Bachelorette Party at the Lake of the Ozarks

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Going to a Bachelorette Party at the Lake of the Ozarks? Great – this post is for you!

bachelorette party lake of the ozarks bride

I grew up going to the Lake of the Ozarks at least two or three times every summer with my family. The lake is my happy place. I have so many amazing memories there with both family and friends and it has a special place in my heart!

I have been there for multiple Bachelorette parties, including my own, and get questions about them often, so I wanted to finally publish a blog post with details!

bachelorette party lake of the ozarks

This particular post will include my recommendations on where to go to eat and drink, what to do on Bachelorette parties, where to stay, pros of choosing the lake for your Bach party destination, and more! I hope this will be a helpful resource! I am creating a separate post for those interested in things to do with family at the Lake! Stay tuned.

bachelorette party lake of the ozarks friends

Also, yes, I realize this would’ve been nice to have two months ago, and for that, I am sorry. Summer is a crazy time — better late than never I suppose!

Why the lake of the ozarks is a perfect Bachelorette Party spot

  • If you live in the Midwest, it is close enough that you can drive, rather than fly, which already makes it cheaper than most other destinations.
  • It is affordable to eat and drink there, unlike some cities.
  • It’s freaking FUN and there is a lot to do! More on that soon.
  • The lake is SO. Chill. You don’t have to dress up all fancy… or even shower. (Just kidding, kinda.) We usually spend 90% of the trip in our swimsuits and cover ups. And dry shampoo is your best friend – per usual.
  • Bad stuff can happen everywhere and there is no guarantee that it won’t, BUT I have always felt very safe at the lake. Big groups of girls should always use the buddy system no matter what!
bachelorette party lake of the ozarks bridesmaids

things to do at the lake of the ozarks

Whether you are going for a low-key trip with family, or looking to party with your girlfriends, there is plenty of stuff to do at the lake.

For all the Bachelorette parties I have been to at the lake, including my own, we have driven up on Thursday night or early Friday morning so we have a full day Friday and Saturday. Yes, weekends will be busier, but that also makes it more fun when you go to the bars (IMO). Also, we don’t all have unlimited PTO, ya know?

We typically stay at a Shady Gator’s house (which I’ll discuss more later) and they have a pool/bar area called Lazy Gator’s right next door. We’ll spend most of the afternoon slash evening there on Friday after decorating the house with Bachelorette party appropriate *or inappropriate* things. We’ve also found it super easy to just eat dinner at Shady Gator’s on Friday, and then Saturday night we will order pizza or something.

Food To Pack for your bachelorette party at the lake

I think it goes without saying that you should pack LOTS of snacks/food for the weekend. We typically have everyone in the group pay one person upfront (like the Maid of Honor) so they can make a Costco run beforehand. This eliminates having to divide stuff up later. All of the money goes toward food, alcohol, boat, house, etc.

bachelorette party bride accessories

We will wait to purchase certain items (like eggs, etc.) and make a grocery trip right when we get into town, too.

We always eat breakfast at the house and pack sandwiches/snacks for the boat.

Here are some ideas of things to bring for your Bachelorette party:

  • Eggs (a few dozen)
  • Whole grain bread + deli turkey + sliced cheese for sandwiches (and any condiments)
  • OR pre-made turkey wraps from Costco (we grabbed a tray of these last time and it was nice not having to worry about making them)
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Fruit: bananas, apples, grapes — easy things that don’t require a lot of work/prep
  • Peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets
  • String cheese
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Chips and salsa / guacamole
  • Baby carrots + hummus
  • Spinach artichoke dip from Costco (BOMB)
  • Miscellaneous snacks: chips, crackers, popcorn, etc.
  • Granola/protein bars
  • Milk & cereal if people in your group will eat it
  • Water bottles — I’m not a supporter of plastic water bottles, but for something like this, it’s nice to have cold water in the AM (if you know what I mean)
  • Any sodas/mixers/chasers you might want (ICE, Bai, Sobe Water, Sprite, etc.)
  • Alcohol, if that’s your thing

I think that covers most of the things that we typically bring, but this list is not exhaustive! If girls want any specific snacks they can always bring their own, but buying certain things in bulk is more cost effective.

