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BY ABIGAIL KOZAK
Midwest Road Trip Itinerary: An Epic Lake Vacation
If you’re looking for the perfect Midwest road trip for the entire family, look no further than some of the United States’ best lake vacation spots. Not only can you enjoy every recreational sport the lake has to offer, but you can also explore the surrounding area for top places to eat, places to stay, and places to play.
Morning: Start your Midwest road trip around Monkey Island’s 60,000 acres of sparkling lakes and 1,300 miles of beautiful shoreline. Rent a boat and get out early to test your fishing skills for your next big story or simply take in the serenity of the water.
Afternoon: After grabbing a bite to eat at Monkey Island Winery, relax on the boat with the soothing lake waves around you. Or show off your tubing and knee boarding skills on the water.
Evening: What a day on the lake! Now you can spend the evening trying your luck at one of many area casinos such as Cherokee Casino Grove or Grand Lake Casino. Get a good night’s rest because your adventure continues in the morning!
Morning: Wake up early to take advantage of the three pristine lakes including Table Rock, Taneycomo, and Bull Shoals. Warm up with a swim, kayak adventure, or leisurely stand-up paddleboard and prepare for a day under the sun.
Afternoon: Take a break with a quick picnic lunch on a nearby shore under the shade of the trees. If you’re looking for thrills, don’t miss Branson Jet Boats or the Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline. Both offer amazing views of the lake and the surrounding area.
Evening: Stop by Branson Landing for a night of shopping, entertainment, and dining. There are lots to choose from including Guy Fieri’s Kitchen + Bar, Mellow Mushroom Pizza, Landshark Bar & Grill, and so much more. The lake views and plenty of things to do are the perfect ending to an incredible lake day.
Finish Your Trip At Lake Of The Ozarks In Osage Beach, Missouri
Morning: Once you arrive at Lake of the Ozarks (a 2 hour, 15 minute drive north of Branson), you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Begin the day with a tour through Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park. It’s great for all ages and is a refreshing 60-degrees Fahrenheit. Follow the tour to spot giant columns, massive draperies, and soda straws.
Afternoon: Keep the momentum going with a walk through Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Just south of Osage Beach, this 17,441-acre park includes 85 miles of shoreline, 2 public beaches, and plenty of boat launches when you decide to take a dip. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it on one of the beaches overlooking the sparkling water.
Evening: Delight in a delicious meal at Baxter’s Lakeside Grill featuring fresh seafood and classic American cuisine — all while taking in the sunset at your lakeside table. A tasty ending to your epic lake vacation.