Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Boaters Guide to Memorial Day Weekend at Lake of the Ozarks

May 17, 2019 by Michael Kiel

Memorial Day weekend is the official kickoff to summer, and no one does it better than Lake of the Ozarks! From coving out to the best spots on the water to view fireworks, this is your holiday destination guide for sun, fun, and relaxation on the Lake.

Drop Anchor in these Laid Back Coves

With a surface water temperature in the upper 60s on the Main Channel and temperatures in the mid-80s, Lake of the Ozarks might be a bit cold for some to take a dip this holiday weekend. You might want to consider hitting up a heated pool versus floating in a cove. If you have the courage to take a dip, then try one of these laid back coves. Downing Branch Cove, aka Power Line Cove, is at the 3MM directly across the Main Channel from Isla Del Sol condos. If you remember a restaurant called The Duck, you can easily find Power Line Cove. This deep, wide and long cove is a great spot for coving out, chilling out with some tunes, or launching your stand up paddleboard. You can expect flat water and a laid-back atmosphere at the end of this cove.

evergreen cove lake of the ozarks

Further up the Main Channel at the 17.5MM (opposite side of the Main Channel from Backwater Jack’s) check out Evergreen cove––a great spot to hang with like-minded captains and their mates. If you’re closer to the 31MM you’ll want to check out Fish & Co. Cove, which like the name suggests, is in the same cove as The Fish & Co.   

6 Hot Pools at The Lake with Swim-Up Bars

Water abounds—from Power Line Cove to lakeside pools, you can stay in the water all weekend! Here are some hot pools (and some family-friendly pools) with swim-up bars to relax in this Memorial Day weekend:

Backwater Jack’s on the 17.7MM, Main Channel. Backwater Jack’s swim-up bar has service on three sides. This is a 21 or older pool after 2 PM Monday through Friday and all day on Saturday and Sunday. Children 10 years or older may use this pool prior to 2 PM Monday through Friday.

Coconuts Caribbean Beach Bar & Grill on the 7MM, Gravois Arm. Coconuts has two swim-up bars—one bar located at each end of the pool. They have a separate pool for anyone under the age of 21. Cost is $4. No charge on the 21 and over pool. Insider tip: Coconuts is pet-friendly, and they have a pet menu.

coconuts lake of the ozarks
Photo Credit: Sky View Photography

Dog Days Bar & Grill on the 19MM, Main Channel. Dog Days swim-up bar has service on two sides. They have a separate kids pool (no charge) right next to the 21 and over pool. Parents can easily interact with their kids in the nearby kids' pool.

Lazy Gators on the 7MM, Main Channel. Lazy Gators has one swim-up bar. This is a 21 and older pool during certain events. If in doubt, be sure to call first. Insider Tip: If you’re looking for some exclusivity, Lazy Gators has 12 private cabanas with bottle service.

Redhead Lakeside Grill on the 21MM, Main Channel. Redhead has a separate kids’ pool (no charge) right next to the 21 and over pool. Insider tip: If you’re looking to watch a game on TV, Redhead has TVs at the pool, plus a huge video wall upstairs in the bar area.

Landshark Bar & Grill on the 26MM, Main Channel. Landshark is a family-friendly spot and their pools accommodate that. Kids are allowed in the lower pool, while the upper pool which is complete with a swim-up bar is for those 21 and up. ​

Watch Fireworks From The Water

After your sun-soaked day poolside and on the water, you’ll be ready to relax topside. Here are a few areas to sit under the stars and capture one of the many spectacular fireworks shows at Lake of the Ozarks:

Bear Bottom Resort on the 38MM, Main Channel. Fireworks start at 9:45 PM on Saturday, May 25th and Sunday, May 26th. Watch the fireworks display from the water, anywhere in front of Bear Bottom Resort. Insider Tip: Bear Bottom Resort has fireworks every Saturday at 9:45 PM beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Celebration Cruises at Bagnell Dam. Boarding begins at 7 PM on Saturday, May 25, 2019. The boat will leave at 7:30 PM and return at 9:30 PM after fireworks have ended. Fireworks begin at dusk.

The Inn at Grand Glaize on the 1MM, Glaize Arm. Fireworks start at dusk on Sunday, May 26, 2019. View the Inn at Grand Glaize fireworks display from the water at the 1MM of the Glaize Arm.

Margaritaville Lake Resort on the 26MM, Main Channel. Fireworks start at dusk (8:30 PM) on Sunday, May 26, 2019. Viewing the fireworks by land on Margaritaville’s property is reserved for guests only, but there is an option for boaters. Boat over to the island directly across from Margaritaville’s Landshark Bar & Grill pool that sits lakeside. For best visibility, stay close to the Tropic Island Cruises yacht. It’s their job to entertain 150 passengers, so they know where to sit for the best show.  

The Lodge of Four Seasons on the 13.5MM, Main Channel. Fireworks start at dusk on Sunday, May 26, 2019. Boat out to the 13MM to see the show from the water.​

Zero Ducks Given, ReHydrate & The Cherry Pistols

Memorial Day weekend at Lake of the Ozarks offers something for every member of the family. From a relaxing day to a party, you will find an event catered for you. If you’re looking for an “adult, party rock pool party”, head to Backwater Jack’s for the first Zero Ducks Given Pool Party of the season on Saturday, May 25, 2019 from 11 AM to 7 PM. These parties will take place on Saturdays each holiday weekend. They will feature DJs, celebrity hosts, and as Backwater Jack’s says, “all kinds of fun.”

zero ducks given backwater jacks memorial weekend
Photo Credit: Sky View Photography

When it comes to parties, ReHydrate sets a high bar. The fun begins at Lazy Gators this Sunday, May 26, 2019 from 11 AM to 1 AM––featuring YOUNG BOMBS. Insider Tip:  No more hot sand in front of the stage, Lazy Gators has expanded the dance floor with cool AstroTurf.

Just down Bittersweet Road, The Cherry Pistols rocks the outdoor stage at H. Toad’s at Camden on the Lake on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 24-26, 2019 at 8 PM.

Whether you’re taking in a party or skiing in a cove, remember safety comes first. Lake of the Ozarks will be extremely busy. The boat traffic after the fireworks shows may be unlike anything you have experienced before. Have a sober captain—be safe and watch your wake. It’s your responsibility to know Missouri boating laws. Make it a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend for yourself, family, friends and fellow boaters.

On Monday, take a moment to reflect upon the true meaning of Memorial Day. Did or does anyone in your family serve in the military? Is there someone you would like to recognize? What are your family Memorial Day traditions at Lake of the Ozarks? Join the conversation, we would love to hear from you!

Michael Kiel