Renting A Boat at the lake of the ozarks

We always rent a boat for eight hours on Saturday, starting around 10 AM. This might sound like a long day if you’re not a lake goer, but it’s the perfect amount of time to hit a few different bars, stop and float or just cruise around. Especially if you have a large group of girls! Also, when you are splitting between a lot of people, the cost is pretty reasonable.

After 8 hours on the boat, everyone is usually pooped and it’s perfect for just chilling at the house that night, watching the bride open gifts, playing games or whatever you wanna do. Friday has traditionally been our big “going out” night.

lake of the ozarks boat

We have gone directly through Shady Gator’s to rent a boat before, but we have also gone through individual boat drivers as well. The most important thing is having a driver that is safe and trustworthy, and making sure you have a boat with a large enough capacity to hold everyone in your party (so you don’t get ticketed by water patrol). I personally prefer having something like a pontoon because it’s easier for everyone to socialize and not be separated.

When I go to the lake with my family, we always rent through WFO Watercraft Rentals and we cannot recommend them enough! They are super nice, affordably priced and have a good selection to choose from. Pontoons, speed boats, jet skis, etc. We have known and used them for years. Tell them you know Dave Stewart’s daughter! ; )

If you are on a totally opposite side of the lake, just Google “boats with drivers at the Lake of the Ozarks” and there are tons of results. Unfortunately I don’t have any other specific names for you at this time.

where to stay at the lake for Bachelorette parties

As I mentioned, every time we have gone to the lake for a Bach party, we have stayed at one of the houses on the Shady Gator’s property. The houses are owned by Shady Gator’s and we communicate directly through one of their employees. (He goes by JG.)

We have enjoyed staying there because:

  1. The houses are super affordable, especially when you’re splitting among 15+ girls
  2. The close proximity to the bar and pool at Shady Gator’s (walking distance, no need to pay for Uber, etc.)
  3. Close to the bar/restaurant, which is convenient for meals
  4. They have live music at Shady’s most weekend nights and it’s a SUPER fun party

The downside of staying at Shady Gators:

The houses are not super nice. Some of them have been kept up better than others, but don’t expect it to be a Hilton by any means. But hey – you’re at the lake! If you are pretty chill and low maintenance, you’ll be fine, and the Shady Gator’s contact is very nice and responsive. JG will do everything he can to make sure your group is taken care of.

With that being said, I’m sure there are many nicer places to stay that are equally affordable, but we have always just loved the location/convenience of Shady’s. Feel free to research other air bnb options and just know that you may have to Uber to the closest bar. 🙂

Another option that I want to mention is Margaritaville – formerly Tan-Tar-A resort. My family has stayed there several times and always had a great experience. It was recently renovated and turned into Margaritaville and I’ve heard great things about it. They have a pool with a bar and it is also a resort. I don’t know a ton about it now, as it has been several years since we have been there, but it’s worth looking into!

Places to eat/drink at the lake of the ozarks

For this post I will share some of the more party-friendly spots at the lake. In my “family” post, I’ll share some of the more family-friendly places. Honestly, several of them overlap, and my family enjoys going to a lot of the party spots, too. Most of them have pretty good food actually, and have gotten awesome new pools within the past few years.


