December 23, 2013

Winter Travel Tips & Story Starters

Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. -
Chilly weather in the Ozarks doesn't put a chill on the fun at the Lake of the Ozarks. There are plenty of exciting travel stories for journalists to explore.  For more info, color images or other assistance, please contact
Marjorie, Jo, Deb or Kyle at The Beenders-Walker Group.
The Eagles Have Landed ...

With more than 2,000 bald eagles reported each winter, Missouri is one of the leaders in eagle population in the lower 48 states, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.  Each fall, these majestic birds begin their southern migration from Alaska, Canada and the northern states, nesting in warmer areas such as the bluffs and forests around the Lake of the Ozarks.


The annual Lake of the Ozarks Eagle Days, set for Jan. 4-5 in Lake Ozark, allows admirers of eagles to see them in their natural habitat and to learn more about them and other birds of prey.  Eagle Days provides a great opportunity to see and appreciate the beauty of these awesome creatures as they nest in the bluffs around the Lake.


Events on Saturday, Jan. 4, begin at 9 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m.  On Sunday, Jan. 5, events begin at 10 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m.  Eagle-viewing activities are located at Willmore Lodge and the Bagnell Dam Access.  Interactive exhibits and crafts will be on display at Willmore Lodge each day and eagle nest-building and rope-making exhibitions will be held at the Bagnell Dam Access.  Free hot chocolate will help warm up eagle-watchers, who are encouraged to bring cameras and binoculars.


At Osage National Golf Resort, live eagle programs are presented by the World Bird Sanctuary from St. Louis beginning on the hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.


The Country Club Hotel and Spa is host to two programs by Springfield's Dickerson Park Zoo.  The "Live Owls of Missouri" program features information about the species of owls indigenous to Missouri, while "Day Shift, Night Shift and Garbage Gal" provides information about hawks, owls and turkey vultures.  These shows will be held every hour on the half-hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.  There will also be coloring contests and other activities for kids, as well as nature-related exhibitors like the Missouri departments of Natural Resources and Conservation.


To learn more about Eagle Days, visit LakeoftheOzarksEagleDays.com. 


Mardi Gras, The Missouri Way ...

Missourians know they don't have to go to Louisiana to celebrate Mardi Gras.  The Lake of the Ozarks' 13th annual Mardi Gras Pub Crawl will offer great food and live entertainment on Feb. 15, beginning at 4 p.m.  For just $10, participants get a wristband granting them admission to more than 20 pub crawl restaurants and night spots, all of which feature live entertainment by bands and DJs.  The $10 participation fee also includes shuttle transportation.  A total of 32 buses will take participants from venue to venue, as well as picking up and dropping off at participating area hotels and motels.  Pub crawl organizer Jeff Carroll says it is the Lake's biggest winter event, with more than 6,800 people participating in 2013.  For more information, visit www.lakepubcrawl.com


Special Olympics Missouri Invites People to "Take the Plunge" ...

Only polar bears and brave souls with warm 

hearts would be inclined to swim in the Lake of the Ozarks in February.  On Feb. 22, costumed participants will "take the plunge" into the frigid waters of the Lake as part of their commitment to Special Olympics Missouri's year-round program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. 


Festivities at the event include a costume parade before the 2:30 p.m. plunge, when participants walk, run or crawl into the cold winter waters of the Lake from Public Beach #2 in Lake of the Ozarks State Park.  All participants fundraise for the Special Olympics prior to the plunge and prizes are awarded for top fundraisers.  These donations help the participating individuals and teams show their pride and dedication to the cause and give them, as one team puts it, "a reason for freezin'."  Spectators crowd the shoreline at the event, cheering on their favorite participants and showing their support for the cause.  The Polar Plunge is a project of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Missouri and is proudly hosted by the Osage Beach Police Department.  For more information, visit somo.org/plunge.  


Baxter's is One of the United State's Best American Restaurants

For the second year in a row, 

diners who use OpenTable.com have chosen Baxter's Lakeside Grille in Lake Ozark as one of the top 100 restaurants in the country offering American fare.  Baxter's is a winner of the website's Diners' Choice Awards, reflecting the opinions in more than 5 million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners at 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


"We are honored to receive this recognition and show of support from our customers," said Ted Geiger of Baxter's.  "We pride ourselves on delivering a high quality dining experience consistently for our year-round Lake of the Ozarks guests and for travelers to the area."

Lake of the Ozarks Named As Top Midwest Travel Spot

FlipKey by Trip Advisor, an award-winning premier international vacation rental site, has named the Lake of the Ozarks as one of the best getaways in the Midwest. 


According to Claire Fischer at FlipKey, the list was based on a variety of factors, including "the appeal of activities for both young and old, iconic landscapes, and awe-inspiring natural beauty. The criteria for this award takes into into account vacation rental trends over time, traveler reviews and the destination's attractions and amenities," Fischer said. 


Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks features more shoreline than the Pacific Coast of California and hosts nearly 5 million visitors each year. The Lake also is home to a variety of accommodations ranging from campground tree houses to full-service luxury resorts, over 200 dining options that range from up-scale gourmet to mouthwatering Ozark barbecue and everything in-between, two picturesque state parks and the award-winning Lake of the Ozarks Golf Trail.


"It's always great to receive such wonderful recognition for the Lake area," says Jim Divincen, Executive Vice President of the Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association. "The Lake of the Ozarks is outstanding for so many reasons and we couldn't be more pleased that this fact is recognized on an international level. It's very exciting for us and we hope that travelers will come and see for themselves all the Lake has to offer."


For more information about FlipKey and the award, visit www.flipkey.com/trip-ideas/midwest-travel/.

Be A Part of the Beatles Legend ...
Liverpool Legends

Once again in 2014, the award-winning Beatles tribute band, Liverpool Legends, will come to the stage at Main Street Music Hall in Osage Beach for two performances, on Friday and Saturday, March 7-8, at 8 p.m.  Branson's Liverpool Legends tribute show, created by Louise Harrison, sister of the late George Harrison, gives audiences the full Beatles experience.


Louise Harrison has been a part of what she describes as "The Global Family of Beatle People," since her youngest brother came to America with the "Fab Four" in the 1960s.  She hand-picked the performers for the Liverpool Legends show both for their striking physical resemblance to the original Beatles and also for their musical expertise.  

Liverpool Legends Sgt. PepperThese talented artists faithfully recreate performances throughout the Beatles' career, complete with wardrobe changes to represent the different eras of the band's history, and then continue on through the years of band members' solo performances.  Vintage video footage of the Beatles serves as a backdrop for the performance and audience members are invited to relive the experience of a live concert by standing near the stage.  The result is a widely acclaimed and crowd-pleasing tribute that engages audience members and takes them back in time to the years when the world was watching the Beatles.


Tickets are available from the Tri-County Lodging Association and The Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau.  Premium seats are $30 for adults and children; regular reserved seating is $25 for adults and $20 for children.  The venue will sell out quickly, so it's recommended that tickets be purchased early.  For more information, call 800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253) or visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau's website, FunLake.com.



Lake Logo  


Phone: 800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253) Fax: 573-348-4292 

P.O. Box 1498  Osage Beach, MO 65065

Website: www.FunLake.com  Email: Info@FunLake.com   

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Eagle Days


Mardi Gras Pub Crawl


Lake of the Ozarks Polar Plunge


Baxter's Lakeside Grille


FlipKey Midwest Awards


Liverpool Legends



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