10 Things to Do at Table Rock Lake (Highly Recommended by Branson Locals)

May 08, 2024

10 Things to Do at Table Rock Lake
By Westgate Resorts

10 Things to Do at Table Rock Lake

When you ask locals what some of the best things to do in Branson MO are, they’ll likely mention spending a day at Table Rock Lake. Built between 1954 and 1958, the lake has been a beloved spot for water sports, boating, fishing, and more for decades among local families.

Conveniently located near our Branson resorts, families can enjoy year-round access and the water never freezes. However, the best time to visit will depend on what you’re looking to do. Our visitor’s guide to Table Rock Lake is packed with activities you can enjoy throughout the entire year.

Top 10 Things to Do at Table Rock Lake:

  1. Boating

  2. Water sports

  3. Fishing

  4. Have a picnic

  5. Swimming

  6. Take a scenic cruise

  7. Try a lakeside restaurant

  8. Camping

  9. Hiking

  10. Watch beautiful sunsets

Restaurants at Table Rock Lake

Once you’ve worked up an appetite from your adventures, there are several amazing restaurants with stunning lakeside views near Table Rock Lake.

From romantic tables overlooking the water to family-friendly joints with large servings, you’ll find plenty of options for a delicious meal by the water.

Breakfast and lunch are the most popular times of day to eat at Table Rock Lake, especially on weekends, but most restaurants and eateries are open for dinner as well.

Some of the best restaurants at Table Rock Lake include The Lake House, SS Dockside Cafe and Pub, and Indian Point Floating Cafe.

You can always call ahead to book a table, but most are first-come, first-serve. The majority of Table Rock Lake eateries are family-friendly, so you can dress casually and have no trouble bringing the kids along for a wonderful outing.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to take your meal to the next level, consider a dinner theater experience at one of the best shows in Branson!

1 | Boating | Boating on Table Rock Lake is one of the best ways to experience the water! The lake has 14 marinas, 24 public boat launches, and plenty of local rental agencies that will be happy to set you up for a fun-filled day.

Renting a boat at Table Rock Lake is easy and affordable! You can even rent fishing gear and equipment for many other water sports as well.

Teens can get in on the fun, too, since they’re allowed to drive a motorboat in Missouri at 14 as long as someone 16+ is supervising.


Where to Find the Best Spots For Trout Fishing in Branson: 10 Spots to Try Year Round

12 Delightful Bakeries Branson Locals Brag About

The Top 5 Escape Rooms Branson MO Locals Recommend

2 | Water Sports | Jet skiing, paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, you name it. Table Rock Lake is a water lover’s dream! You’ll have a blast playing various sports, whether you bring your own equipment or rent it.

Water sports are some of the most popular family activities Table Rock Lake offers, and you can easily customize your day to suit your preferences and kids’ ages!

3 | Fishing | Cast your line at the lake and enjoy hours of tranquil fishing. There are dozens of species in the water, including largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass, as well as bluegill, white crappie, and even rarer species, like walleye and warmouth.

The best time to fish at Table Rock Lake depends on what you want to catch. Bass fishing is good year-round, and if you like deep-water fishing, you can catch smallmouth bass best between June and December.

4 | Have a Picnic | You’ll feel completely at ease as you sit by the water, listening to the lake and birdsong. Pack a hearty picnic, or grab a meal to-go from a local cafe, and head out to Table Rock Lake for an incredible afternoon under the sun.

Be sure to wear sunscreen! The lake’s park offers plenty of picnic tables with outdoor grills as well, so you can whip up some burgers, hot dogs, or kebabs. Restrooms and playground facilities are also close by for your convenience.

5 | Swimming | Table Rock Lake is great for swimming. Some of the best spots include Moonshine Beach near Table Rock Dam, Long Creek Campground on Highway 86, and Cricket Creek, a short drive away in Arkansas.

Table Rock Lake’s water temperature is best from mid-to-late May through early fall. Expect the average water temps to be 60-70 degrees during this time.

Children under age 7 are required by Missouri law to wear a life jacket at all times. However, it's always helpful to wear a life jacket at any age if you’re new to swimming in natural bodies of water.

