Best-Kept Secrets of Linn Creek, Lake of the Ozarks

A Unique Itinerary Through Linn Creek, Lake of the Ozarks

Tucked away in Camden County, Missouri, Linn Creek is a charming lake town with a rich history and a welcoming community. Named for the native linn trees that grace the area, it offers natural beauty and small-town charm. And an extraordinary destination needs an extraordinary method of exploration, right? This three-day itinerary through Linn Creek, Lake of the Ozarks, will unveil the city’s best-kept secrets, providing you with a well-rounded experience.

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The History of Linn Creek, Lake of the Ozarks

Linn Creek is a shining example of how a community can adapt and thrive, transforming challenges into opportunities and continuing to offer a welcoming haven for all who seek it.

Established in 1841, Linn Creek quickly became a thriving community and the county seat, boasting a courthouse, a school, and over two dozen commercial buildings. It was a bustling hub of activity, even serving as a stop for steamboats navigating the Osage River.

The creation of the Lake of the Ozarks in the early 20th century brought significant changes. As the waters of the Osage River rose, the residents of Linn Creek bravely decided to relocate to higher ground. Before moving in early 1931, they took down their beloved town, with the wooden structures respectfully burned and the stone and masonry buildings carefully dismantled.

The community’s original site now lies beneath 40 feet of water in Linn Creek Cove, a hidden gem of history preserved under the tranquil waters of the Lake of the Ozarks. The new Linn Creek, established on higher ground, continues flourishing, honoring its rich heritage while embracing the future.

Day 1: Exploring Nature and History

  • Morning: Start your day at the Camden County Museum. Delve into the area’s rich history, including exhibits on the original townsite of Old Linn Creek, which was relocated during the construction of the Lake of the Ozarks. It also has a collection of artifacts and displays illustrating local heritage and culture.
  • Mid-Morning: A short drive from Linn Creek is the must-visit 5000-acre Ha Ha Tonka State Park. Hike the trails, marvel at the castle ruins, and witness panoramic views of the Lake of the Ozarks. The park’s unique geological features, including sinkholes, caves, a natural bridge, and one of Missouri’s largest springs, make it a favorite among nature lovers.
  • Lunch: Head back towards Linn Creek and stop for lunch at Tonka Hills Restaurant, which is known for its home-cooked meals. “The Hangover Cure” has earned a place in the hearts (and stomachs) of those who try it. Enjoy two perfectly cooked eggs smothered in rich sausage gravy and served atop crispy fried potatoes and fluffy biscuits. To top it all off, a generous side of sizzling bacon completes this delicious anytime-of-the-day creation.
  • Afternoon: Take a guided tour of Ozark Caverns, the underground beauty at the southern section of Lake of the Ozarks State Park. Discover stunning cave formations, animals, and fascinating natural heritage.
  • Evening: Conclude your first day with a trip to Osage Beach, a vibrant area known for its world-class boating, shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Enjoy a relaxing evening by the water, watching the sunset and soaking in the lakeside ambiance.

Day 2: Adventure and Relaxation

  • Morning: Kick off your day with a visit to Lake of the Ozarks Marina. Rent a kayak, paddleboard, or canoe and glide through the serene waters. The calm waves are ideal for paddling and offer excellent opportunities to spot local wildlife.
  • Late Morning: Head to Big Surf Waterpark for some excitement. It features whitewater rapids, an activity pool, a lazy river, a 375,000-gallon wave pool, and more. It’s a great way to cool off and enjoy some thrills.
  • Lunch: Pack a picnic and visit the Lake of the Ozarks / Linn Creek KOA Holiday for lunch. Find a scenic spot along the trails or near the spring to enjoy your meal amidst nature.
  • Afternoon: Spend your afternoon on the greens at The Golf Club at Deer Chase. This course offers a challenging and picturesque setting with rolling hills, water hazards, and well-maintained fairways. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, it’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Evening: After a day of exploring, head to Willowe’s Bar & Grill for a delightful dinner experience. The vast menu selection ensures something to satisfy every palate, from hearty sandwiches and juicy steaks to delicious pasta, soups, and a dedicated kids’ menu. It also has plenty of entertainment options. Enjoy a game of Keno, shoot some pool, throw darts, or catch live music performances. The extended happy hour and full-service bar make it a great place to relax and socialize.

Day 3: Local Flavors and Scenic Views

  • Morning: Begin your final day with a visit to Seven Springs Winery. Nestled in the rolling hills of Linn Creek, this winery offers tastings of its locally produced wines. Enjoy a leisurely morning sampling wines and taking in the beautiful vineyard views.
  • Late Morning: Head to a local farmers market to browse fresh produce, homemade goods, and crafts from local vendors. It’s a great way to experience the local flavor and pick up unique souvenirs.
  • Lunch: Enjoy lunch at one of Osage Beach’s lakeside restaurants. It’s a perfect midday stop with various options offering stunning lake views and delicious food.
  • Afternoon: Visit the Ozark Distillery and Brewery, just 10 minutes away, for a tour and tasting session. Learn about the craft of distilling and brewing and sample some of their handcrafted spirits and beers.
  • Evening: Conclude your visit with a memorable evening on the water. Head to the Linn Creek Boat Ramp to launch your vessel and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Lake of the Ozarks as the day ends. Cruise the tranquil waters, take in the serene surroundings, and watch the sunset over the horizon. This picturesque setting is an ideal way to cap off your adventure, leaving you with lasting memories of this charming lakeside town.

Wrap Up

This three-day itinerary merely scratches the surface of what Linn Creek, Lake of the Ozarks, has to offer. It invites you to delve deeper into its secrets, stories, and scenic beauty. As you leave, you’ll carry memories of panoramic views and a piece of the heart and soul of this enchanting lake town. It awaits your return, ready to reveal more secrets and extraordinary experiences.

Visit to learn more about the history, adventure, and community of Linn Creek, Lake of the Ozarks.