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Missouri resort offers nature, adventure and more

Stonewater Cove capitalizes on natural beauty, massage, fine dining and excursions.
by Paula Burkes Published: June 30, 2013

The rooms feature master baths complete with rainfall showers, Jacuzzi tubs, refrigerators, safes and free Wi-Fi for laptops.

Don't expect to receive or place many cell calls though. This is a true getaway. My friend who went with me only received wireless reception at the far edge of the pool patio.

That suited four families, 13 people in total, who gathered there for a family reunion over that same weekend just fine. They were happy to just enjoy each other — whether it was taking breakfast together on the outside upstairs patio or playing checkers and strumming guitars in the fireplaced, leather-couched bar downstairs.

Four other guests brought their own boat and, for a fee, parked it in the resort's private boat dock.

For me, the best, though simple, pleasures of the weekend undoubtedly were the marvelous views from the lodge, which faces directly west — whether it was while sipping wine while rocking in a handmade swing and listening to the passing rain shower or lunching and dining (try the fish tacos, and salmon and risotto made with morel mushrooms picked on the property) while watching the fog lift off the lake or the orangy, pinkish-purple sunset.

Aside from no bathing suits, the dining room dress code is casual.

“Our intent,” Jim Bond told me, “is to feel like you're staying at your own home, only people are taking care of you.”

Mission accomplished.

Getting there

Located in Shell Knob, Mo., Stonewater Cove ( is about a five-hour drive from Oklahoma City. Take the Tulsa Turnpike and Will Rogers Turnpike, which becomes Interstate-44 East crossing into Missouri. From Exit 46, it's roughly 50 miles to the resort. You'll head southeast on two-lane, rolling MO Highway 39 through the towns of Aurora and Shell Knob, and travel the last 12 miles on the rural, winding Stallion Bluff Road. Plan to arrive before nightfall, so you can see where you're going.

by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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