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Old 03-31-2023, 03:50 PM   #1
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Lake of the Ozarks

In my trip planning I came across Lake of the Ozarks(LOTO) along my route heading north from Branson, MO toward Wisconsin. Along the way I was setting aside a few days to stop at the Caterpillar plant and the John Deere plant. Should I just skip the plant stops, etc, and stay a few days in the LOTO area? If so what rv park would you recommend? And what is an attraction not to miss.

PS my route takes me along the east side up route 54 and as usual we have our 7yr old granddaughter.

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Old 03-31-2023, 08:03 PM   #2
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We live in Sunrise Beach on the west side. There’s tons of things to do from boating, hiking, shopping, putt putt golf, go carts, restaurants, etc.

Ha Ha Tonka park is really nice for great scenery. Lake of the Ozarks state park is huge with hiking and nice camping. There are many campgrounds around the area. I haven’t camped at any so can’t make a recommendation.

If you enjoy canoeing check out Bennett Spring State park near Lebanon. The park has a trout hatchery and some nice trails. We always use NRO canoe rentals but haven’t camped there. Just avoid the weekends if canoeing unless you’re a partier.
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Old 04-01-2023, 04:24 AM   #3
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As Branson is a really kid friendly town, in my opinion LOTO is more of an over 21 town. As living in Branson and haved dealt with a granddaughter i would skip LOTO. I travel the 54 route at least twice a year heading north.

A group of folks did the JD Plant in Iowa a fews years ago. For adults its very interesting for young people not so much. I would still go there however.

In Jefferson City the old state prison is well worth the time. I believe a 7 year old would not be bored.

A stop in Jefferson City would not be complete without stopping at Central Dairy Ice Cream Parlor.

Binder Park is a nice little city park

Hannibal MO is just a jog off the 54 route and more than well worth the stop. So much for all age groups to do. Could easy spend 3+ days there
Mark Twain caves and rv park would be the place to stay.

If you plan on crossing into Wi at Dubuque Ia, Do not miss the Mississippi River museum again very kid friendly

Sounds like a very fun trip enjoy the grand kids for as long as you can
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Old 04-01-2023, 05:38 PM   #4
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Be sure to have reservations... like NOW. It's a very crowded, busy place!
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Old 04-07-2023, 09:35 AM   #5
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I do not know of any campgrounds around Peoria IL. Since I can do the trip in less than 3 hours to Peoria, I have never camped in that area. But there is a visitor center in downtown Peoria that would be better for the grand kids.

Now I do know Cat and maybe JD do plant tours if arranged in advance. But no one under the age of 16 (if I remember right) was allowed in the plant for tours at Cat. Another item no open toe shoes or high heels (women) or gym shoes are allowed in the Cat plants on tours, safety reasons.

If I remember correctly JD had a museum of the history of JD in Moline which might be better for the grandkids also.

I spent 40 years at the old Aurora, Joliet and Decatur plants.
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Old 04-07-2023, 07:30 PM   #6
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Last year we stayed at Osage Beach RV Park. Fairly decent and close to whats happening. We used to have a lake front house before we decided to go mobile. Boating and fishing is good and you can rent boats and jet skis. Nowadays we go there to visit friends and enjoy the wide variety of restaurants in the area. Ha Ha Tonka is an interesting place to visit. Top of the ridge with a great view and check out the burned out mansion that sits there. Lots of golf courses. Above, overlooking the dam is a museum that shows the history of the area as well as the building of the dam. Several typical touristy attractions such as miniature golf and go carts, t-shirt shops, etc.
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Old 04-13-2023, 08:03 AM   #7
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Thanks all! Booked a site at LOO @ River Front RV park, also booked across from Cat VC at a place called Fondulac park on the lake.
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