Going to the Lake of the Ozarks? Here’s how to find a place to stay, and things to do

Jill Toyoshiba/jtoyoshiba@kcstar.com
·2 min read

With summer fast approaching, many in the Kansas City area and elsewhere will be searching for vacation spots and nearby destinations for a weekend getaway.

The Lake of the Ozarks, about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from the city, has been popular for decades.

Now that it’s seeing record crowds, what do you need to know about finding a place to stay at the lake before you head that way? Here are a few tips.

Places to stay

Whether you find a lodge or a condo to rent, or you’d rather bring the RV out for a spin, the lake has you covered. The Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau offers a guide to places to stay that fits a variety of needs, including:

Bed and breakfasts

Cabins

Condo rentals

Home rentals

Hotels and motels

Resorts

RV and campgrounds

Lagina Fitzpatrick, the executive director with the Tri-County Lodging Association, said if you’re planning to visit this summer, you should start the process now. Summer weekends fill up quickly.

Things to do

The area around the lake offers a variety of activities, on both water and land. Fitzpatrick recommends the following:

Ha Ha Tonka State Park features 16 miles of outdoor scenery, 12 hiking trails and castle ruins. The trails vary from accessible and smooth to rugged and rocky.

Lake of the Ozarks State Park hosts 16.5 miles of hiking trails spread across its park. It also has cycling and horseback riding trails.

Four caves — Bridal Cave, Jacob’s Cave, Stark Caverns and Ozark Caverns — offer unique underground sights that can only be found at the Lake of the Ozarks.

If you’re looking to get out on the water, the visitor’s bureau has a guide on where you can rent boats, paddles or pontoons. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

If you would rather stay on land, the lake has a wide variety of breweries, wineries and other entertainment attractions, such as Main Street Music Hall, Camden County Historical Museum or the Willmore Lodge.