  • Coconuts: super fun bar with a huge pool, swim up bars, sand volleyball, etc. **A MUST if you are on a Bach party – make sure it’s obvious who the bride is. ; )
  • Dog Days: delicious food, great view of the lake, big pool and bars
  • Backwater Jack’s: awesome food and view of the lake, big pool
  • Shady Gators: bar food, good view of the lake; has a pool/bar area called “Lazy Gators” right next door that’s really fun
  • Boathouse Lakeside Bar & Grill
  • Paradise Tropical Bar & Grill
  • The Office Neighborhood Pub
  • Shorty Pants Lounge
  • Redhead Lakeside Grill & Yacht Club
  • Margaritaville – previously Tan-Tar-A (it is a resort but also has a nice pool with a bar; I haven’t been but my friend @kalekouture says it is similar to Coconuts! And you can go there even if you’re not staying at the resort.)

Bachelorette Party Shirt idea

We got these shirts for my BFFs recent Bach party at the lake and we were all OBSESSED. They are so fun and can definitely be worn again as a silly coverup or honestly just around the house. They are super affordable and you don’t have to worry about getting customized shirts made!

Sexy Bikini Beach Cover-Up – $21.85

bachelorette party shirts

I hope this post helped give you some ideas of things to do, places to go/stay while you are at the Lake for a Bachelorette party (or just a fun weekend) with friends! Please let me know if there are any questions I didn’t answer that you’d like me to address.

Thank you for reading!


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  1. Hi! I’m planning a bachelorette party there in May, we are wanting to do a bunch of what you mentioned. I was stuck between either the Getaway boat rental, or WFO watercraft. I know you said you used the latter, but do you have any more suggestions? And are shady gators houses? Thanks so much, in advance!

    1. Hi Samantha! How fun! Unfortunately I’m not familiar with Getaway boat rental (or many others for that matter), but we have always had a wonderful experience with the folks at WFO Watercraft, so I would highly recommend them! And yes, the Shady Gators rentals are houses. Like I mentioned in my post, they are NOT the nicest homes by any means, lol, but they do the trick and sleep a lot of people, so we were always perfectly content with them! Especially because they were so close to the Shady Gators bar/restaurant and Lazy Gators (the pool/swim-up bar, etc.). It’s such a fun place for a Bach Party! LMK if you have any other questions!!

      1. Thank you! I forgot I posted this until just now, I’m booking the pontoon. 🙂 my top 2 choices (as of now, lol) are WFO and Aqua Toys Rentals, but the latter I couldn’t book until April. I talked to a gentleman earlier today at WFO and he told me to call next week as they have a boat show the first week of February, but hopefully that one will be most cost effective for us! Thanks for the help 🙂

        1. Sorry, one more question 🤦‍♀️ Do you have any recommendations for drivers/captains? I’ve heard of looking at, but if you have anyone you trust, I’d love to hear your suggestions!

        2. Oh yay! You’re so welcome! I think you’ll have a great experience with WFO. And unfortunately I don’t have any recs for drivers.. one time when we did it it was through Shady Gators so one of their staff members (and his GF) was our driver and they were awesome. Our driver for the last time I would not necessarily recommend lol. Sorry about that! Yes just keep Googling and read reviews for sure! Good luck! 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for this information. It was super helpful. One question though, we are thinking of scheduling a party April 3-5, does that change any of your recommendations? I am unsure what the weather is like during that time.

    1. I’m so glad it was helpful! One thing I will say is that I believe “Lazy Gators” (the pool/swim-up bar, etc.) next to Shady Gators (and the houses we stayed in) doesn’t open for the season until May. So that might change whether or not you want to stay there. You could look into Margaritaville as another option. I personally haven’t stayed there since they renovated it and changed it from Tan-Tar-A, but I’ve heard good things and think they have a good pool and fun things to do. Unfortunately it probably still won’t be SUPER warm at the beginning of April, but in the Midwest, you never know!!!

    1. Honestly we never even ventured over to party cove on all the Bach trips I’ve been on. We’ve just had a lot more fun at the pools at different bars! Or if we ever did cove out we just did so by ourselves in a quieter cove. So unfortunately I’m not sure what it’s like now, but I just know it can get a little crazy! Haha.

