Anniversary Weekend in Lake Ozark

Anniversary Weekend in Lake Ozark

When we were looking for options for our anniversary weekend, we had lots of thoughts. We could go somewhere we’ve been and know we like.  Or we could go somewhere new! But with endless options within like 5 hours of us, we didn’t know where to start.

I was checking Groupon Getaways (some great deals, but mostly inspiration for locations) and saw something on Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. It was like 4.5 hours away from us and intriguing.

To be honest, I was sort of skeptical.  I did some googling but I couldn’t tell what the area was really like.  It looked nice with some neat resorts, but I know that sometimes things look better online than they are in person. But we decided to take a chance and try this area.

We ended up booking an AirBNB there and the entire area was BEYOND our expectations!

Lake of the Ozarks is a HUGE lake (really a damed up river).  It has more coastline than California (or so a few signs said!). I can tell during the summer this place is HOPPING.  But in March, it was great for a quieter weekend. There were endless condos and restaurants- most of which were very very very nice.

Our AirBNB was waterfront and perfect. It was a bit smaller, but very nice and comfortable.

We went for a 3-day weekend, and without it being warm pool weather, it was perfect.

We started Saturday by visiting Spa Shiki. Y’all.  The massage and reflexology were great, but the spa itself was AMAZING. You could literally spend all day there- wet and dry saunas, this gorgeous soaking pool, hot tub, hot and cold towels with essential oils, a lounging area, juice bar….I was sort of sad to leave and get Tyler.

We went to Half Sauced for BBQ which didn’t disappoint. These BBQ nachos were YUMMY (once we added some BBQ sauce) and we enjoyed our sampler plate of all their meats.

The area has several towns that are connected.  We didn’t mind driving 20-30 minutes either way to do stuff. So we headed to a town over to Bridal Cave. It’s on the water, so another pretty view.

The cave was very interesting. One of the neatest caves I’ve ever been in! Pretty easy walking inside, but unreal inside. You can see where some of the early explorers had to crawl through (thank goodness it’s been opened up for visitors!).

There was a small tour group, and we hung in the back so we could really take our time looking at everything.

After the cave, we headed to Ha Ha Tonka state park. It’s “known” for “castle ruins” which are really the remnants of a big home from a fire in the 30s or something. Not that impressive.  But thankfully, we found a great trail and did some hiking.

The woods felt very different from home- not as thick.  You could see for hundreds of yards (where at home, there’s thicker evergreen underbrush, so it’s more of just seeing the trail). We enjoyed the 60-degree weather!

Then we rounded out the day with the outlet mall!  We stopped for a treat at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (where I had the BEST caramel apple!) and then we shopped and grabbed dinner at Dog Days (which was SO yummy).

On Sunday, we slept in and then decided to drive to the lookout over Bagnall Dam. Lovely views of the lake and we learned about the dam.

We were originally headed to brunch at a winery, but saw a line outside this place.  When the sign looks like this and there’s a line, you trust that. It was a DELICIOUS breakfast.

I had a cinnamon roll the size of my head!

And Tyler ate this crazy pile of biscuits, sausage, eggs and gravy. We were STUFFED (with enough to go for the next morning!)

After breakfast, we did some more driving and exploring. We saw a couple interesting stores to stop at (which ended up being more of a dud than a hidden gem), but then we stumbled onto this winery. 7Springs was BEAUTIFUL. The grapes weren’t growing, but you could see the vineyards and the mountains.  We did a full wine sampling of like 15 wines for like $15 or something. We liked several of them and took a couple bottles home.

It was a little chillier, but still a sunny day.

We came back and took a nap (glorious!) and then we got ready for dinner.  I always wear my wedding shoes on our anniversary dinner, so these pink puppies came out!

We dined at JB Hooks- on the middle of the lake. GORGEOUS sunset views and a wonderful dinner. We stuffed ourselves with steak and seafood and cocktails and creme brulee.  So so so good.

On Monday, we mostly just took our time driving back- stopping at Bass Pro for Tyler to shop (of course!) and taking a more scenic route home through Missouri.

It was a fantastic time away together. I’m so thankful to celebrate 9 years in such a fun way.

When we got married, our pastor told us to always celebrate your anniversaries as best as you could afford with money and time. He said your marriage is something to celebrate- and we totally agree!


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