When most people think of a middle America road trip, the term ‘fly over states’ typically comes to mind.
But here’s the thing: As someone who lives in one of these states, I don’t believe ‘fly over states’ exist.
In this vast, beautiful country called America, each state has its own unique charm — and I’m determined to explore all of it!
I recently spent 5 days on a road trip through the Midwest gem of Missouri. I explored top wineries, ate local gastronomy, and stayed at one of the nation’s top lakeside resorts (without ever stepping foot in St. Louis!)
Read below to learn about my itinerary to plan the ultimate Missouri road trip!
Lodging & Accommodation
The Lodge of Four Seasons
During my Missouri road trip, I was staying at the world-renowned Lodge of Four Seasons resort (“The Lodge’). Located in the heart of the popular Lake Ozark region, The Lodge of Four Seasons has been a refuge of relaxation, affordable luxury, and family fun for 55 years,
The lakeside golf and spa resort was founded by businessman Harold Koplar, and I quickly learned there is so much more to this midwest gem than meets the eye: fine cuisine, unparalleled hospitality, and unique accommodations.
The Lodge is the perfect blend of remote lakeside resort and adventure-filled family vacation. There’s something for everyone here! Read on below to learn more about my experience at The Lodge of Four Seasons:
One can’t visit The Lodge and not enjoy all of the perks of the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks. Just steps from the resort, guests can boat, jet ski, and fish!
The Lodge has an ongoing partnership with local company Bombay Boat Rentals that allows guests to rent Waverunners, Colbolt Ski Boats, or Sylvan Mirage Tritoon boats by the hour, for a half day, or for a full-day.
A lakeside trail also runs along the backside of The Lodge, setting a perfect scene for a morning walk or a glass of wine by one of the Lodge’s many fire pits.
The Lodge also features facility that boasts an indoor pool that opens up to an outdoor pool and a smaller heated pool located directly next to the onsite spa.
Photo by East Coast Contessa
Health & Wellness
To relax and unwind during a long road trip, the on-site award-winning spa, Spa Shiki, should do the trick.
Named among the top five spas in the United States and featured on NBC’s Today Show, Spa Shiki delivers a flawless, calming, and luxurious atmosphere.
This 16,000 square-foot world-class spa features a full-range of unique services which are outlined below:
Firstly, during my spa session I enjoyed a pre-reserved 20 minute session in the saltwater whirl pool upon my arrival to the spa.
Photo by East Coast Contessa
Sessions are capped off at 20 minutes to prevent dehydration, but fresh crystal-infused water is on hand nearby to stay hydrated!
Secondly, I made my way to the Meditation Room in my comfy plush robe. Here, I had crystal-infused water and a glass of chilled champagne while completing breathing exercises and affirmations.
Photo by East Coast Contessa
Spa Shiki Services
Thirdly, I was brought to a private room for a 50 minute customized facial session with one of Spa Shiki’s trained estheticians.
The facial includes an upper body massage with warm stones, exfoliation, and hydrating serums and creams which could all be purchased at the spa following the treatment.
Spa Shiki also offers numerous other treatment options including a Signature Bamboo Facial, an Age Corrective Facial, an Acne Facial, Microdermabrasion, and an Oxygen Infused Facial, among others.
Golf, Golf, and more Golf!
During the warmer months, The Lodge at Four Seasons features one of Missouri’s top five golf courses.
Home to the Missouri Amateur, Lodge guests have access to a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course known as the semi private ‘Club at Porto Cima’ for one tee-time a day.
Additional,ly, the Lodge features other courses named ‘The Ridge’ and ‘The Cove’. These courses provide unlimited access to Lodge guests and is perfect for 36 hole days if golfers.
With 54 holes in total of stunning views to choose from, The Lodge at Four Seasons is a haven for golfers at any level.
Light the Fire
Pre-spring and summer months, expect the warm and cozy indoor and outdoor fireplaces to be roaring. In fact, they are one of the most stunning features of the Lodge.
Fire pits are also lit throughout The Lodge’s breathtaking on-site Japanese Garden created by Buffy Murai, the Lodge’s former landscape architect and caretaker.
During the warmer months, grab a cocktail and a small bite at either of The Lodge’s outdoor restaurants: Breezes Restaurant or Fire & Ice Patio and Bar. The lake views from both are stunning!
These make for the perfect spots to enjoy a glass of afternoon wine or to catch a breathtaking sunset over Lake Ozark.
