No Boat, No Problem: Fun on Missouri Lakes

If you ask pretty much anyone in Missouri what they like to do for fun in the summer, I guarantee “going to the lake” will be top five on their lists.

With popular vacation spots such as Truman Lake, Lake of the Ozarks, Mark Twain Lake and Table Rock Lake, a wet and wild summer getaway is practically in your backyard – well, close enough.

And don’t worry if you don’t have your own boat, there are many lake-based activities that are just a rental away – plus a lot that don’t even require one.


At Mark Twain Lake, you don’t need a fishing boat to go fishing. Whether you’re along the shoreline or on the docks, the fish will be biting no matter where you go. Large crappie and bass swim below the surface just waiting to be caught. If you’d rather fish on a boat, Lyn’s Guide Service will take you out on the water for a flat rate (including gas, a boat, bait and tackle). Call 573-267-3420 to have an experienced fishing guide take you to where the big fish bite.

You can rent a kayak and paddle away into the many coves or scenic spots of Truman Lake. Truman Lake Bikes offers kayak rentals (oh, and bikes obviously) to explore the picturesque waterway. From short trips to full day outings, the lake is yours to explore. Fees include the kayak itself, paddle and lifejacket. Call Truman Lake Bikes (660-438-0039) to make reservations or plan your trip today.


Paddle boarding is a new craze to hit the lakes. It involves standing upright or kneeling on an oversized surfboard and paddling through the water without toppling over.  It’s definitely a workout, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a blast. At Lake of the Ozarks, you can rent paddle boards at Super Dave’s Paddle Craft Adventures.

Another unique lake activity that Lake of the Ozarks offers is parasail rides. Imagine soaring 500 feet in the air (in a parachute adorned with a smiley face, no less), experiencing the ultimate view of the lake. Depending on your preferred level of adventure, you can make it a relaxing ride or experience a few random heart-stopping free falls. Call Paradise Parasail at 573-365-6757 for prices and coupons.

The beautiful Lake of the Ozarks.
The beautiful Lake of the Ozarks.

Think scuba diving is just for the ocean? Think again. At Table Rock Lake, there is a whole world underwater just waiting to be explored. With clear underwater visibility, divers can swim through underwater forests, schools of fish and rock formations below the water’s surface. Scuba gear and wet suits can be rented at State Park Marina. Call 888-993-BOAT to reserve your gear.

Let your adventurous side take over and take the plunge into one of Missouri’s scenic lakes.  For more information on Missouri lakes, check out

Written by Abbey Theban, intern for the Missouri Division of Tourism.

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