6 | Take a Scenic Cruise | If you’re looking for fun and unique things to do with kids in Branson, consider a scenic cruise of Table Rock Lake!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Ozarks all around you. Tour guides share exciting facts and stories about the lake, making it a great educational opportunity for all ages.

The Lady Liberty Brunch and Dinner Cruise is a popular option. This luxury yacht gives you a delicious meal on the water, and it’s even more amazing in the fall when all the leaves are bursting with vibrant colors.

Or board the Showboat Branson Belle, a four-deck showboat with live entertainment that ranges from comedy shows to acrobatics!

7 | Eat at a Lakeside Restaurant | Branson is an outdoor city, especially during the summer.

There are plenty of delicious options to choose from. Whether you’re craving seafood, a juicy burger, loaded salad, pizza, or steak, the restaurants around Table Rock Lake feature gorgeous views, so you can enjoy your meal overlooking the water.

8 | Camping | There are lots of great places to camp near Table Rock Lake if you’re looking to enjoy a weekend on the water and under the stars!

Table Rocke Lake is home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the country. While you’re camping, consider taking some time to go hiking or horseback riding in Branson to explore the breathtaking Ozark mountains.

9 | Hiking | Need a break from the water? The Ozarks are home to some of the best hiking near Branson, MO, and trails surrounding Table Rock Lake are no exception. Great for all ages and skill sets, there are both easy and challenging trails that make for a perfect day by the lake.

The Table Rock Lakeshore Trail features 2.25 miles of shoreline and runs between the Dewey Short Visitor Center and the State Park Marina. It’s also wheelchair accessible and easy for kids.

You can also visit Table Rock State Park, an outdoor lover’s paradise. There are plenty of paved hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and picnic sites for you to enjoy.

10 | Watch Beautiful Sunsets | Nothing beats the feeling of watching the sun set over Table Rock Lake. Settle along the shore and watch the sky paint the water orange as it sinks below the horizon.

It’s best to arrive 15-30 minutes before sunset, so you can get comfortable and find the perfect spot. Table Rock Dam, Big Cedar Loop, and the scenic overlook in Hollister, MO, also offer great views.


10 Top Photographers in Branson to Hire for a Memorable Shoot

15 Restaurants That Serve the Best Seafood Branson MO Locals Brag About

9 Awesome Branson Missouri Tattoo Shops to Get Inked

Explore Table Rock Lake!

Frequently Asked Questions About Table Rock Lake

Families can enjoy a variety of activities that are perfect for all ages at Table Rock Lake. Boating and swimming are great for a day of fun, while hiking and picnicking offer a more relaxed way to experience the natural beauty of the area. The lakeside restaurants also welcome children, making them a great option for family meals.

Yes, pets are allowed at Table Rock Lake, especially in the camping and hiking areas. However, it's important to keep them on a leash and follow local guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for everyone.

For those on a budget, hiking, having a picnic, and enjoying the sunset are highly recommended. These activities require minimal to no fees and allow you to enjoy the lake's natural surroundings fully.

Water sports and boating are the top picks for those looking for an adrenaline rush. These activities provide thrilling experiences on the water that are hard to beat.

Yes, Table Rock Lake is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. You can catch a variety of fish, making it a favorite spot for both casual and serious anglers.

There are several great lakeside restaurants at Table Rock Lake such as The Lake House, SS Dockside Cafe and Pub, and Indian Point Floating Cafe. These eateries offer everything from family-friendly atmospheres to romantic settings with stunning views.

The best time for water activities at Table Rock Lake is during the warmer months from late spring to early fall, when the weather is ideal for swimming, boating, and water sports.

While many activities like hiking and swimming do not require reservations, it is recommended to book rentals for boating and water sports in advance, especially during peak season. Dining at popular restaurants might also require a call ahead, especially for larger groups.

Table Rock Lake is renowned for its crystal-clear water and well-maintained surroundings, making it a pristine location for both relaxation and adventure activities. The lake's proximity to Branson and its variety of year-round accessible activities also make it a standout destination.


15 Top Things to Do in Branson MO with Kids

At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your Branson vacation awaits! Explore our Branson resorts today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.

* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.

When You Check-in, There's a Lot to Check Out

Sign up for our newsletter and check-in to great offers, secret stuff, and special events.

Thank You for Signing Up!

Exciting things are headed your way soon!