What to do at The Lake This Winter … And Beyond

It’s easy to get to the centrally located Lake of the Ozarks.  It’s just 175 miles from St. Louis, 165 miles from Kansas City, 125 miles from Branson and less than a day’s drive from practically anywhere in the central United States.  Now that the Lake Area has the new expressway and 242 Highway, getting around the Lake is even easier.

The new expressway begins at the Osage River Bridge in Lake Ozark and reaches all the way to Linn Creek. This expressway helps both visitors and locals get to their destinations with ease and much less congestion. For everyone who is used to the old Highway 54, the highway is still the same in many ways.

Once you get off on the first exit, you can stay on the old highway to have access to the same businesses as before. The 242 Highway is new and makes traveling into Lake Ozark easy from the new expressway. The 242 extends the Horseshoe Bend Highway all the way to the Business 54 exit by the Osage River Bridge. No matter where you are going, you will find the new expressway will get you there quickly and without all the traffic.

Due to the central location of the Lake of the Ozarks, many people from all over visit the Lake for a variety of reasons. One reason is because of all the great events that are going on all year, making the Lake a fun year-round vacation spot for all ages.

Enjoy Eagle Days at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The Lake of the Ozarks Eagle Days is Jan. 7-8, 2012, with activities at both Willmore Lodge and Osage National Golf Club.  This is a great event for the family and anyone who simply loves nature. You can view the eagles in the wild and get an up-close look at live eagles and other birds of prey from the World Bird Sanctuary. Naturalists will be on hand to answer questions. High-powered spotting scopes will be available for eagle viewing. For more information, call Willmore Lodge at 800-386-5253.

Another great event is the Lake of the Ozarks Mardi Gras Pub Crawl.  Sorry kids, but this event is for all of those ages 21 and older; it takes place Feb. 11, 2012, at various Lake Area restaurants. Buses safely transport participants to around 17 bars and restaurants; the buses start running at 4 p.m. The cost is $5 per person and includes drop off/ pick up at participating hotels. This is a safe, fun event for many looking for Mardi Gras but not able to make it down to New Orleans.

If you are a music lover, mark your calendars to join us for the premiere Beatles tribute Band in the country, the Liverpool Legends, appearing at the Main Street Music Hall at the Main Street Landing (off of Osage Beach Parkway) for two performances, Friday, March 2, 2011, and Saturday, March 3, 2011, at 8 p.m.

The late George Harrison’s sister, Louise Harrison, has handpicked this incredible Beatles tribute band. In season, the Liverpool Legends perform in Branson and this will be the third time they have held this special concert at Mainstreet Music Hall. We sold out last year, so get your tickets early. In their very first year in Branson, 2006, the Liverpool Legends were voted Best New Show and Best Band. In 2007, they once again received Branson’s Critic Fan’s award for Best Band as well as the prestigious Branson Critic Editor’s Choice for Best Show in Branson. The quality of the music and vocals from the Liverpool Legends is amazing. Tickets will be available from Tri County Lodging Association and the Convention & Visitor Bureau. For more information, call 573-348-1599.

Once April rolls around and the cabin fever is too much, the Dogwood Festival provides a welcome cure. This event is hosted annually in Downtown Camdenton and features a parade followed by days of fun for the entire family, including: a craft show, pageants, food vendors, entertainment, rides and much more. For more information, call 573-346-2227.

If you’re looking for some fun in the sun, and you’re ready to welcome warmer weather, the Spring Harbor Hop event is for you. Bring the kids and try your luck by trying to get the best poker hand by boat. The event will be May 5, 2012; kick off the summer season by enjoying a poker on the water and dozens of participating waterfront establishments.  Lots of great prizes are given to the winners!  For more information, contact the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau at 573-348-1599 or go to www.FunLake.com.

See an amazing collection of cars at Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals.

The Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals is a unique show for all makes, models, and years of cars, trucks, and motorcycles. With record-high attendance last year, this event attracts more than a thousand vehicles and even more spectators. This event will be May 4-6, 2012, on the Bagnell Dam Strip. For more information, please call 800-386-5253.

As you start to plan your weekends and decide what to do and where to go, just remember the Lake of the Ozarks is only a short drive away and offers many fun activities. There are a variety of events that can appeal to anyone who loves to boat, enjoy music, watch eagles and more. It truly is the year-round-event destination for all.

For a more detailed event schedule, visit FunLake.com.

Written by Heather Brown, director of member services, Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau