A Fun Day on Lake of the Ozarks
As part of a fun 6-day visit to Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks, during our stay at Alhonna Resort & Marina, we rented one of their 2018 Lowes tritoon boats to explore a small portion of Lake of the Ozarks. It just doesn't get any better than cruising that beautiful lake in a comfortable, smooth riding, and fast pontoon boat with a bimini top to keep you cool and prevent you from getting sunburned.
We cruised several miles of Lake of Ozarks which has 1150 miles of shoreline (more than the coast of California), covers over 54,000 acres, twists and turns for 92 miles from end to end, and contains 617 billion gallons of fresh water - more than what the city of St. Louis typically uses over a decade.
Lake of the Ozarks was created by the construction of the 2,543-foot long Bagnell Dam which was completed in 1931 at a cost of approximately $30 million, nearly $360 million in today's money. The Lake was created for hydroelectric power by damming the Osage River and at the time of construction, the Lake of the Ozarks was the largest man-made lake in the world.
The Lake is well known for its wide range of recreational activities including boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, tubing and wakeboarding. It also has a reputation for being one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country and it hosts over 500 fishing tournaments a year – I wish I had thought to bring my fishing pole!
The Osage River cuts a twisting and turning narrow passage through the Ozark Mountains and feeds into the Lake of the Ozarks. The eastern end of the Lake, which is where we started, is beautiful with heavily forested rolling hills, stunning huge homes and resorts and condos dotting the shoreline, towering cliffs, and lots of fun bars and restaurants.
In fact, there are over 28 restaurants and bars that you can get to by boat within 45 miles of the dam! Our goal during our time on the lake was to check out as many of them as we could before we had to return the boat! Many Lake bars and restaurants have added large pools with swim-up bars, like Backwater Jack's, Coconuts, Dog Day's, and Redhead Lakeside Grill. All of them have plenty of guest boat slips for daytrippers like us. We didn't get to very many of the restaurants because at our first stop, Blackwater Jack's, we stayed much too long enjoying their food, delicious drinks, the swim-up bar, the beautiful warm day, and the fun crowd! But over the rest of the week we spent time at several more waterfront restaurants, some of which included: Shorty Pants, Beavers at the Dam, Frankie & Louie's and Lazy Gators.
During our afternoon cruise, we saw every possible kind of boat or water toy available - ranging from waverunners to sailboats to lots of ski and pontoon boats, bass boats and some huge, loud, and fast jet boats. One of the other things that we wanted to do was cruise the Aquatic Trail within Lake of the Ozarks State Park, but, again, we ran out of time.
Lake of the Ozarks also has many fun events and attractions to enjoy - check out www.FunLake.com, the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau's web site to learn more about the lake and surrounding area. It's not surprising that Lake of the Ozarks was named the "Best Recreational Lake in the Nation" by USA Today and 10Best. We can hardly wait to get back!