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The lake of the Ozarks offers some incredible autumn attractions There are 9 great reasons to spend time there

Here are nine reasons why we love visiting the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.

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The Lake of the Ozarks was initially constructed in the early 1930s to provide hydroelectricity to central Missouri, but it has since developed into a premier vacation spot well-known and adored throughout the Midwest. Boaters, fishermen, and outdoor lovers have been drawn to the region for years. Now, tourists come here for the lake’s many attractions and summertime entertainment, including golfers and even foodies.

However, autumn is when the Lake of the Ozarks really reveals its true colors. The area’s bluffs are blazing with stunning fall color, there are less visitors, the temperature is cooler (but not cold enough to keep you off the water! ), and there are still plenty of things to keep you occupied.

Here are nine reasons why we love visiting in the fall and why you should think about going to the Lake of the Ozarks as well!

Get On The Links At Some Of The Top Golf Courses In The Midwest

Golfers of all skill levels, from beginners to professionals, both public and private, will find the Lake of the Ozarks region to be a paradise. There are more than a dozen golf courses in the region, several of which were created by well-known figures in the industry. The courses listed have been developed and/or consulted on by Arnold Palmer, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Tom Weiskopf, Bruce Devlin, and Robert Von Hagge. Given the area’s abundant natural beauty, with river bluffs, old oak tree stands, and breathtaking water views, they are highly picturesque. They all offer excellent on-site amenities as well, making it possible for you to play golf all day long.

The excellent courses around the lake can be difficult to decide between. To evaluate your options and decide which is ideal for you, use the convenient Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail online.

2. Take A Calm Canoeing Or Kayaking Trip

In the slower months, kayaking or canoeing are excellent ways to explore the Lake of the Ozarks and its numerous little serpentine coves and inlets. It’s much safer to travel out further into the main channel because there is much less motorboat activity (which can leave behind big wakes that are difficult for beginners to navigate). No concerns if you don’t have a boat of your own. There are numerous locations where you can hire equipment for the day. You have a whole day of exploration ahead of you, so pack a picnic or your fishing gear. Nothing compares to navigating the lake on your own!

Pro Tip: You don’t need a license to kayak on the Lake of the Ozarks, but everyone on board needs to have a personal flotation device.

3. Go to Old Castle Ruins At a Lovely State Park

Fall is unquestionably the ideal season to explore the stunning Ha Ha Tonka State Park, which is only a short drive from the bustle of the central business district. You should be sure to explore the famous Ha Ha Tonka Castle ruins located within the park. The opulent estate was constructed in 1905 by Kansas City businessman Robert Snyder and used as a weekend and summer residence until the Great Depression, when it reopened as a hotel. In 1942, a fire completely destroyed the structure, leaving just its limestone shell standing. In and around the castle’s ruins are interpretive markers that depict how it originally appeared. You can only speculate how impressive and opulent it once was, perched high atop the river bluffs.

The park also offers wonderful hiking routes, as well as stunning views of Ha Ha Tonka Spring and the lake. Check out the Castle Trail, an easy stroll with beautiful scenery that is only.8 miles long and offers views of the lake and castle remains. A picnic in the fall would be wonderful there.

4. Visit a lake to take in the natural fall beauty and go leaf-peeping

By damming the Osage River, the Lake of the Ozarks was produced. All year long, boaters and locals can enjoy the majestic river bluffs as a backdrop, but the fall is when they are most breathtaking. In fact, the Lake of the Ozarks was ranked as the second-best place in the nation for fall foliage few years ago by USA Today!

We are unable to contest that ranking. Early in October, the region is covered in an explosion of vivid color as the maple, ash, oak, and hickory trees put on their annual autumnal display. Nothing compares to a lake-leaf ride in the cool autumn air. Alternately, think about taking a road trip that loops around the lake via Highways 5, 54, and 52. Any tourist will be delighted by the autumn views and tints, whether they are experienced on land or on a lake.

5. Experience Spelunking in Caves Near Lake

Have you heard that Missouri is home to more than 6,000 caves? With a variety of intriguing geological characteristics, the Lake of the Ozarks region has more than its fair share. The interior will likely be between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to the autumnal outdoor temps. Fall is, in our opinion, the ideal season to explore underground and soak in Mother Nature’s breathtaking beauty!

At the lake, there are a number of well-known caverns that have been hollowed out, paved, lit, and prepared for visitors. Bridal Cave, which is close to Camdenton, is breathtaking. It has the magnificent Bridal Chapel room, where many of couples have exchanged vows throughout the years, as well as the crystal-clear Mystery Lake, enormous stalactites, and other attractions.

Native Americans were the first to use Stark Caverns, followed by the Stark family, who hosted a variety of events there. It transformed into a speakeasy and a distillery for moonshine during Prohibition. It is now a tourist attraction that draws visitors from around the nation.

The state of Missouri owns Ozark Caverns, which are accessible to amateur spelunkers. Animals who lived in the cave thousands of years ago left their claw prints there. You should also have a peek at, if not a swim in, Angel Showers, a never-ending spray of water that emerges from the ceiling of the cave made of solid rock.

The exhibition caverns are all open all year long, but you should call ahead for details on tours and costs. And when you go, make sure to put on a sturdy, good-quality pair of hiking boots or trail shoes!

6. Go on a Gastronomic Adventure

Okay, we understand. Grilling, fast casual dining, and pub food may instantly come to mind when you think about lake food. The Lake of the Ozarks offers a lot of those choices, but it also has a lot to offer foodies!

Start by going to Stewart’s. Since 1953, this renowned lake diner near Bagnell Dam has been selling cinnamon buns the size of my head. It’s neither fancy or fussy. Plan on bringing part of the gooey, wonderful goodness with you since you won’t be able to eat it all at once. During your trip to the lake, you must make a stop here.

1932 Reserve can provide a more sophisticated eating experience for you. The restaurant, which is located in Osage Beach’s oldest hotel, is open for lunch, happy hour, and supper and features an outstanding menu and extensive wine list to match. The lake views are stunning, and the cooking makes use of regional delicacies. Book a reservation to avoid potentially long waits.

The star dishes at Bentley’s since 1974 have been steaks, chops, and prime rib. The service has always been excellent and the interior design has a distinct British flair. This is the best place to get your fill of red meat near the lake.

7. Taste Exquisite Wines

Given that there are roughly six wineries in the vicinity, fall is the ideal time to take a self-guided tour of them in and around the Lake of the Ozarks. The Lake’s undulating hilltops make it the ideal location to sip wine, especially in the fall. Our top pick is Dale Hollow, a family-run vineyard in nearby Stover, Missouri. A little bit of a journey, but well worth it for locally farmed grapes used to make vintages!

Take A Spa Day 8.

No worries if all the excitement has you a little stiff or just ready to unwind. The lake features a number of first-rate spa facilities that will put you right in the zen zone. The majority of resorts also have spas, which provide a wide range of therapies for the body and mind, such as massages, facials, exfoliations, and other body treatments. Our top picks are Spa 54 at Camden on the Lake and Spa Shiki at The Lodge of the Four Seasons.

9. Hit Up Harbor Hopping

Everybody on the water enjoys the lake’s cherished Harbor Hop, which is held twice a year in the spring and October. Boaters can draw cards from more than 40 pubs, eateries, and lounges on the lake for $20. Seven cards are drawn in total, and at the end of the round, the players with the strongest poker hands are awarded a portion of the pot. However, the majority of the funds go to the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau so it may continue to advertise the occasion and destination to both first-time and returning guests!

Check out these other resources for activities at and near Lake of the Ozarks: