It was announced Friday, June 16, 2023 that Central Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks was voted the “Best Lake for Water Sports” in the country in a recent USA Today readers poll.

The Lake of the Ozarks, which covers 54,000 acres with 64 billion gallons of water and features over 1,150 miles of meandering shoreline (more than the entire Pacific Coast of California!), beat out Lake Havasu in Arizona; Lake Superior in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ontario, Canada; Big Bear Lake in California, and Lake Cumberland in Kentucky, among many others for the coveted top spot.

“This just means so much to us,” says Lagina Fitzpatrick, executive director for the Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association. “While the Lake of the Ozarks was selected by travel industry experts for this contest, ultimately we won by a vote of the people, which makes this recognition so special,” Fitzpatrick continues. “There truly are so many ways to enjoy the water at the Lake of the Ozarks. Whether it’s wakeboarding, paddleboarding, skiing, tubing, kayaking, parasailing, fishing or just simply swimming, you can do it all at the Lake of the Ozarks. Add to that all of our on-the-water events like AquaPalooza, Lake of the Ozarks Powerfest and the Shootout powerboat races, or annual Harbor Hops, and you can tell we know how to have fun on the water!”

The Lake of the Ozarks was among 20 lake destinations across the country selected by a panel of travel experts and journalists from USA Today, and other media outlets. Online voting took place over the course of four weeks, and although it was a close race, the Lake of the Ozarks received more readers’ votes and ultimately won the contest. For a complete list of winners visit

Being named as the “Best Lake for Water Sports” is the latest national recognition in the long list of accolades the Lake of the Ozarks has received in the last several years. The Lake of the Ozarks has been a previous winner of USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Awards for being the “Best Recreational Lake in the Nation” (2015), the “Second-Best Place in the Country for Viewing Fall Foliage” (2018), and being home to one of the “Best State Parks in the Nation” – Ha Ha Tonka State Park (2015).

“This is a testament to what a fun destination the Lake of the Ozarks is and why we have roughly 7 million visitors from around the country each year. We’re so very grateful and we would like to thank everyone that voted for the Lake of the Ozarks as the ‘Best Lake for Water Sports’ in the country,” Fitzpatrick concludes.

To learn more about all the on-the-water fun, events, attractions, activities, and available dining and lodging options at the Lake of the Ozarks, visit Or, call the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau at 1-800-FUN-LAKE (386-5253).

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