Table Rock Lake, Missouri

Our First, and Definitely Not Last, Trip to Table Rock Lake


My first visit to Table Rock Lake surprised me in a good way. My son and I discovered that you will definitely run out of time before you run out of fun during a visit.

Our trip started off with a relaxing hike in Table Rock State Park. There is a scenic paved trail with great views of the water along the way that’s perfect for biking or pushing a stroller. There is a visitor center where you can learn additional information about the surrounding Table Rock Lake area and the park itself. It was a nice way to ease into our adventures for the rest of the weekend after a long day of travel.

My son and I both LOVE roller coasters, so we were beyond excited to get to Silver Dollar City Theme Park. My favorite ride of the day "Time Traveler," is the World's Fastest, Steepest & Tallest Spinning Coaster. You are rotating in a circle while riding the track that includes three inversions and a 95-ft tall vertical loop. I’ve never ridden anything like it. 

My son's favorite of the day was “Outlaw Run” which was a close second for me. It's known as the World's Most Daring Wood Coaster featuring a 162-ft initial drop, three twists upside down, and a top speed of 68 miles per hour. The upside down twists are what really made an impression on us.

Even if you are not a big fan of thrill rides you will still find plenty to do at the amusement park. If you are from out of state like we were, you may not have realized that Silver Dollar City was originally built to entertain guests who were waiting to tour the Marvel Cave that sits below the park.

The cave is the largest in the state of Missouri and it's definitely worth checking out. We were warned that the tours at the end of the day fill up quickly with folks looking to cap off their Silver Dollar visit; so I would recommend either taking the first tour of the day or paying a little extra to guarantee your space on one of the later tours of the day.

All of the rides and attractions are fantastic, but it was Silver Dollar City’s food that truly set it apart for me! There are so many incredible options for dining throughout the park. I highly recommend sharing the freshly-baked cinnamon bread, an entree from one of the skillet restaurants, and the fry bread with sweet or savory options. You will get your steps in which will make you feel better about those extra treats. You can actually bring food into the park in a cooler, which is another great cost saver for families.

Silver Dollar City also has a very tight theme throughout the park with every detail down to specifically themed costumes for the attendants at each ride. There is an app to use to help you navigate the park and check wait times to make the best use of your time.

We arrived before the park open and left after it closed and we still would have loved to have stayed longer because we had so much fun. Non-riders will love the live shows and all of the artisan shops with working demos scheduled throughout the day.

On our last day, we explored the Table Rock Lake area in extremes. With vantage points from far below the earth at Talking Rocks Caverns to high above the rolling hills at Shepherd of the Hills.

At Talking Rocks Caverns we took the 50 minute guided cave tour. What I liked about the tour is that you can see interesting formations right away.

Our guide, Kendrick shared about the cave's history before we entered and then continued to share interesting stories along the way as we traveled 150 steps down and 115 steps back up weaving through and around beautiful formations with the security of a handrail. He had a lot of knowledge and allowed time for questions and photo ops along the way.

The property has several things to do if you arrive during a time that a tour has already started. There is a playground, mini-golf, gift shop, hiking trails, you can pan for gems, relax at the shaded picnic tables, and test your skills in tight spaces trying the indoor and outdoor SpeleoBox crawl mazes.

For an incredible 360 degree view of the area, a visit to Shepherd of the Hills is a must! The park is known for their live dramas but we were there to experience their adventure park because we are all about adventure! You can get your scenic views from the top of Inspiration Tower but if you love a thrill, why not zipline off the tower instead?

We started with a ride on the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider. This isn’t your summer camp zipline. So be ready!

It's the highest zipline in Missouri and it launches you from 170 feet in the air, and over the half mile length you’ll reach speeds up to 50mph! Four riders can go at once, making it a great choice for families. While my son could have cared less, I loved that you ride the zipline in a secure seat and not an uncomfortable harness. You get to feel safe, secure AND comfortable, so you get to fully enjoy the ride without fear or discomfort.

The park offers zipline canopy tours, ATV adventures and a ropes course too. We managed to squeeze in some time on the ropes course, but we still had a flight to catch or we would have loved to stay longer. I love ropes courses because they are a great confidence builder for all ages. If you are a parent I HIGHLY encourage you to try this adventure WITH your kids. They need to see you tackle and overcome challenges and try new experiences too. Your time on the course will fly by because you are having so much fun with the safety and security of the harness to catch you if you make a misstep.

You can choose your own adventure and the degree of difficulty of the challenge on the two leveled course that has a zipline on each level. The adventure park didn't leave out the little ones because there is a Little Tykes course for anyone under 48 inches.

Our visit to Table Rock Lake was a full-throttle adventure! Our only regret was not giving ourselves more time to explore the whole area. Driving through the beautiful hills, we spotted countless other family friendly attractions, shows and outdoor adventures!

We will definitely be back. How could we not? There’s so much more to do!

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