|Houseboating at it's Best: on the Lake of the Ozarks|
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Enjoy the comforts of home on the water as you visit Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. Rent a houseboat from Forever Resorts’ Lake of the Ozarks Marina to see one of the largest manmade lakes in the Midwest, located in the center of the state. You would not be alone in choosing this location, as almost 3 million individuals venture here each summer.
Houseboating provides an opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of this area with uninterrupted views of it. The Lake of the Ozarks has shores that stretch for more than 1,100 miles through four different Missouri counties, with a coastline longer than California’s. This very popular destination has been inviting to guests ever since the local Bagnell Dam was completed in 1931. The ﬁnished dam led to the development of the lake area. On Oct. 16, 1931, the Osage Hydroelectric Power Plant at the dam became operational. The Union Electric Company building the dam was able to provide an expanding area with more electricity. Today, 25,000 visitors can be accommodated by more than 200 lakeside hotels, lakeside resorts, motels and campgrounds. Before heading out, visit the Lake of the Ozarks Marina to purchase any last-minute supplies, including groceries, snacks, boating accessories, ﬁshing tackle, bait and souvenirs.
Conditions on the Lake of the Ozarks are ideal for houseboating. The protected waters make it very enjoyable, and the season stretches from April to November. Although there is a residential character to part of the area, the Lake of the Ozarks State Park region is entirely wilderness. This nearby state park has an 85-mile shoreline and three marina locations, with the public beaches Osage Beach and Kaiser. Kaiser includes a campground, picnic area and hiking trails.
The Lake of the Ozarks offers many land and water activities. The numerous options include boating, excursion cruises, ﬁshing, swimming, parasailing, waterskiing, tubing, scuba diving, camping, spelunking, bungee jumping, horseback riding, bowling, mountain biking, golﬁng, miniature golﬁng, tennis, country-western musical events, crafts and go-carts. Additional attractions are multiple arcades, two local water parks, several museums and a couple of music shows and theaters. There are 16 golf courses in the Lake of the Ozarks, and 5,000 caves in Missouri, three of which are “show caves.” One is aptly named the “Bridal Cave,” where more than 1,850 couples have gotten married.
Visitors who enjoy ﬁshing can catch a wide variety of species all year long. There are 54,000 surface acres, and the land includes diverse habitats, including coves, crappie beds, gravel bars, mud ﬂats and rock bluffs. Local ﬁsh populations are the largemouth bass, crappie, white bass, stripers, rainbow trout, walleye and catﬁsh. Anglers should also keep in mind that local ﬁshing locations range from cool spring waters, where they can use deep-diving crankbaits and jig-n-frog lures; to boat docks, deep points and drop-offs for bass ﬁshing; to the shallows for searches for bass in October and November.
In addition to all of these outdoor, extracurricular activities, the Lake of the Ozarks has lots of shopping and several relaxing, high-quality spas. There are also several wineries in the area. Most of the 150 eateries in the region are locally-owned and -operated, and several of the local dining options have received top ratings. Dining experiences range from casual, low-cost options, to those backed by well-renowned chefs. The types of food include gourmet creations, hot dogs, burgers, all-you-can-eat-buffets, local favorites such as fresh catﬁsh, Ozark-style barbeque and cuisines from across the world, with frozen custard and other delicacies for dessert. Many of the restaurants are situated lakeside or offer terriﬁc views of the water, or even ﬂoat on the lake. Boat cruises are other ways to enjoy dining on the water.
The nightlife is lively, with fun for everyone. Throughout the year, the music offered includes live country, blues, rock-and-roll and jazz. Out-of-towners can also make their own music at karaoke bars. The active nightlife also has hangouts by the lake, mellow lounges, tiki bars and sports bars, comedy clubs, live opry and even romantic, moonlit cruises.