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Heading to the lake with friends and family is a classic summer day trip. For many, it’s a tradition to gather the same group of lake lovers at the same lake each year. And while it’s nice to uphold tradition, it never hurts to try something new! Swimming, fishing, kayaking and canoeing don’t get old, but consider trying something a little unexpected at your next lake getaway.
Widely known as one of the best lakes in the state for sailing, Stockton Lake boasts a reliable breeze and beautiful sunsets. If you’re not a sailing expert, don’t let that deter you from enjoying a day out on the water. Stockton State Park Marina has an ASA-Certified sailing school where you can learn to take the helm.
An underground marvel, Billion Gallon Lake, can be found inside Bonne Terre Mine. The mine, which was once the world’s largest producer of lead ore, is now a scuba diving playground with more than 20 staff-guided trails. Any water-certified diver can explore the watery maze. Table Rock Lake also offers scuba diving so you can examine the world under the water’s surface.
If you like off-the-water adventures during your lake trip but don’t want to travel far, look no further than Smithville Lake. In the wooded acres surrounding the lake you’ll find 11.5 miles of single-track mountain biking trails. Beginners and experts alike can work up a sweat pedaling over the rugged terrain before cooling off in the nearby water.
Alternatively, if you have a hard time getting your crew off the water, embrace the lake life and stay in a houseboat. Five Star Houseboat Vacations in Kimberling City on Table Rock Lake offers boats that sleep 10, 14 or 16 people. Both shared and private bedrooms and all the amenities you need make for a supremely comfortable stay.
Why stay in a tent when you can stay in a yurt? A yurt is a weatherproof tent-like structure, and Missouri State Parks has six, including one premium yurt available for rent at Table Rock State Park, Pomme de Terre State Park and Lake of the Ozarks State Park. All yurts have heat and electricity and some are pet-friendly.
For the best seat in the house – or on the lake – hop on a boat. Celebration Cruises at the Lake of the Ozarks offers sightseeing cruises, dinner cruises and candlelight cruises. Showboat Branson Belle on Table Rock Lake serves up a three-course meal and a lively show.