      1. Haha awesome! This will be our first time in the Ozarks, coming from Chicago. Any recommendation between 4th July/Labor Day or a non holiday weekend? Also, how crazy/fun is the lake and pool party bars in general?!? We have a pretty crazy group ourselves but not really sure what to expect haha.

        1. Oh, how fun! The Ozarks is a pretty crazy party 24/7, haha. Honestly, I would recommend coming on a non-holiday weekend if you can. Holidays can just get INSANELY packed and sometimes the water is so choppy it’s almost scary unless you’re in a massive cruiser boat. So yeah, less busy is good, but it’ll still be busy and a blast! The pools and bars get pretty rowdy, so I think your group will love it. ; )

    1. That’s why we usually stay on the Shady Gator’s property, because the bar is within walking distance! We will usually just go out there in the evenings, and the other days we will go to the pool/swim-up bar at Lazy Gator’s (also right next to Shady Gator’s) and on our boat day we will just use the boat to transport to all the different pool bars! I hope that helps! But yes, Uber is always an option too!

  3. Hi! Your blog was so helpful to me as I’m planning a bachelorette party for my sister! I called JG from Shady Gators and booked the boat and put a down payment, but he never gave me a confirmation email. I’ve tried to reach out a couple times to make sure things are set, but he hasn’t contacted me back. I just don’t want to get screwed over! I know you’ve dealt with him more because you typically stay there, do you normally get some sort of confirmation or just show up for the day it’s booked and everything’s set for you?

    1. Hey girl! Yikes, sorry you haven’t heard back! Is there another contact person on their website or someone else you can call/email? I’ll have to check with my friends, as I was never the one who did the booking! I would hope to get a confirmation email beforehand as well. Not sure if things are just crazy there with navigating COVID or something, but I’d keep reaching out to get some answers! Sorry you’re having trouble!

    1. Hello! Typically when we go, since we stay at Shady Gator’s, we will just go to Shady Gators at night since it is within walking distance. During the day is when we do most of our partying away from our house — places like Lazy Gator’s (the pool, swim-up bar right next to it), Coconuts, other pool bars like Dog Days, etc. At night it’s kinda nice to stay close so you don’t have to worry about Ubers and stuff! I’m sure all of those places would be fun at night, too, though!

  4. I am doing a lake bachelorette party for my girlfriend this weekend! We are so excited! What games did you all play? If any!!

    1. Yay! So fun! Gosh.. it has been a while and I’m not sure if I even remember, haha. We took time for the bride to open her gifts (usually did lingerie or PJs, etc.) in front of everyone. At one of them we did a game where we had to guess the answer to a question about the bride and see if she could answer it the same as the groom did when the MOH asked him in advance. That was fun and funny! I bet Pinterest has tons of similar ideas! 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!!!

    1. The different houses had different options. One of the houses had a big deck as well as a dock with a rooftop (which may have actually been the neighbor’s, lol), and one just had a big deck to hang out on!

    2. I would think the website would have info on that in each house’s description, or you could always call and confirm!

    1. Hi! Oh gosh, it’s hard to answer that – it has been a few years! But I would say probably only $200-300 or so? It also depends on how many people are in your group / how many you’re splitting the cost of the house and/or boat with, what you decide to do for food and alcohol (it’s going to be much cheaper to get a split of groceries / booze and eat most of the food at the house rather than eat out for every meal, etc.). So the cost will vary a lot depending on those factors, but it is definitely one of the most affordable options IMO because for us anyway it was driving distance so way cheaper than flying somewhere!

  5. I am planning a bachelorette party here now! We were thinking of renting a boat and going to all the pool parties on a Friday instead of a Saturday. Are the bars and pools still fun and crowded during the day on Friday?

    1. I would definitely think so, especially during the summer months. I haven’t been in a while, but I am pretty confident the bars are hopping Thursday – Saturday at the Ozarks!

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