Autumn at The Lake: 12 Ways to Enjoy the Ozarks in the Fall

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The Lake of the Ozarks is well known as the ultimate summer destination. But as Labor Day comes and goes, swimming suits are packed away for the season and the temperature starts dropping. But that doesn’t have to be the end of the fun.

Extend your lakeside leisure into autumn. Enjoy shoreline and hillsides blanketed in fall color as you shop, dine and take in local attractions. If you’re used to hopping in a boat and floating on the water all day, try something a little bit different and go for a hike with some friends. However, some tried-and-true warm weather activities, like fishing, are just as fun when it gets a little cooler. In fact, there might be less competition as fewer people will be out on the lake trying to snag the biggest fish.

Who knows, you may find that you love autumn at the lake just as much as the dog days of summer.

If you want to catch prime fall color, keep an eye on Missouri Department of Conservation’s Fall Color Reports.


A. Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Towering bluffs offer a majestic view of the Lake of the Ozarks. The remains of a circa-1905 stone castle are a popular attraction in this park, which also features hiking and walking trails and a large natural spring.

B. Bridal Cave/Thunder Mountain Park

Guided tours take you underground where Bridal Cave stays 60 degrees year-round. See fascinating rock formations, including a stalactite adorned “chapel” where thousands of weddings have taken place.

C. Lazer Force Lazer Tag Zone – Osage Beach

Try laser tag for some indoor, heart-pumping fun. The 4,000-square-foot arena combines black lights, music and fog to enhance the experience. You’ll also find a video arcade.

D. Jolly Mon Indoor Water Park

Located at Margaritaville Lake Resort, Jolly Mon Indoor Water Park features a three-story tree house, topped with a six-foot-wide wooden bucket that dumps more than 600 gallons of water onto anyone standing below. The park also includes water slides, an activity pool with water basketball and other games, a 21-seat whirlpool, and a lazy river.

E. Osage Beach Outlet Marketplace

An outdoor shopping mall, the Osage Beach Outlet Marketplace is home to dozens of retailers, including Eddie Bauer Outlet, Polo Ralph Lauren, Loft Outlet, Under Armour and many more.


A. Margaritaville Lake Resort Lake of the Ozarks

Margaritaville Lake Resort is located on the banks of the Lake of the Ozarks. The resort offers three outdoor pools, one indoor pool, a full-service marina, horseback riding, spa and salon, restaurants, bars and lounges, boutique and specialty shops, 18 holes of championship golf, a bowling alley and more.

B. Old Kinderhook Golf Resort

Old Kinderhook Golf Resort is a master-planned community offering guest rooms, golf cottages, patio homes, villas and estate homes. Amenities include a day spa, restaurants, lounge, indoor and outdoor saltwater pools, tennis courts and a golf course that is the centerpiece of the resort.

C. The Lodge of Four Seasons

Situated along the shoreline of the Lake of the Ozarks, the Lodge of the Four Seasons offers guestrooms and two-bedroom suites. Facilities include golf courses, a full-service day spa, boutique and specialty shops, a full-service marina with boat rentals, four swimming pools, Japanese gardens, restaurants, bars, bicycle rentals, trap shooting, and an adventure club for kids.

D. Camden on the Lake Resort

Camden on the Lake features luxurious guest rooms and lake-view suites. Amenities include onsite dining, a swimming pool, a fitness room, retail shops, a spa and live entertainment. The Toad Cove Yacht Club is home to a marina with covered boat slips, pontoon and personal watercraft rentals, a convenience store and shower and laundry facilities.


A. H. Toad’s Bar & Grill at Camden on the Lake

H. Toads Bar & Grill is a casual restaurant that serves up American cuisine and sweeping lake views. You can arrive by car or boat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. H. Toad's is located in the Horny Toad Entertainment Complex.

B. Baxter’s Lakeside Grille

Baxter's Lakeside Grille offers upscale yet casual dining. The menu includes steaks, prime rib, and an array of seafood. The bluff-top location features great views, especially at sunset.

C. Stewart’s Restaurant

Known for their giant cinnamon rolls, Stewart's Restaurant has been serving breakfast and lunch at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1953.