Explore the “Show Me State”

With the winning combination of a GMC Yukon Denali and a Sea Ray SDX 240, Missouri's bounty of lakes is fair game.

The Midwestern state of Missouri is situated within a day’s drive of about half of the U.S. population, making it incredibly accessible. It may come as a surprise to learn that it’s also home to some of the clearest and largest man-made lakes in the country, tucked away within its wide green expanses.

Living in the “Show Me State,” Missourians pride themselves on a healthy skepticism and invite all to “come and see” for themselves. But it doesn’t take more than a quick visit to observe that Missouri contains incredible waterways, all within a relatively short drive of one another. Hop into a GMC Yukon Denali with a Sea Ray SDX 240 in tow and the many hidden gems of Missouri are yours to enjoy.

Deep in the heart of the Ozarks is the meandering Lake of the Ozarks, nicknamed “The Magic Dragon.” The Lake has a surface area of 54,000 acres with 1,150 miles of shoreline and is more than 92 miles long, with a dramatic, serpentine shape. Upon arrival you’ll find wide stretches of lake with clean, clear water, nestled in among the flourishing vistas of the state park. This means, if you can peel yourself away from the water long enough, several other activities await, including hours of hiking, free wine tours and golf galore. The state park also offers nine public-access boat ramps with gas docks to launch and load up your Sea Ray for a fun-filled day on the water.

After you’ve soaked up all that Lake of the Ozarks has to offer, head 80 miles southwest and you’ll find one of the most pristine lakes in the area, Stockton Lake. This glimmering body of water has 300 miles of shoreline, making it the perfect place to drop in your Sea Ray, sit back, relax and enjoy. Cruise around Stockton Lake to find quiet coves and private pockets to drop anchor and swim awhile. Be sure to gaze in all directions; you’re likely to see a deer drinking from a nearby stream or an eagle overhead. Take several relaxing deep breaths and enjoy all the freshwater and gorgeous scenery that Stockton Lake has to offer.

Once sufficiently relaxed, hop in your GMC Yukon Denali and travel south a few hours toward Table Rock Lake. By way of Branson, Table Rock is just a short drive from a plethora of activities. Between the city’s many lively attractions and the beautiful rolling hills of Missouri, your drive will be anything but dull. Emerge from the Dogwood-lined roads onto Highway 76, a.k.a. “The Strip,” Branson’s main stretch of fun, where you’ll find everything from an eclectic array of performing groups to specialty and outlet stores to hundreds of restaurants.

Catch a show at the historic Owen theater, watch the thrilling Acrobats of China or tour the Titanic Museum (shaped like the actual boat) before escaping to the lake. Upon arrival at Table Rock, you will find several resorts and public launches ringing the 45,000 surface acres the lake has to offer, making for an easy, breezy family vacation spot. Be sure to bring your skis, tube or wakeboard along for maximum excitement on these powerboat-friendly waters.

If watersports aren’t for you, rest assured that the diverse ecosystem of Table Rock Lake offers stunning scenery and great bass and walleye fishing. Pack a map or a reliable GPS, as the twists and turns of this lake can look quite similar and indistinguishable. If you find yourself a little lost, just look for the mile markers to help determine your location on the lake. And with two MarineMax locations conveniently nearby–MarineMax Branson and MarineMax Lake Ozark—you’ve got a friendly crew of experts ready to answer any questions or help with any service needs.

Visit gmc.com for more on the sophisticated 2017 vehicle lineup.

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