Lake of the Ozarks is a favorite vacation destination in central Missouri locaated about three hours from St. Louis and Kansas City. It is a special place that wins over the hearts of its visitors. Rolling hills, stunning sunsets, leisure days on the lake under the sun, friendly people, an amazing history, and impressive lake views almost everywhere you look are reasons why families, couples, business professionals, honeymooners, and singles travel to the area throughout the year.
There's never a lack of things to do at the Lake, especially if you to stay at one of Lake of the Ozarks' largest resorts. Boating, swimming, shopping, and golfing are a few resort activities typically available. Listed below are 3 of the most popular Lake of the Ozarks resorts, a sample of what they offer, and notable attractions in nearby towns.
Tan-Tar-A Resort, Golf Club, Marina & Indoor Water Park
Tan-Tar-A, a family-friendly Lake of the Ozarks resort nestled among beautiful woodlands along the lake's shore, is a comfortable, cozy, fun place to escape to. The Missouri retreat spans 420 acres and offers an array of seasonal and non-seasonal recreational activities and attractions, some of which include an indoor water park, horse back riding, outdoor swimming, an excursion boat ride, boat rentals, golfing, shopping, and fine dining. Restaurants in and around Tan-Tar-A Resort include the Windrose, Black Bear Lodge, Sbarro, Burger King, and Culvers. Tan-Tar-A also caters to large, professional groups and won 'Best of Mid America Meetings' award for best meetings experience for guests.
Tan-Tar-A has been around for a while. The resort is approaching its 51st anniversary on July 4th, 2011. Its first cabin was built on July 4th, 1960 by Burton Duenke, a developer from St. Louis, and his brother. Burton Duenke named the resort Tan-Tar-A, which is a Blackfoot Indian name that means "one who moves swiftly".
Osage Beach and Camdenton, Missouri Attractions
Tan-Tar-A is in Osage Beach where putt putt mini golf courses and go-kart race tracks line its main highway. Popular attractions include The Premium Outlet Mall- shops include J Crew, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger, Izod, and BCBG Max Azria, Miner Mike's and Buster's Adventure Town- a huge entertainment center for kids located across from the premium outlets, Main Street Music Hall- a fun, live variety show for all ages, and Lake of the Ozarks State Park- the largest state park in Missouri.
Just up the road near the intersection of Hwy 54 and KK in the Palisades Shopping Center is The Little Shop of Hers, which sells gourmet food items, quality jewelry, collectibles, and more. Near the end of the shop is a charming café. Take a 10 minute drive north on Highway 54, take Osage beach Pkwy exit, and you'll hit Marshalls Home Goods, Target, and Pier 1 Imports. Go south about 10 miles on Hwy 54 from Tan-Tar-A and visit Camdenton where notable attractions include Bridal Cave, Ha Ha Tonka State Park, which features castle ruins and an ethereal emerald spring, and Sweetheart's Antiques, a hidden gem of a store that sells impressive, quality antique pieces.
The Lodge of Four Seasons Championship Golf Resort & Spa
The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, MO is a multi-award winning family owned resort. Walk into the main building of the lodge and you'll feel like you've been transported to an exotic place. Its exceptional atmosphere is created by stunning, eccentric decor. Just a few steps away from the entrance to the main lodge is Spa Shiki (spashiki.com), a full-service spa Spa Magazine rated as one of the top 10 Midwest spas. The Lodge is a true Missouri spa resort. The Lodge of Four Seasons offers many all-inclusive packages, such as its current (March 2011) 'Rest, Relax and Rejuvenate' and 'Family Style gathering' packages. Other amenities include restaurants, such as HKs and Breeze's, and 3 championship golf courses: Porto Cima's Jack Nicklaus Signature Course (private), The Cove (public), and Season's Ridge (public).
The Lodge of Four Seasons began its construction around the same time as Tan-Tar-A. It was built in 1964 by Harold Koplar. Today, the resort is still owned and operated by the Koplar-Brown family, now by the 3rd generation.
Lake Ozark, Missouri Attractions
Lake Ozark is close to Osage Beach near the north end of the lake. Attractions include The Bagnell Dam Strip-a nostalgic shopping area near the historic Bagnell Dam, which created Lake of the Ozarks out of the Osage River, exceptional restaurants such as The Blue Heron, The Duck, and Bently's, and laid back lakefront restaurants in Lake Ozark and neighboring towns that offer fantastic live music such as Backwater Jacks, Dog Days, Shady Gators, and H. Toads Bar & Grill.
Camden on the Lake Resort, Spa, and Yacht Club
If you are up for a fun time, then Camden on the Lake Resort is the place to go. It is on the shoreline near the famous H. Toad's Bar & Grill and Toad Cove Entertainment Complex where famous acts like Willie Nelson have played. Camden on the Lake is for those who expect nothing but the over-the-top best. The resort's rooms offer, according to its website, flat screen TVs and lavish beds. Amenities include a swim-up bar, 48-seat movie theater, retail shops, an eco-friendly Aveda Copper Door Spa, convenient yacht club, marina, and gourmet dining. Camden on the Lake is the perfect place for meetings with its 9 large meeting rooms.
Camden on the Lake is a new Lake of the Ozarks resort and H. Toad's was renovated only just a few years ago. The whole complex is one of the newest and most popular entertainment complexes in the area. It schedules musical acts throughout the year and the most famous are usually booked during the summer months.
Photo Credit: Flickr user 'Birdfreak.com'
Sources: camdenonthelake.com, 4seasonsresort.com, tantara.com