Lake of the Ozarks is truly one of the best places in the world when it comes to fall boating. The massive reservoir in the Osage River in central Missouri is the centerpiece of Midwestern boating and our top pick for a September or October Crownline vacation.

With 1,150 miles of shoreline, Lake of the Ozarks is a paradise throughout boating season, but it becomes something special in autumn. Thanks to open waters and gorgeous fall colors, you’d be hard-pressed to find a lake as beautiful and a region so full of memorable things to see and do. All of the hotels, restaurants and marinas are still open, while the wild crowds that visit during the summer have packed it up for the season. The result? A wide-open boating wonderland.

Where to Stay

From The Lodge of Four Seasons and Margaritaville Lake Resort to boutique bed and breakfasts, there are many great options for lodging in the area. The Inn at Harbour Ridge is a particularly charming place to spend a few days. The grounds feature enchanting oak trees and lush gardens. There’s easy water access with a communal dock and swim platform and some good package deals.

Where to Eat

There are so many places to eat in the Ozarks that it’s almost disingenuous to select only a couple to highlight. But, if we HAD to choose, we’d suggest taking in the great views and wide range of local cuisine at Baxter’s Lakeside Grille and JB Hook’s. Baxter’s is a relaxed, upscale spot with delicious steaks and a mouth-watering array of fresh catches. JB Hook’s has a large menu filled with aged steaks and both ocean and freshwater fish options.

The 290 XSS

Any Crownline model will be right at home on Lake of the Ozarks, but in fall, we love cruising around in the 290 XSS. It’s an entertainer’s dream thanks to the kitchen galley and loads of space for friends and family. The 290 XSS comes standard with an electric fold-down arch, a battery charger, windlass, Garmin 7-inch touchscreen dash, and electric-flush head. From entertaining to fishing, this boat does it all in style.

Lake of the Ozarks is chock-full of exciting places to discover, explore and enjoy. From trails and beaches to caves and wineries, this lake is the perfect Midwestern destination for your fall getaway.