My friend Jaimee and I left the Sheraton Westport Plaza Chalet in the suburbs of St. Louis and headed to Jefferson City, Missouri. We were to meet Deb Hendricks of the Lake of the Ozarks tourism board there to get our itinerary for our adventure on Fun Lake, as they accurately call the area.
From Jefferson City it was only a short hour’s ride to the Country Club Hotel and Spa. We were surprised how large the place was, complete with an indoor pool and banquet facilities. It reminded me a bit of the Catskill Mountain resorts I stayed at growing up.
Our rooms were not ready, but that was fine because we were more than ready for lunch. Lance Utley, the hotel’s director of marketing, joined us at the Rafferty Restaurant on the property for a wonderful chicken salad with grapes and pecans.
During lunch, Lance gave us some basic information about the area he knew well. It was obvious that he was passionate about Lake of the Ozarks and we were soon to see why.
We hopped in the car for a quick trip to the Tan-Tar-A Resort. It was here that we were to meet the boat for the Tropic Island Cruise.
It was a bit windy so we stayed inside most of the time. On the 90 minute ride we learned a lot about the lake.
In February of 1931, the water began to fill the lake. It would be finished with a shoreline of over 1,300 miles, but the Truman Dam (built in the 1970s) would lessen that amount to 1,100 miles, an amount still more than the coastline of California.
It was fascinating to see the variety of houses, restaurants, and boats along the shore of this massive lake. Since the lake does not freeze, many people don’t even realize that Lake of the Ozarks is a year round destination. I knew this was the first, but not the last, time I would visit.
We were back at the hotellate afternoon. We each had a junior suite which was quite spacious and included a kitchenette.
Dinner was quite an adventure as we took a Water Taxi.
Unfortunately, I can’t relay my experience at The Duck, a fine dining experience accessible by boat, at this time. Look for my story in the summer issue of Midwest Living Magazine.
I do have a lot more to say about Lake of the Ozarks, where we still had another day to eat, drink, spa and explore after a good night’s sleep.