wines, sangrias, and microbrew beers. Sample wines in the tasting room and order off a light lunch menu of appetizers, soups, sandwiches, salads, cheese trays, and bread with dipping oil; dinner menu includes steaks, chops, pasta, special dishes and other selections. Relax with your wine and food in the tasting room, on the covered porch and outdoor patio, or at tables on the lawn. Live music is hosted most weekends, late spring through early fall. The winery is on 160 acres of rolling Missouri foothills, midway between Camdenton and Osage Beach, in the Lake of the Ozarks area. There is a shuttle bus (a fee is charged; reservations required) that will transport you to and from most lake area locations.
846 Winery Hills Estates, Linn Creek MO 65052, 573-317-0100
Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Day Four
The Oaks Course was designed by architects Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge. This championship layout, carved out of the natural Ozark hills, places a premium on accurate shots and course management. Its multiple tee boxes and Bermuda and zoysia fairways make this championship course a unique and enjoyable experience for the expert as well as the novice. The undulating bentgrass greens, elevation changes and scenic views of the lake make this course a must-play on your next visit to the Lake of the Ozarks. Professional club fitting and instruction are available. Reserve you tee time online or by phone up to 28 days in advance.
1524 Route KK, Osage Beach MO 65065, 800-826-8272
Hours: Dawn-dusk.

This winery offers 13 wine choices, along with brick-oven pizza and Italian dishes. The bluff-top decks afford a spectacular, 14-mile panoramic view of the Lake of the Ozarks. The tasting room is warm and cozy. They have facilities for private events. Rooms are available if you would like to extend your visit. Each room has an unobstructed view of the lake, plus access to the swimming pool and hot tub. This is the sister winery to Casa de Loco Winery, in Camdenton.

2430 Bagnell Dam Blvd., Lake Ozark MO 65049, 573-365-9463
Hours: Mon.-Thu. and Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Need a short break from the sun? Main Street Music Hall has been entertaining families for 17 years at the Lake of the Ozarks. With a nine person cast, Main Street Music Hall offers 2 different shows during the summer: The best of Main Street Opry and Reelin' in the Years: Music from the 60's, 70's and 80's. Before or after your show, make sure you look around the Main Street Landing that surrounds the music all. Fabulous antique stores, boutiques, and sweet shops are there for you to explore. Tickets are $20 for adults; $18 for seniors; $11 for children (ages 5-12); 4 and under are free.
5845 Osage Beach Pkwy, Osage Beach MO 65065, 800-348-9500
Hours: 8 p.m.-10 p.m.; Show days change monthly.
H. Toad's is a casual, fun place where you will usually find live entertainment on the indoor and outdoor stages; and there's always a variety of food choices. If you're looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, either by boat or by car, this waterfront hot spot is a mainstay at the Lake of the Ozarks.
2325 Bittersweet Road, Lake Ozark MO 65049, 573-365-5500
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-midnight