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Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

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Suburban Chicago
posts: 46
reviews: 49
Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

Me and my bf will be driving down from Chicago to Lake Ozarks, stopping for a night in Jefferson City and then staying at Tan-Tar-A Resort and also at The Lodge of Four Seasons.

Having never been to the Lake Ozarks, I want to relax and have fun at the lake but we are also on a tight budget (cheaper the better!)

I've looked up free things to do but if I can get tips/advice/recommendations on where to eat, where to go from people who've been there, done that, I would really appreciate it! Most likely we can't afford to rent a boat but I'd like to go kayaking or canoeing if there's cheap but reputable places that won't over charge us?

Additionally, having never driven down from Chicago to Missouri, are there any good stopping areas to check out?

Thanks in advance =)

11 replies to this topic
Saint Louis...
posts: 796
reviews: 28
1. Re: Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

I"m curious why you are staying at 2 different places, since I assume you are only staying 2 or 3 nights.

We like Lil Rizzos on Road HH (there are 2 Lil Rizzos) It has a great lake view.

and good italian food.

There are also lots of cheap eating places like Steak N Shake, McDonalds etc.

Suburban Chicago
posts: 46
reviews: 49
2. Re: Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

I'm staying at 2 different resorts since I got a groupon for 2-nite stay and wanted to extend for 4-day trip but thought we can try some other resort, which was a little cheaper too.

Thanks for the tip on the Lil Rizzos - I'm all for trying out places that are unique to the area and will def go there =)

kansas city
posts: 161
3. Re: Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

Jeff City is less than a hour from Tantara. Big Bear Lodge is the resurant at Tantara: has a nice mix of food for all meals. Nothing award winning but always find something to please. Which can also be said about most places. Osage Beach Parkway has all sorts of dinning; national chains to local.

Last week at Tantara boat rental was $250 for 4 hours plus gas. You do not want to be in a canoe or kayak on the water in that area. except maybe first thing in the am. Those big boats really make it rough at peak times.

Tantara and 4 Seasons are not the most economical places to stay.

Look at www.funlake.com for all kinds of lake information.

P.S my nuvie didn't have all the updated road ways.

Suburban Chicago
posts: 46
reviews: 49
4. Re: Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

Thanks, @32travel! I guess I should do mapquest if the navi isn't always updated... I'll have to check that before we start on our roadtrip!

Noted on the rough waves during peak times - thanks!

Wow, the boat rental is more than I had hoped... is there other smaller operations that has cheaper boat rentals? My bf wanted to fish too (altho I'm not really into it), if there are decent options?

kansas city
posts: 161
5. Re: Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

Have rented from Pirates Point at Hurrican Deck Bridge. Thats about a 40 minute drive from Tantara. My credit card is always declined and I have to call and verify it is me. Their rate for 4 hours is close to Tantara but way cheaper when you do 8 hours. Look at their website.

I saw a sign: lakeoftheozarksstateparkmarinia.com

There has to be more. Get a pontoon boat; he fishes while you soak up the sun and doesn't use as much gas($4.25 a gal an the water)

Suburban Chicago
posts: 46
reviews: 49
6. Re: Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

@32travel - thanks! Pontoon boat seems like a good option, less gas is great =)

Followed your link but took me to another site, which was still at Lake of the Ozarks [foreverresorts.com] that seems pretty reasonable, thanks again!

I just hope Isaac (tropical storm/hurricane) doesn't affect the weather too much =(

Saint Louis...
posts: 796
reviews: 28
7. Re: Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

Tan tar a and Lodge of 4 seasons both have pontoon rentals on site.

Tan Tara's is $75 per hour, and has special discounts for all day and 1/2 day.

Also, when you are at 4 seasons resort, take a trip to Horny Toad Entertainment complex. www.toadcove.com

(it's closer to 4 seasons than to tan tara.

www.playinghookyatthelake.com

Edited: 10:01 pm, August 27, 2012
Saint Louis...
posts: 796
reviews: 28
8. Re: Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

www.playinhookyatthelake.com

2nd times a charm.

Suburban Chicago
posts: 46
reviews: 49
9. Re: Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

Thanks @greenthum! Horny Toad sounds like a blast, I'll def go there =)

KCK
posts: 829
reviews: 23
10. Re: Labor Day Weekend - First time at Lake Ozarks from Chicago

You will also be close to Shady Gators!

If you are still looking for a canoe/kayak trip, you might call Casa de Loco winery

http://www.casadelocowinery.com/

They have a deal set up with a local operator. (Fun place to hang out w/o spending a ton of money too)

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