Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Where Is Ozark Filmed?

The popular crime drama series Ozark, which was recently renewed for a fourth and final season on Netflix, stars Jason Bateman and Laura Linney as a married couple forced to move from Chicago to Missouri to run a money laundering operation for a Mexican drug cartel. There, the Byrde family attempts to set up a new life while thwarting the FBI ... and becoming dangerously entangled with underhanded local criminals.

But it's not just the stellar cast and riveting storyline that has drawn viewers in. There's also another palpable presence: the picturesque region of America referred to as the Ozarks — because where else would a series entitled Ozark be set?

Sprawling across four states — Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and a tiny bit of Kansas — the Ozarks are comprised of two mountain ranges: the Boston Mountains in Arkansas, and the St. Francois Mountains in Missouri. Within the Missouri mountain range lies the Lake of the Ozarks, a 14,000-square-mile reservoir. One of the areas on the lake is scenic Osage Beach, which is where the Byrde family sets up camp.

But despite all the attention to detail, Ozark isn't shot in the Ozarks. So, where exactly is it filmed?

Ozark really films in the state of Georgia

While Ozark is set in the Midwestern Ozarks, the hit show actually films in Georgia — mainly in and around Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier, both of which are about an hour outside of Atlanta. This is most likely due to extensive tax breaks in the Southern state, where the dark drama recreated Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks with the help of the local bodies of water and a sound stage at Eagle Rock Studios, the largest stage complex under one roof in the United States.

Ozark is set at a modest waterfront resort on Osage Beach that was inspired by Missouri's Alhonna Resort and Marina, where series creator Bill Dubuque worked as a dock-hand as a young man in the 1980s. The film crew studied the tourist spot and then recreated it on various sets in Georgia. One of those locations is on Lake Lanier, where shots of the Byrdes' house take place in Van Pugh North Park, a campground and recreation area on the south side of the lake.

Ozark star Bateman, who also has a hand in producing and directing the series, told Condé Nast Traveller that the Georgia region offers "some really great color and grit to the aesthetic that's perfect."

Several of the Ozark sites are real places you can visit

On the first season of Ozark, Marty Byrde (Bateman) must find an establishment to run as a front for his drug operation. Enter the Blue Cat Lodge, the rundown diner Marty fixes up so he can more easily launder money. The Blue Cat was created at the location of a shutdown restaurant, the Little River Grill, and is now an actual functioning eatery called JD's on the Lake, overlooking Lake Allatoona outside of Atlanta. It even kept the original Blue Cat signage leftover from filming.

Another recognizable spot on the show is the Silver Skillet, the vintage diner where FBI agent Roy Petty (Jason Butler Harner) stops for a bite on season 1. Located in Atlanta near the Georgia Tech campus, the nostalgic eatery has been in business for over 50 years and is no stranger to the silver screen. The greasy spoon has also made appearances in The Founder, Remember the Titans, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Then there's Château Élan Winery and Resort, best known to Ozark fans as Mexican drug lord Del's (Esai Morales) impressive home. A 45-minute drive from Atlanta, the 3,500-acre chateau offers exquisite accommodations, a full-production winery, championship golf, and multiple fine-dining restaurants, among other amenities.

A handful of shots are actually from the Ozarks

While Ozark doesn't include any scenes filmed in the actual Ozarks, a select few scenery shots from the state of Missouri are used on the series to help establish the landmark setting.

The pilot episode of Ozark features exterior shots of the city of Lake Ozark in Missouri, including the "Welcome to Lake of the Ozarks" sign and the giant Injun Joe Muffler Man statue. The show also sets the local scene with the Byrde family's first sight of the lake at Lover's Leap Bluff, a scenic viewpoint on the west side of Lake of the Ozarks, and the Bagnell Dam, the impressive barrier constructed in 1929 to create the lake.

But beyond that — and the aforementioned inspiration taken from the real-life Alhonna Resort and Marina in Lake Ozark, Missouri — everything else is filmed elsewhere. Still, that doesn't take away from the suspenseful nature of the show, whose fourth and final season — which doesn't have a release date yet — will be split into two parts so that viewers can discover what ultimately happens to the Byrde family.