HK’s Bar & Restaurant
The Lodge is home to one of the top restaurants in the state of Missouri: HK’s Restaurant & Bar.
Adjacent to the resort’s front entrance, HK’s menu was blended with high quality seafood, pasta, and prime-cut meats.
Stunning views of The Lodge’s Japanese Garden were all around, as I caught a glimpse of the most beautiful sunset over Lake Ozark from the best seat in the house.
While there are no bad options on the menu, the below were personal favorites that you have to order during a meal at HK’s:
Signature Onion Rings: One of HK’s most famous menu items! Three times the size of a normal onion ring and beer battered, they are served with HK’s signature sauce for dipping.
Surf n’ Turf: An 8oz certified Angus filet mignon with jumbo seared Gulf shrimp covered in Lemmon butter sauce (a real treat!)
Signature Steak Soup: A fun spin on traditional beef vegetable soup, but so much better! HK’s Original Sauce is thrown in,
Smore’s Skillet: A jumbo skillet of toasted marshmallows, warm chocolate chip cookie, graham cracker crumble, vanilla ice-cream, and chocolate and caramel drizzle.
Lake Water: a refreshing blend of coconut water, coconut rum, pineapple juice, blue curaçao, and a splash of orange juice.
Lemon Drop Martini: vodka, fresh squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup, and a lemon twist with a sugar rim; and
Lady Godiva: This drink wasn’t listed on the menu, but diners can ask their servers to request it at the bar. It’s a smooth blend of Godiva chocolate, creme de cocoa, and vanilla vodka with a chocolate swirl.
As a bonus, HK’s hosts local musicians for live music every Friday and Saturday night, so guests can enjoy fun tunes while sipping one-of-a-kind handcrafted cocktails.
The Lobby Bar
For quick and simple yet chef-made breakfast and lunch options, look no further than The Lobby Bar.
Located on the main floor behind the main lobby (hence the name), this quaint dining spot serves up some of The Lodge’s most popular cocktails and cuisines created by The Lodge’s own, Chef Gary.
Each morning before exploring, I would order a specialty coffee dubbed the “Mom’s Coffee” that was filled with mocha, caramel sauce, and whipped cream. The food we ordered is below!
- The skillet-baked ‘Giant Cinnamon Roll’ that came smothered in a rich cream cheese sauce with orange zest and fresh fruit; and
- The ‘Sausage Biscuits & Gravy’ (Bonus: The doughy biscuits are always handmade!)
- The ‘Double Stack Burger’ with two patties of USA certified Angus beef and cheddar; and
- The Caesar Salad with grilled chicken and homemade Caesar dressing.
Other favorites offered at The Lobby Bar include fresh croissant breakfast sandwiches, the ‘Turkey Ranch Club Wrap,’ ‘Cheesy Fries’, and the ‘Loto Grilled Chicken Sandwich’.
The Lobby Bar opens at 7am daily and closes after the lunch hour prior to the opening of HK’s Bar & Restaurant, but hours are subject to change.
About The Lodge of Four Seasons
Location: 315 Four Seasons Drive, Lake Ozark, MO, 65049
Price per night: Starting at $109/ night
Accommodation: Main Lodge Two Beds, Main Lodge King Room, Junior Suites, Lanai Garden View Queen, Lanai Garden View King, Avila Two Bedroom Condominiums, Seasons Bay Two Double Beds, and Seasons Bay King Bed.
Parking: Free parking is available in the numerous parking lots located on-site for The Lodge guests.
Missouri Wine Country
It’s not a road trip through Missouri without a tour through America’s first designated wine region: the Missouri Wine Trail!
With 130 wineries that attract more than 875,000 wine tourists annually, Missouri’s 11 wine trails boast impressive wines and history.
On my road trip, I had a tour of four of the most well-known vineyards down Highway 94, and discovered award winning wines and gastronomy, charming gift shops, and unique galleries along the way.
A few of our Missouri winery highlights are below:
LaChance Winery at Kimmswick
Location: In the heart of charming Kimmswick, Missouri, one can find a unique and historic spot to sip unique vinos.
Situated at 6035 Second Street, the current restaurant and tasting room is known as ‘The Old House’, and for good reason.
About the Winery
LaChance Winery at Kimmswick’s dog-trot style cabin originally built in 1770, (six years before the Declaration of Independence was signed), was a frequent hang out spot for Ulysses S. Grant while he was stationed at nearby Jefferson Barracks.
