The beauty of the outdoors makes this Midwest family resort an ideal getaway for any time of year.

I’m in southwest Missouri in the middle of 3,000 acres of Ozark Mountain country. All I see are trees and sky. And then suddenly, through a clearing in the trees, there it is: an oasis of rustic elegance and breathtaking views. Otherwise known as Big Cedar Lodge, this 800-acre resort embodies unspoiled nature down to its core. It’s not long before I am relishing my luxurious nature retreat, complete with spacious lakeside cabin, views of Table Rock Lake, a world-class massage, and wildlife tram tour at nearby Dogwood Canyon Adventure Park, to name a few.

Although Big Cedar Lodge boasts a vast property, I find that its close attention to detail sets it apart. That attention is carried through every aspect of the resort, including prompt shuttle service to and from my private cabin and the intricate decor on every inch of the property. I even enjoyed champagne and hors d’oeuvres aboard a beautiful brand-new 62-foot yacht, which guests can reserve.

So if you find yourself in southwest Missouri surrounded by trees and sky, head on over to this Ozark gem, which goes unmatched when it comes to the great outdoors. Take it from me — you’ll have no choice but to slow down and smell the cedar.