Big Cedar Lodge, A Rustic Retreat in Ridgedale, Missouri

Lost Canyon Nature Trail

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A Romantic and Rustic Getaway at Big Cedar Lodge

Being tucked away minutes from Branson, Big Cedar Lodge is in a terrific location! There is always plenty to do at this resort to keep everyone entertained. But it is also the perfect location for a romantic getaway or retreat with friends or family.

Other than the fact that Ridgedale is roughly 20-30 minutes from Branson, Big Cedar Lodge has many other draws to help you consider their resort. For example, they have a complimentary tram service that will take you anywhere on the resort without you having to drive.

They also have 8+ restaurants on-site, two golf courses, a luxurious spa, a boat marina where you can rent pontoons/boats and other complimentary water sports, nature trails, and much more! So let’s see why Big Cedar Lodge is one of the ultimate rustic retreats.

Booking A Room At Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar Lodge offers a variety of rooms at all different price ranges. We typically have stayed at the Wilderness Club timeshare properties. FYI: We do not own a timeshare but have rented them from others who do. We have never been pressured into buying a timeshare when renting them directly from the owner.

Travel TipWe recommend looking into Wilderness Club rooms for Big Cedar Lodge on eBay as many owners put them on there for lower fees during the weekdays.

Things to Do at Big Cedar Lodge

Cedar Creek Spa at Big Cedar Lodge

A new addition to Big Cedar Lodge is the Cedar Creek Spa. After our one-hour Swedish couples massage, we both agreed that this was the ultimate romantic getaway spot at Big Cedar Lodge.

When you step inside Cedar Creek Spa you’ll find an inviting walkway and lounge area that will instantly make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a wooded forest with beautiful birch trees.

Entryway and exit of the Cedar Creek Spa at Big Cedar Lodge
Entryway and exit of the Cedar Creek Spa at Big Cedar Lodge

Upon checking in to your spa appointment you will be shown to either the women’s or men’s retreat area where staff will give you a tour of the facilities. You will be given a personal locker with sandals and a robe to wear during your visit.

After changing for your appointment you will be shown to a tranquil relaxation area. There you can sip on some water, have a light snack, and sit by a cozy fireplace. You will then be greeted shortly and taken to your service.

After your service, you can utilize the co-gender grotto pool, sauna, steam room, or relax in a more private gender-specific pool. After enjoying a morning or afternoon of relaxation, you then can easily begin your day using the open-air showers and complimentary toiletries provided by the spa including lotion, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razors, hairspray, and more.

Top of the Rock at Big Cedar Lodge

Lost Canyon Nature Trail
Lost Canyon Nature Trail

Another newer spot to visit at Big Cedar Lodge is Top of the Rock. One of our favorite spots on Top of the Rock is the Lost Canyon Nature Trail & Cave Tour. This tour will take you on a winding path of nature, water features, and a hidden cave. We’ve done this excursion in both spring and fall and found that the fall foliage is absolutely beautiful, so if you happen to be visiting Big Cedar Lodge during autumn, don’t miss this!

While you’re at the Top of the Rock you’ll also need to check out the golf course and the driving range. Although neither of us is phenomenal at golf, we really enjoyed hitting some golf balls at the driving range of this signature Par 3 course. Honestly, we might have even pretended we were at the Masters for a moment. 😉

After playing a round of golf you can relax and dine at one of three restaurants at Top of the Rock (more on these in a moment!) or you could grab a drink at the End of the Trail All-American Wine Cellar – stay until sunset, the views are worth it!

A glass of white wine at the Buffalo Bar at Big Cedar Lodge
Buffalo Bar
A Native American statue at Big Cedar Lodge
End of the Trail All-American Wine Cellar

Big Cedar Lodge Main Area

In the main area of Big Cedar Lodge, you can shop at the gift store, grab a coffee at the Truman Coffee Shop, or dine at the Buzzard Bar which also has terrific live entertainment nightly. But before we cover the restaurants at Big Cedar Lodge, let’s talk about the activities!

Spring at Big Cedar Lodge
Spring at Big Cedar Lodge.

Table Rock Lake

Big Cedar Lodge is located on Table Rock Lake so of course, they have a marina where you can rent boats for a nominal fee or use one of their complimentary kayaks, paddleboards, or paddleboats. There is also a sandy beach area where you can lounge by the water.

