The heart of the lake is at Bagnell Dam Strip, which is superbly kitsch. If you’re in the mood for ice-cream, need a pair of sunglasses, or feel like getting a tattoo, you’ can get all of the above at this colourful strip of stores and bars.
Netflix shot a scene at the arcade, as well as in Stewarts Restaurant, a basic diner where you can enjoy breakfast or the Lake’s “BIGGEST Cinnamon Roll”, which comes covered in frosting and is the size of a human head. The show’s star Jason Bateman particularly enjoyed an oyster bar here called Trucker’s Shuckers, which offers a tasty Bloody Mary.
A Missourian by the name of Bill Dubuque, who wrote the script for Ozark, held a summer job at the Lakes in his high school days. He was employed by Alhonna Resort and Marina, which you can see at the eight-mile mark (every point is marked based on how far it is from the dam).
Not unlike many other of the resorts at the Lake, Alhonna is family-run and is located at the edge of the water. You don’t need to be staying at the report to leave your boat parked in the dockland. Treat yourself to a beer and burger at the chilled-out restaurant. Alhonna may not be visible on screen but it inspired the Blue Cat Lodge resort in the show.
The Blue Heron Bluff
The show’s second viewpoint is close to a restaurant called The Blue Heron, from where you can enjoy panoramic views while tasting a local delicacy: deepfried and battered lobster. It’s situated at 180 Blue Heron Hill Lane, which is close to the Strip.
To arrive at the Bluff, ignore the turnoff to the restaurant and instead opt for the lefthand one, with the sign saying, “Dead End”. Once you take just a short stroll, you will come to a wonderful panoramic vista, which, for that moment, will be all yours. Just be careful as it’s a long walk down and there are no railings.
The Glory Hole
Lastly, keep your eyes open for The Glory Hole, a hole-in-the-wall bar at Camdenton’s 77 Mockingbird Beach Drive. This is no hipster pretender, however. As one local said, the reputation of a bar as being a place where you can tell all your problems to a bartender gets flipped on its head at The Glory Hole.
Bagnell Dam and The Strip
It would be almost criminal to visit the Lake of the Ozarks without seeing where the whole thing began: Bagnell Dam. The dam was built in 1931 to impound the Osage River to create what was the biggest manmade lake in America.
The 148-foot Bagnell Dam impresses even more when you factor in that it took two years and more than 20,000 workers for its completion. These men worked between nine and 12 hours every day for just 35c to $1 p/h. You can either walk or drive across it (Marty’s son walks over it in the show) or take a cruise and simply gaze at its wonder from below.