If you are on Facebook, then you are probably familiar with the following type of plea:
"Just finished watching (insert TV show here) and now I need a new one to binge watch! Any recommendations?"
One of the most popular titles to turn up on those threads these days is Ozark, a Netflix series starring Jason Bateman as an accountant turned drug money-launderer who relocates from Chicago to the Lake of the Ozarks.
While the drama has introduced Missouri's magnificent lake to the wider world; It turns out the show wasn't even filmed there.
Minus a few fleeting scenes, hardly anything was shot in in the Show-Me State. Georgia's Lake Allatoona stood in for the Lake of the Ozarks during filming. (General consensus is that Georgia's generous tax incentives lured the production south.)
This may leave fans of the show wondering which state they should visit to get the proper Ozark experience.
The answer? Both. There are plenty of spots in each locale where you can follow in the footsteps of the Byrdes, Langmores and Snells.
The Blue Cat Lodge(Canton, Georgia)
The good news is there really is a Blue Cat Lodge. The bad news is it was only created for the show and isn't technically open to the public.
The film crew commandeered a shuttered bar & grill on Lake Allatoona and turned it into the Blue Cat Lodge. Fans can still admire the Blue Cat from the outside, however, and maybe even pose for a selfie in front of the bar's distinctive catfish-laden neon sign.
Be sure to check out Little River Marina across the street, as this is the dock where the Langmore men work in the show.
Alhonna Resort(Lake Ozark, Missouri)
This lakeside resort in Missouri is the real Blue Cat Lodge. The creator of Ozark, Bill Dubuque, spent his teen years working here-doing everything from laboring on the dock to barbecuing for guests-and used it as inspiration for the Blue Cat Lodge.
You'll find boat rentals, a swimming pool along with a casual bar and grill called Bobber's where-just like in the show-you're certain to see Cardinal baseball games being broadcast in the summer.
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Bagnell Dam(Lake Ozark, Missouri)
The Lake of the Ozarks is a manmade reservoir, and the mammoth concrete structure that holds the water back is the Bagnell Dam.
Driving over the Bagnell Dam is the official "I'm here!" moment of any trip, and the surrounding "strip" offers enough diversions to keep any Ozark fan busy for an hour or two.
You will find arcades (complete with claw games, feats of strength and skeeball alleys), plenty of kitschy gift shops and even oddities like a giant fiberglass statue called Chief Bagnell here.
This area is featured in an early episode when young Jonah Byrde ill-advisedly wanders off on his own.
Jones Bridge Park(Peachtree Corners, Georgia)
Inside this Georgia park, you will find the stream where FBI agent Roy Petty and Russ Langmore first strike up a friendship over fly-fishing.
It's a scenic and serene spot and if you bring your pole you can get out in the water and cast for yourself.
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Lover's Leap (Linn Creek, Missouri)
Perhaps the most iconic shot of the entire series, the Byrde's are perched on this scenic overlook gazing at the grandeur of the lake during the end of the first episode.
Long a local secret, if you head here you will get a fantastic vantage point over the Lake of the Ozarks and a small taste of what makes this place so special.
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