Where in Missouri can you walk a tightrope, ride in a helicopter, learn to paddleboard, play golf on 12 public courses, and eat homemade fudge after all your adventures? Discover the adventures by watching this episode of Missouri Life TV.


By Pam Clifton

Missouri Life TV’s Season 6 begins with Adventurer Meredith Hoenes’ stop at the place where there are more miles of shoreline than California.

This episode is the second of a two-part series focused on the iconic Lake of the Ozarks. There’s so much to do and see in this picturesque place! The great Lake of the Ozarks has lured sightseers to the area for more than a century.

Ozarks International Raceway

The first stop in this episode takes viewers on a high-octane thrill ride at Ozarks International Raceway, a nearly four-mile state-of-the-art racing facility. 

JR Pesek offers viewers a behind-the-scenes view of one of the most challenging pro tracks in the country, located right here in the Ozarks and just 25 minutes away from restaurants, lodging, shopping, boating, and more.

The goal was to build something that created a challenging track with technicality and speed.

“I wanted to build something that has a little something of all the rest of the tracks in the country,” he says, “and we did just that. We’ve built a pro track for race car enthusiasts.”

The track has 1,265 feet of elevation change in a single lap. The hills and crests, along with seven blind corners and crests, offer excitement behind the wheel. 

JR says the track offers true road racing and “not just left-hand turns at high speeds.” In fact, the track pushes athletes to be their best.

Restaurant on the Strip and a Candy Kitchen

The next stop in this episode is Stewarts Restaurant near the Bagnell Dam on The Strip. The family-friendly restaurant has been a Lake of the Ozarks staple for more than 50 years. Flavor Guide Will Moore stopped to indulge in a hearty breakfast, which is served until 2 pm every day. Guests indulge in foods like the giant cinnamon rolls sliced like pie, farmer’s omelet, or the hand-battered pork tenderloin served with shredded hash browns. 

Fortunately, dessert is only a two-minute walk down The Strip to the giant “FUDGE” sign on the roof of Grandma’s Candy Kitchen. The shop opened in 1960 when Grandma Bernice taught the employees how to make candy. Now Grandma Jenny White teaches her granddaughter Kristen Cable and other employees how to make things like fudge, turtles, chocolate covered pretzels, taffy, and so much more. Repeat customers return annually to enjoy things like fresh dipped strawberries in the summertime, and they call at Christmas to order candies for the holiday.

Paddlecraft Adventures

After dessert, it’s time to enjoy more life on the water … but not in a boat. Super Dave’s Paddlecraft Adventures has 120 paddle boards and is ready to accommodate individuals or groups of any size.

“People absolutely love it,” says Dave. “We make sure they’re properly paddling when we send them out. You have to stand up straight on the paddle board to keep it moving.”

The next adventure involves land, this time a round of golf at one of Lake of the Ozarks’ 12 different public golf facilities. The area’s terrain makes the courses unique, with elevation changes, water, uneven lines, and the beauty of the landscape. With all 12 and a private course located within about 45 minutes of one another, tee times are readily available. Tree-lined fairways and holes winding in and out of the Ozarks make golfing at Lake of the Ozarks the perfect time to relax. 

Walk a Tightrope

If travelers prefer adrenaline-filled adventures, then Malted Monkey might be the perfect destination. The fun ropes course has a tight rope, bridge, balance beam, zig zag bars … and so much more! There are milkshakes and carnival-style food, plus room for birthday parties and special events. Perhaps the coolest part are the neon lights which light up The Strip at night.

Ride in a Helicopter

After water and land adventures are complete, the perfect way to capture the lake’s full beauty is a trip with Lake Ozark Helicopters, Inc. Pilot Dan Doornick is one of the aviators who provides six different flights around the area between spring and fall. 

Along with their flight, tourists get a history lesson on how the lake was developed. Dan’s favorite flight is the state park tour. 

“I love what I do,” says Dan. “Sometimes we definitely do make dreams come true, especially on a beautiful day. Sometimes we’re the highlight on some of the kids’ trips.”

From riding in a race car or flying in a helicopter to walking a tight ropes course high above The Strip, there are plenty of possibilities in Missouri’s most beautiful place. With friendly faces, food, unlimited adventures, and tons of lodging options, including luxury and family-owned resorts, cabins, charming bed and breakfasts, and hotels, it’s evident that Lake of the Ozarks is the perfect destination for any time of year.