My mother and I decided to go on a mother-daughter trip for a couple days to Branson, Missouri, to shop, go to a winery, see the Ozark Mountains, and maybe see a show. Some people believe that Branson is full of country shows and Silver Dollar City, at least I did, and I was surprised, and a little not-so surprised!
My one tip for everyone while planning a trip to Branson: The main road, 76 Country Blvd or “red route”, is always packed, and cars move along slowly. Take a map so you can take the different colored routes, blue and yellow, so that traveling through Branson is more enjoyable. Do keep in mind that most things are on 76 Country Blvd, but you can take yellow and blue route shortcuts so you won’t be stuck in traffic for most of your trip!
Outlet mall central! There are over 65 brand name outlets all in one outdoor area. It’s just off 76 Country Blvd. Parking is not too bad and if it’s a nice day out, you can walk to all the different shops.
There are over 100 different restaurants, shops, specialty stores, and various things to do at the Landing. People park at either end of the Landing and walk up and down the walk looking at the stores or to just take a stroll. There is a short walkway that you can take where you can walk right beside Lake Taneycomo. Some restaurants have outdoor seating so you can eat while enjoying Lake Taneycomo. Click here for hours, directory, and directions.
Big into fishing? Lake Taneycomo is known for their trout fishing, and fly fishing. Each year, the Department of Conservation releases over 750,000 rainbow trout and a smaller number of brown trout. Besides fishing, this is a great lake for boating and swimming.
Ride the Ducks
If you “Ride the Ducks” you will be entertained on a 70 minute tour which takes you around Branson in a land/water boat from World War II. This is great for people of all ages to see what Branson has to offer without having to drive. The captain of the boat mixes fun with music and history to provide you and your family to have an interactive Branson experience.
There are three different wineries in Branson. The most widely known is Stone Hill. Stone Hill Winery gives you a tour of the process of winemaking followed by wine tasting, and grape juice for the little ones. Mount Pleasant Winery is a shop that offers 5 complimentary wine tastings of your choice followed with wine shopping. Branson Ridge Winery is located on Branson Landing. There is wine tasting, and you can stay and enjoy lunch with your wine if you choose to stay after the tasting.
Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City is fun for people of all ages. They have over 30 rides and attractions, over 60 craft shops, over 40 shows held daily, with family friendly restaurants so you can enjoy your whole day at Silver Dollar City. Marvel Cave is located in Silver Dollar City which was found in 1894. For more than 50 years people have been coming to experience Marvel Cave and the tour taken with only lanterns, experiencing that cave as the first explorers explored them. There are many more caves in the Missouri/Arkansas Area, so click here for more information about different caves all across the US. If you plan on visiting Silver Dollar City, if you arrive after 3 pm March through October, the next day you may attend for free.
The shows at Branson are limitless and one of a kind. Some are offered only part of the year, so be sure to check on shows before you plan your trip if you are looking for one in particular. There are shows for people of all ages, and most are family friendly. There are places in Branson and on your way into Branson to buy the tickets at a special discount. There are also Branson tour guides that have coupons in the back of the book that can be used on certain shows.
Dick’s Oldtime 5 & 10
Dick’s Oldtime 5 & 10 has it all from embroidery to collectables, to crafts, to toys, to linens, to anything you would expect to find in a general store. They have it all! They’ve been in business for over 50 years and in 2008 they were voted Best Branson Store. The aisles are jammed pack full of different items, and you could easily spend hours in here getting lost and listening to old tunes on the jukebox.
College of the Ozarks
This is a great place to walk around and enjoy the view. Over 15,000 visitors come to the campus each year to walk around and eat at the college resturant. The Edwards Mill on campus was created in 1972. Students work at the mill, which provides them hands-on learning. The students grind the whole grains, and even blend them into various mixes and package them to sell. There are a variety of mixes that are available for purchase. Be sure to stop by Keeter Center for a map for your self-guided campus tour!
Want a way to really see the Ozarks? Branson Zipline allows people to zipline to different sky bridges while taking in the beautiful sights of the Ozark Mountains. Can’t stomach it? There is also the option to walk through the Wolfe Creek Preserve. You can still take pictures of the Ozarks while learning the legend of the Wolfe Mountain. There are different options and packages for all levels of adventures.
Table Rock Lake
Table Rock Lake is on the west side of Branson. There is so much to do on and surrounding the lake. People can go bass fishing, swim, boat, rent boats, and even scuba diving since the lake water is clear. There are some nature trails that people can enjoy alongside the lake, and Table Rock Dam offers tours for those who want to learn the history and how the dam works.