4 Outdoorsy Weekend Getaways in the Ozarks

January 31, 2016

We all need a break from our everyday lives.  When a fully planned vacation isn’t possible, a weekend getaway can do the trick. So if you’re planning when to take your days off this year, consider these weekend trips to hold you over until your vacation.


There are tons of great places within a few hours of Springfield that can provide the respite from your routine.  We’ll take a look at everything from wilderness-draped cabins to pristine contemporary condos.  The Ozarks has a little bit of everything when it comes to finding new places to explore.

Outdoorsiness Emojimeter

A completely arbitrary measurement of how much nature you’ll be exposed to.

🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳 – Super-Outdoorsy.

🌳🌳🌳🌳- Pretty darn Outdoorsy.

🌳🌳🌳 – Moderately Outdoorsy.

🌳🌳 – You’ll be outside some.

🌳 – Basically inside.


Big Cedar Lodge

612 Devil’s Pool Road, Ridgedale, Missouri 65739



If you’ve lived here long, you’ve probably already heard of Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris’ Big Cedar Lodge. It’s known for its rugged backcountry ambience and old world decor.  One of the most popular attractions for families is individual log cabin rentals.  Among the many things to do are hiking through the beautiful nature trails, horseback riding, carriage rides, renting a boat or learning to water ski from one of two marinas and many other exciting outdoor activities. Big Cedar lives up to its billing as one of the best Missouri Resorts for families.


Recently, Big Cedar has added another attraction to its arsenal. The Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum features Ozarkian artifacts from thousands of years ago.  The museum showcases wildlife and human life alike from eras far before our own.  If that doesn’t sound interesting enough for you, how about this: they have a wooly mammoth!


Big Cedar Lodge is a gem for weekenders looking for a rustic retreat away from the bright lights of the city.  See more online at bigcedarlodge.com.


Outdoorsiness Rating: 🌳🌳🌳


Don’t Miss a Thing

Don’t Miss (For Her): Lady Liberty Sunset Cruises at Bent Hook Marina

Don’t Miss (For Him): Guided bowfishing expeditions

Don’t Miss (For the Kids): Ski School


The Original Treehouse Cottages

65 W Van Buren  Eureka Springs, AR 72632

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 4.33.29 PM

When we say there is nothing quite like the Original Treehouse Cottages, we really mean it.


It’s a no-joke treehouse in the woods.


Beautiful, serene and unmatched in privacy, the treehouse cottages are a bucket list item for couples.  Each treehouse has its own jacuzzi tub, most overlook the splendid Ozarks forest and wildlife in every direction.  The cottages also feature kitchenettes and rustic  local decor which really sets the mood for this getaway.


Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 4.33.04 PM

Just relaxing in one of these magical abodes would probably be enough for an entire weekend, but if you’re looking for some daytime activities, there’s plenty to do.  More than a dozen different outdoor activities pepper the landscape around this section of Eureka Springs.  There are several hikes, caves, and bodies of water to explore near the grounds, and there are even walking tours to ensure you see all the highlights.


Even if a treehouse doesn’t sound cool to you, you need to check out the site to see what you’re missing. treehousecottages.com


Outdoorsiness Rating: 🌳🌳🌳🌳


Don’t Miss a Thing

Don’t Miss (For Her): Uh, jacuzzi with views? Yes.

Don’t Miss (For Him): Treehouse!

Don’t Miss (For the Kids): Probably not a great spot for kids


Crown Pointe Lodge

4245 Hunt Rd.Farmington, MO 63640


Part winery, part golf course, this eastern Missouri gem is a wonderful place to get away for a few days. Crown Pointe has top-of-the-line golfing with a country club feel and the access of a public course. This course is perfectly placed near a luxury neighborhood and scenic farmland.  It has all the amenities you look for in a course: practice facilities, pro shop and a 19th hole restaurant and bar to recount all the shanks you didn’t have :).

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 10.44.34 AM

Crown Valley Winery is the real deal. A 130-Acre vineyard with state of the art facilities and a huge variety of reds, whites, ports and ciders. Tours of the winery and distillery occur daily at 12, 1 & 2 pm, so there’s plenty of chances to try them all.  And don’t worry there’s drinks for the kids too.  Crown Valley carries Ozark Mountain Sodas and Boots Soda for persons under 21 years of age.


Outdoorsiness Rating: 🌳🌳


Don’t Miss a Thing

Don’t Miss (For Her): Antique Treasures Mall

Don’t Miss (For Him): Spokes Pub & Grill with brews from Crown Valley Brewery

Don’t Miss (For the Kids): Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary


More photos, details and booking information available online at crownpointelodge.com/


Johnson Shut-Ins

148 Taum Sauk Trail  Middlebrook, MO 63656-9601


If you’re the type to enjoy a floating or camping trip, pay close attention to this one.  This is an outdoor paradise.  The Johnson Shut-Ins are a billion year old formation of jagged volcanic rock that have taken an incredibly unique shape.  The Black river flows over these formations to create a breathtaking scene, and a few pretty darn good swimming holes.


If you’re up for roughin’ it, there are plenty of campsites on the grounds.  Some lots have wooden platforms to get you off the rocky terrain.  There are also showers, a trash facility and a community store.  If you’re not about the camping life, 6 person cabins are available for rent as well.  It’s not exactly the Ritz, though.  No bathrooms or running water are available in the cabins, though electricity and heating/AC are included.


There’s so many activities around the park.  Climbing, fishing, hiking, biking, and even horseback riding are scattered throughout the Shut-Ins.  The main thing you’ll want to do is play in the water.  There are tons of spots to hop in, wade or just relax with your feet in the water.  Whichever you choose, the views will be unforgettable.


Just a few miles down the highway is Elephant Rocks State Park, named for its’ enormous boulder that resemble a train of giant red elephants. It’s definitely worth a visit if you don’t mind leaving the Shut-Ins for a few hours.


Outdoorsiness Rating: 🌳🌳🌳🌳🌳


Don’t Miss a Thing

Don’t Miss (For Her): Goggins Mountain Equestrian Trail

Don’t Miss (For Him): Rock Climbing and Rappelling

Don’t Miss (For the Kids): Fishing in the Black River


Posted in All Things SGF

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