A wooden boat docked on water at Big Cedar Lodge
We enjoyed going out on this 1930’s replica Chris Craft

One of our favorite activities at Big Cedar Lodge was renting a 1930’s Chris Craft replica to cruise on Table Rock Lake! Although you cannot drive this boat yourself (it’s a classic after all) you still get plenty of time to enjoy a ride on the lake taking you from Missouri to Arkansas.

Crusin’ on Goin’ Jesse

If you’d prefer to drive a boat or pontoon yourself, that is available too! Just make sure you book your time and date in advance to ensure availability.

Restaurants at Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar Restaurants

Buzzard Bar

Buzzard Bar is located below Devil’s Pool and is a bit more casual atmosphere. Each evening from 8:30 PM – 11:30 PM there is live entertainment.

  • Sunday | 10:00 AM – Midnight
  • Monday – Saturday | 11:00 AM – Midnight
  • No reservations accepted, seating is first come first serve.

Devil’s Pool

Devil’s Pool Restaurant offers Southern-style cooking surrounded by rustic, cozy decor. It’s one of our favorites for larger family gatherings because they do accept reservations!

  • Daily Breakfast | 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Lunch | 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Dinner | 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM
  • Daily Early Bird Sunset Dinner | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Sunday Brunch | 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Truman Cafe

In a 1920s Tudor-style home is the Truman Cafe. It is our go-to spot for a coffee or quick breakfast or lunch at Big Cedar Lodge.

  • Daily | 6:30 AM – 5:00 PM

The Worman House

The Worman House is only available for private functions but I thought it was worth mentioning because a number of weddings and events are hosted by Big Cedar Lodge each year.

  • Only available for private functions, to make a reservation contact the Big Cedar Conference Services Team at (800) 225-6343.

Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill

Uncle Buck’s Fish Bowl & Grill is located inside Fun Mountain and has classic favorites like pizza, burgers, and sandwiches.

  • Sunday – Thursday | 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday & Saturday | 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Top of the Rock Restaurants

Buffalo Bar

Buffalo Bar is probably my favorite restaurant at Big Cedar Lodge because of the menu options and the ambiance. It has the best sunset view too!

  • Daily | 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM

End of the Trail

End of the Trail offers high-end wines by the glass, whiskey, and cigar humidor.

  • Daily | 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Arnie’s Barn

Arnie’s Barn was originally a barn in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the hometown of Arnold Palmer but was moved to Big Cedar Lodge and filled with golf memorabilia. It is located right by the driving range and has contemporary Mexican cuisine.

  • Daily | 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Osage Restaurant

If you’re looking for a romantic restaurant at Big Cedar Lodge, Osage Restaurant takes the cake. It has stunning views of the Ozark Mountains and a fabulous menu and wine selection. They also have a great Sunday brunch!

  • Early Bird Sunset Dinner: Monday – Saturday | 4:00 PM- 5:00 PM
  • Daily Dinner Service | 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday Brunch | 9:30 AM – 2:00 PM

Dogwood Canyon

Dogwood Canyon
Dogwood Canyon

If you are into visiting the great outdoors another place to visit is nearby Dogwood Canyon, a 10,000-acre nature preserve that is open for hiking, fishing, biking, tram tours and more.

Waterfalls at Dogwood Canyon
Waterfalls at Dogwood Canyon.

Some recommended activities at Dogwood Canyon:

  • Stables: there are a variety of different options when it comes to horseback riding. They offer romantic carriage rides ($25 per person) and trail rides (price depending on the length of time).
  • Trout Fishing: Dogwood Canyon offered self-guided fishing for a $20-25 (adult price) depending on if you catch and release or catch and keep. They also offer guided fishing tours for 4 hours at $250 (only eligible for catch and release).
Close encounter with elk during our guided tram tour stop at Dogwood Canyon
Close encounter with elk during our guided tram tour stop
  • Guided Tram Tours: We typically enjoy doing our own tour and exploring on our own but this was one that we were glad we took. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the history of this preserved nature park. He also allowed us to stop and get off the tram on multiple occasions in order to explore our surroundings. You can see in the photos below the magnificent beauty of this park. We were even able to get up close and personal with bison, elk, and some truly amazing natural springs and water features.

