Things to do on gorgeous Table Rock Lake in southwest Missouri – a close drive from St. Louis and Kansas City and a quick flight from Chicago and Denver!
Table Rock Lake is nestled in Southwest Missouri, near Branson. It’s a beautiful place to live or visit! Known for its clear water, it boasts almost 800 miles of shoreline and a wide range of things to do.
First, a little history! Table Rock Lake was created as a recreational lake to control floods and create hydroelectric power. It is managed by the Corp of Engineers.
It was named Table Rock Lake due to the rock shelf above the White River, but you’ll see a shelf along a lot of the shoreline.
I grew up visiting Table Rock Lake with my family and five years ago, we decided to purchase a Lake Cottage to create memories with our family! We love this area so much and feel so lucky to get to enjoy our time here. I’ve written about things to do in Branson with kids, as well as our favorite tips for visiting Silver Dollar City at Christmas.
Without further ado, here’s 22 things to do on Table Rock Lake – and if I missed any, let me know!
Things to Do on Table Rock Lake
Table Rock has long been known for fishing! In fact, there are several tournaments held on the lake throughout the year. You’ll find Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, White Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Catfish and Long Ear Sunfish. You’ll even find Walleye, Warmouth, Striped Bass and Paddlefish.
There are great places to hike lakeside, including Table Rock Lake State Park, the White River Valley Trail System, and Chinquapin Trail, which are all connected. Nearby you’ll also find great hiking at Dogwood Canyon and at the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area.
Jump Off the Rope Swings
One of the most memorable experiences at Table Rock Lake is jumping off the rope swings! It was always a favorite of mine as a child and now our girls get to share in the joy!
It’s fun for all ages and a great gathering place.
Jump off a Cliff
There are several great cliffs to jump off of around the lake and each one is more fun than the last. Again, it’s always a great place to make new friends – you’ll find that boaters are always friendly. Who isn’t happy on the water?
Eat on the Water
Table Rock Lake boasts several floating and lakeside restaurants. Many of them are open Memorial Day to Labor Day. You can find the full guide of Table Rock Lake Restaurants that includes what they have to offer, where they are located, docking instructions and more!
The lake is a great place to learn how to water ski, tube, surf, knee board, wake board and more!
Take a Sunset Cruise
Boating is of course always a highlight at the lake, but the sunsets are beyond breathtaking! You can drop your boat at one of the many public access ramps, rent a boat or take the Branson Belle, Catamaran, Goin Jessi or Lady Liberty for a cruise.
There are fireworks Memorial Day weekend, 4th of July weekend and Labor Day weekend in addition to the Branson Belle fireworks which give locals and boaters a free display throughout the summer (see their site for cruise dates).
There’s nothing quite like the reflection of fireworks on the water. It’s truly magical.
Go to the Beach
- Moonshine Beach (free) – kick back on a hot summer day and let the kids play in the sand and swim at the beach on Table Rock Lake. They offer changing rooms, picnic shelters and limited parking. It’s always a favorite with the kiddos! Located at 3778 MO-165, Branson, Missouri 65616
- Joe Bald – Day use
- Mill Creek – $5
- Baxter Public Use
- Kings River Marina
- Cricket Creek Campground
Take a break on a cold or rainy day and enjoy the view and activities at the visitor center. Build a dam, read a book or enjoy one of the interactive activities while learning about the hydroelectric dam.
You can visit the Dewey Short Visitor Center and get a close up view of Table Rock Dam by car or boat! There is a complimentary dock and small beach nearby. It’s also connected to several trails that are perfect for an easy walk or bike ride!
Catch a Boat Show or Regatta
- The Classics Cruisin’ Boat Show is always a great time! You can catch them at a number of places across the lake or watch them cruise! It’s always fun to see. They even have activities for kids, like coloring their very own wood boats to set sail.
- Join a Regatta like this one for Cobalt (I’m sure there are many more!)
Pull up a Swing
and grab a drink while listening to live music at Parrot’s Pavilion Tiki Bar. You can enjoy games and cocktails waterside. You’ll often find live music, but you’ll always find a good time. Go ahead and pull up a swing at the bar!
Look for Seashells
While nestled in the middle of the country, you can find an abundance of seashells along the shoreline! One of our favorite spots to collect is along the shoreline at Hideaway Marina, but you’ll often find them on the islands as well!
A few of the Marinas have well curated boutiques filled with great gifts, swimwear and more. State Park Marina and Hideaway Marina are two of my favorites, but they all have a little something to offer!
- State Park Marina
- Hideaway Marina
- Indian Point Marina
- Kings River Marina
- Point of Kimberling Marina
- Cape Fair Marina
- Big M Marina
- Campbell Point Marin
- Eagle Rock Marina
- Baxter Marina
- Long Creek Marina
- Cricket Creek Marina
- Bent Hook Marina
Of course who doesn’t love shopping for life jackets, flip flops, wake boards, skis and more? The Ski Shack is a great go-to with several locations around the lake.
See a Waterfall
Cruise to Devil’s Pool at Big Cedar to experience a gorgeous waterfall up close.
Bring your own or rent a kayak at State Park Marina, Stillwaters, Big Cedar or the resort you are visiting. It’s a great way to take in the true beauty of Table Rock Lake and see the layers of rock up close.
Enjoy the gentle waters in a cove while sneaking a little workout in.
Rent a paddle boat at the resort you’re staying at, or State Park Marina.
Take the catamaran out for a cruise with an array of activities, including a giant slide.
There are a number of great places to swim at Table Rock Lake. Visit a beach, find a quiet cove or even a lively one and enjoy!
Enjoy the Wildlife
Each day and season brings something new! Watch deer drink from the lake, search for the eagles as they search for fish, see turkey, fox, songbirds and more.
Wave to a Stranger
There are so many friendly faces on Table Rock Lake. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing everyone smile, wave and support local! You can connect with them on the Table Rock Lake Facebook Group as well!
Did I miss something? If so, leave it in the comments below!
There are so many amazing Things to Do in Branson MO as well, so be sure to check them all out!