Zip Line USA’s steel cables carve more than three miles of winding trails through Ozark Mountain treetops, all ripe for exploration by guests. Designed by the respected brains at Universal Zipline Technology, the ziplines soar higher than 350 feet in the air at some points—just high enough to make eye contact with low-flying spaceships—and are dissected into chunks as long as 3,250 feet. Between each section stands a sky bridge or platform, where guides securely hitch tourgoers to cables, which they inspect each morning. Patrons zoom through the open skies for up to two hours during the day or 90 minutes at night, when only the soft glow of lanterns beckons them to the next platform like a lightning-bug mother welcoming its family home at night.
Lake Ozark Helicopters shepherds tour-goers in FAA-certified ethereal steeds over the scenic Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Missouri’s largest state park. Stratospheric sojourners undergo a safety briefing before embarking on the aerial adventure. During the 26- to 30-mile tour, passengers enjoy window views as they soar over the glistening Lake of the Ozarks, whiz over the Bagnell Dam, and catch sights of deposed wizards filching gold bricks from Million Dollar Row. The Robinson R-44 four-seater zips through the atmosphere over Shawnee Bend and Grand Glaize Bridge as an experienced guide delivers local area information via voice-activated headsets worn by each passenger. After the motorized bird touches down to earth, staff members unlock the helicopter doors and allow passengers to exit with a jubilant flap of the arms.
Sprawled atop rippling Missouri foothills, Seven Springs Winery's 160 acres affords guests views of forests stretching out before them that change colors throughout the seasons. Amongst the lush, green landscape, the vineyard springs up with rows of grapes, wine-bottle bushes, and a welcoming tasting room. Wine tastings let guests experience a wide range of Seven Springs Winery's reds, whites, and blushes, including varietals such as chardonel and pinot noir. The vintners and knowledgeable bartenders also welcome aficionados and the wine-curious to sip a glass of wine, sangria, or microbrew from the covered porch or patio, and a selection of soups, sandwiches, cheeses, breads, and dipping oils can be called upon to enhance the experience.
Along the shores of the Niangua River, Adventures Campground & Float Trips provides adventurous visitors with everything they need to get the most out of their surroundings. Visitors can stay overnight, taking advantage of different levels of campgrounds that cater to rugged types as well as those who own RVs lined with satin. Guests of all ages can also float along the crystal-clear water on kayaks or rafts, take out a canoe, or go fishing for catfish, small-mouth bass, and trout.
Located in the idyllic Ozark Highlands, Meramec Vineyards offers visitors a full experience of drinking, eating, shopping, and learning. Its small, cozy eatery, Bistro d'Vine, is open for lunch daily and serves a menu of fresh, seasonal bistro fare, such as quiche with baby greens ($7.35), pork tenderloin with fresh fruit, cheese, and caramelized onions ($7.45), and salmon served over a greek salad ($9.95). Meramec also has bottled wine ($8.95–$23.95) available for purchase for sipping or for christening cruise ships. There's a wine to suit all occasions, including Celebration White ($9.95) for clambakes, New World Red ($8.95) for Thanksgiving feasts, and a pumpkin-flavored Harvest Moon ($10.95) for scaring already skittish Ichabod Cranes. Guests can commemorate their time at Meramec with non-liquid souvenirs from the gift shop, such as gourmet food, wine openers, or a local artist's rendering of you buying his painting.