Big Cedar Lodge and Dogwood Canyon will always hold a special place in our hearts and we try to get there as often as we can! Have you been to Big Cedar Lodge?

Plan your visit to the rustic, romantic and family-friendly Big Cedar Lodge, Dogwood Canyon, and more!


  • Reply
    Branson, Missouri – Pages of Travel
    April 6, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    […] –Big Cedar Lodge: This is by far our favorite place to stay while in the Branson area due to the location and amenities it has to offer. Big Cedar has a wide variety of accommodations and we have yet to stay in all of them. In order to be cost effective we have often staying in the Big Cedar Wilderness Club. These are timeshare properties but let us be clear, we do not own one. We often find deals on eBay from people renting out their property. To learn more about Big Cedar check out our post here. […]

  • Reply
    October 30, 2016 at 9:00 PM

    Wow I love your pictures! That Cedar Creek Spa looks amazing!

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 4:54 PM

      Thank you so much! It was really nice to relax at. 🙂

  • Reply
    Paula - Gone with the Wine
    October 30, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    Wow! Looks so nice and inviting. I never knew Missouri would look like something like this. I especially like the corridor with trees. Reminds me of my home country Finland.

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 4:48 PM

      Paula, I never knew that Missouri could be so beautiful either. This resort area in the Ozark Mountains definitely goes above and beyond in details and small touches. I also love the corridor of trees leading into the spa! I hope to visit Finland someday so I can see what you mean. 🙂

  • Reply
    Galia Vu
    October 30, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    Fantastic! Your gallery about Ridgedale, Missouri really really wonderful. I like the way you show the landscape at Missouri. Thanks

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 4:44 PM

      Thank you Galia. Missouri can be an overlooked state. I know that I never thought of Missouri as “beautiful” until I moved here a few years ago. Makes me realize that beauty is everywhere when you are looking!

  • Reply
    October 31, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    Big Cedar Lodge is a dreamworld…what a place to escape to, for a few days! Beautiful collection of nature pictures, and the lodge…wow!

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 4:43 PM

      Glad you felt the same! It’s hard to capture such beauty sometimes. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the midwest.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 31, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Beautiful pictures! And that spa is set in such a stunning place – very inviting (I could definitely see myself there right now)!

    • Reply
      October 31, 2016 at 4:42 PM

      Thank you Lydia! The spa was so relaxing I spent quite a few hours lounging there!

  • Reply
    October 31, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    Wow, this really looks like an incredible place. At one moment, it might seen as though you are in the Scottish Highlands whilst a little later in Pre-colonial America and the next, you might feel you’re in Monte Carlo or some other high brow location. The spa looked exquisite and while I’m not a golfer, the golf course looked pretty damned cool. Looked like it was a sensational trip and thanks for sharing

    • Reply
      November 2, 2016 at 7:14 PM

      Gareth, I’ve been hearing that this looks similar to the Scottish Highlands lately so it sounds like I need to head there to check it out for myself. It is a very unique place to visit, especially being in a Midwestern state that is typically so flat and lacking in luster (sorry Missouri!). Thanks so much for reading. 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    November 1, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    Love your pictures and tips. And yes, agree with you. We also mostly plan our own trips but sometimes, taking a guided tour proves to be best!

    • Reply
      November 2, 2016 at 7:15 PM

      Thanks so much! Yes, the Guided Tram Tour is one that I definitely was glad we did. It was very informative and fun! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 2, 2016 at 6:55 AM

    This place looks so majestic. What massage therapy did you guys try out?? What all did you guys eat??

    • Reply
      November 2, 2016 at 7:18 PM

      It was a beautiful and relaxing area for sure. We did each did a 60 minute Swedish massage and it was GLORIOUS. As for food, Big Cedar Lodge has many terrific restaurants on site that serve a variety of cuisines. I highly recommend taking a look. Here is their website:

      My personal favorite is the Buzzard Bar or the Osage for a fancier dinner. 🙂

  • Reply
    Vanessa and Steve
    November 3, 2016 at 3:56 AM

    Gorgeous! Ridgedale is so gorgeous. We never knew Missouri had that kind of natural beauty. Thanks for sharing this jewel and the tips about renting on eBay.

    • Reply
      November 3, 2016 at 7:08 PM

      It’s hard to believe isn’t it? Thank you so much Vanessa and Steve.

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