The cabin features multiple sitting rooms equipped with wood burning fires and candlelit lighting to reflect its original times. Historic log beams line the walls and floors, and the large outdoor patio can seat at least 100 visitors.
22 wines are available for tastings or purchase — 10 whites, six reds and blushes, and seven California wines from Napa Valley. My favorites were the ‘A Rose is A Rose’ blush and the Port-style dessert wine.
LaChance also has their original location in DeSoto, Missouri which is a 40 minute drive away.
Location: 5601 High St, Augusta, MO 63332, Missouri Wine Trail
About the Winery
Augusta Winery sits on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River Valley in Augusta, Missouri.
Wine making runs deep in Augusta. More than 40 decades ago, the Augusta appellation was recognized as the first U.S. Wine District. This recognition is due to its unique soil, climate, historical significance, and quality of wines.
Photo by East Coast Contessa
Augusta even successfully adjusted their business model to meet consumer’s needs during the pandemic with a drive up pick up option, and continue to do socially distanced wine tastings.
While now fully operational with socially distanced tastings, visitors can also enjoy a selection of local cheese and sausage pairings on the 10-foot covered arbor.
Price: Wines are very reasonably priced between $13USD to $32USD. Their full wine list can be found here.
Location: 201 Montelle Dr, Augusta, MO 63332, Missouri Wine Trail
About the Winery
A short drive up the road from Augusta Winery, is its sister winery, Montelle. Originally founded in 1970, it was acquired in 1998 by present Augusta owner and wine maker Tony Kooyumjian.
Upon entering Montelle, the atmosphere is a special one. The wine room and spacious tasting area are front and center.
A vast outdoor deck and seating with breathtaking views of the Missouri River Valley awaits visitors just outside.
Montelle’s popular Klondike Café serves a selection of gourmet wraps, salads, sandwiches and handmade pizzas to compliment their high-quality, fragrant, balanced wines.
I ordered the below menu items:
- The ‘Famous Jumbo Pretzel’ includes assortment of cheese cubes, salami, grapes, mustard, and owls nest cheese spread; and
- The ‘Trio’ Pizza with tomato-basil sauce, mozzarella, smoked bacon, Italian sausage, prosciutto.
Currently, Montelle offers 21 varieties of wine and spirits. Moreover, it is also the first winery in Missouri with a distillery!
They produce four kinds of brandy: apple, peach, cherry and grape (my favorite was the peach!)
Price: Wines are affordable and range from $16USD to $27USD. Prices for food range from $1 for fresh baked bread to $20 for the Jumbo Pretzel Charcuterie. All pizzas cost $10.
Lake Creek Winery:
Location: 15088 Boone Monument Rd. Marthasville, MO 63357
About the Winery
Located atop the river bluffs near Marthasville, Missouri, you will find Lake Creek Winery.
Featuring breathtaking views of the Missouri countryside, live music fills the air on the regular, and amazing German food & unique wines fill rustic tables.
For instance, when I made a visit back in late February, the menu was heavy with hearty burgers, dips, and sandwiches to warm the soul. However, the menu changes seasonally.
I ordered the below:
- The ‘Spinach & Artichoke’ dip with triangles of fresh pita bread, carrot sticks, and celery; and
- The seasonal charcuterie board with prosciutto roses, jalapeño cheddar salami, dried fruit, house made pickles, and 3-year aged Gouda cheese.
The menu changes regularly, however, you can find spring menu items like the ‘Something to Soak it Up’ with homemade kettle chips with beer cheese; and ‘The 24th Flavor’ sandwich with pork shoulder slow roasted with Dr. Pepper.
Most importantly, Lake Creek has 14 different varieties of wine (7 white and 7 blush/reds).
All wines pay homage to the regions German heritage. Their Farmhouse wine blends are an easy favorite and are flavorful and easy to drink. My favorite was the ‘Farmhouse Sunset Blush’!
Price: Bottles of wine are priced between $19USD and $30USD a bottle. You can find their full wine and beverage menu here.
Plan Your Missouri Road Trip!
In conclusion, if you’re planning a trip to Missouri and have questions about my Missouri road trip itinerary ? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Wanted to learn more about Midwest travel? Check out some of my other past road trips here.
Looking to join some food and travel inspired Pinterest groups? Send me an application to join my boards here!