Boating enthusiasts rejoice: Missouri's beautiful lakes mean you have plenty of adventures from which to choose. Whether you prefer the speed of a powerboat or the elegant movement of a sailboat, you'll find your dream on the waters of the Show-Me State.
The 18,600-acre Mark Twain Lake, 13 miles south of Monroe City, offers picture-perfect boating conditions. No boat? No problem. Take your rod and reel and fish in the many stocked ponds. Also, enjoy equestrian trails, walking trails and sleeping under the stars at one of the campgrounds.
Shelbina Lake, in the town of Shelbina, welcomes visitors for all types of fun activities. Go boating and fishing on the lake. Show off your swing on the nine-hole golf course, while the kids have a blast on the playground equipment. Play volleyball, tennis and basketball. The plentiful camper-sites and tent sites mean you can make a weekend of it. Sorry – swimming and wadding are not allowed.
Along the southern border of Missouri, beautiful Bull Shoals Lake enjoys a reputation as one of the state's most peaceful getaways. Relax as you admire the majestic grandeur of the Ozarks and crystal-clear waters lapping against more than 740 miles of shoreline, upon which you’ll see very few buildings. Aquatic opportunities range from boating to scuba diving. Don't forget the fishing gear – white bass, largemouth bass and walleye are super-plentiful.
Smithville Lake boasts a variety of summertime fun. This recreational lake in Smithville makes an ideal destination for boating, sailing, fishing and swimming. After you've cooled off in the clear waters, try hiking and horseback riding along the shoreline. Two full-service marinas offer boat rentals. Picnic shelters and campgrounds allow guests to spend the weekend (or longer) having fun.
Looking for a lake getaway sure to delight everyone in the family? Head to Table Rock State Park, bordering Branson. Take your boat or rent one from a marina. Take a scuba diving class and see what dwells beneath the lake's surface. Get a great workout – not to mention breathtaking views – when you ride along the mountain-biking trail. Plus, Table Rock Lake's proximity to Branson means you’ll find stellar shows, golf, museums and restaurants to suit everyone in the family.
Two miles west of Macon, Long Branch Lake, at Long Branch State Park, attracts boating enthusiasts and bass fishermen. Don't forget to pack your swimsuit – Long Branch Lake features a great swimming beach. Picnic sites, campgrounds, trails, an accessible fishing dock and a camp-store round out the amenities at this lovely park.
At Pomme de Terre State Park, near Pittsburg, Pomme de Terre Lake attracts anglers out to catch a variety of fish, especially trophy muskellunge. No other freshwater fish matches the combination of size, strength, ferociousness and "big game" appeal of the muskie – they make great “big fish” stories. Plus, the park offers pretty beaches to relax and catch some rays. Other activities include hiking and boating.