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The Ozarks of Eastern Missouri

THE OZARKS.One of the gem getaway locations to visit in the United States that might not come to mind at first-thought lies nestled in the Midwest stretching from central Missouri into Arkansas. This, of course, is the area known as the Ozarks.

First time visitors as well as the many people who make this area an annual pilgrimage cannot help but notice the abundant beauty of the natural surroundings. Rising hills, often described as mountains, dense greenery that turns into an explosion of color in autumn, crystal blue lakes, wild flowers and grasses unite a web of highways and country roads connecting rural life with cities, small towns, and villages.Throughout the region, you can enjoy bicycling, hiking, in-season hunting and fishing, boating, swimming, golfing or shopping at any number of stores and outlet locations.For the lover of antiques and collectibles, dealers abound everywhere, and genuine items greatly outnumber reproductions. If you're not looking for a lot of activity up front, the comfort and serenity of the Ozarks will encourage you to just as easily sit back and relax, letting life's everyday tensions drain out of you.There are many places to visit in the Ozark region.

One of the more popular destinations is the Lake of the Ozarks in south central Missouri. Here you can swim, boat, and ski in the water all day long, or sit on the shore and let the world go by, or drive into town where there are numerous activities for people of all ages (e.g., boutiques and shops, mini-golf courses, movie theaters, go-cart tracks, etc.).

When driving throughout the Ozarks, take time to notice the rolling hills, the forests, the lakes and rivers, and national parks. For something different, visit one of the animal sanctuaries in which the people stay in their cars moving along at a parade pace while free roaming animals (e.g., moose, deer, ostriches, sheep, etc.

) come up and look at them.While heading south, a stop over at Branson, MO might be what you need. This country entertainment capital hosts a mix of stage shows featuring famous singers, dancers, comedians, magicians and the like performing year round with a family audience in mind, so you do not have to worry about the appropriateness for the youngsters. While you are there, how about a visit to Silver Dollar City where you can see traditional American self-reliance in the workings of a small town recreated right out of the 1800's when the necessities of life (e.g.

, tools, soap, candles, food, etc.) were forged with hard work, or people went without.A visit to the Ozarks is not meant to be a high-pressure trip in which you cram every minute with every activity recommended in some brochure.

The Ozarks provide an environment of natural beauty, family activities, people who are genuinely glad to see you and not looking to hustle your last vacation dollar, and comfortable restaurants with genuine friendly service where old-fashioned home cooking claims the menu.Not surprisingly, many visitors to the Ozarks return regularly, some investing in timeshare property to guarantee them a home base while visiting, and others move there permanently. The next time you're looking for an affordable getaway that offers natural beauty, friendly people, and a peaceful environment conducive to balancing work, family, and life, then consider the Ozarks. However, I caution you, the area can be habit forming.

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Will Hanke loves to visit the Ozarks of Missouri and runs Ozark Timeshares to help promote the area.

By: Will Hanke



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