Elegant Suites in the Heart of the Ozarks
The Lake of the Ozarks winds its way through central Missouri and the Ozark Mountains, splintering off into hundreds of inlets around the city of Lake Ozark. Tucked away on landscaped grounds less than a mile from the lake, the Country Club Hotel & Spa adds a touch of elegance to its rural setting. The resort takes a page from the Mediterranean stylebook with terra-cotta roof tiles, white stucco walls, and ornate fountains. In spacious junior suites, gilded mirrors and marble-topped tables complement the resort's exterior. If you purchase the first option, enjoy a gourmet welcome basket packed with summer sausages, cheese spread, gourmet crackers, pretzels, and candies.
After settling in, head down to the Country Club's in-house restaurant, Rafferty's, for casual American fare such as 12-ounce rib-eye steaks ($20) and breaded pork-tenderloin sandwiches ($8)). Beyond competitive eating at Rafferty's, there's plenty to keep busy with on the property, including an Olympic-size indoor pool, a rec room with billiards, an indoor racquetball court, and an onsite spa.
Lake Ozark, Missouri: Watersports and Wooded State Parks
The city of Lake Ozark manages to maintain a small-town feel despite the waves of tourists who visit each year to head to the massive lake and boat, fish, and feed on cattails. Along the Bagnell Dam on the northeast side of the lake, about 4 miles from the hotel, the delightfully kitschy "Strip" boasts old-fashioned arcades, miniature-golf courses, and souvenir shops.
The half-hour drive to Lake of the Ozarks State Park is well worth it. Missouri's largest state park boasts miles of walking paths and the Ozark Caverns, a network of caves that you can tour. One subterranean highlight is the Angel Showers, perpetual downpours of water that seem to drop straight out of the cave’s ceiling. A bit farther from the hotel, Jacob’s Cave has massive stalactites, prehistoric fossils of mastodons, and one of the world’s largest geodes.
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