With a location adjacent to three major lakes, forty-nine theaters with live daily shows and a setting in the Ozark Mountains Branson, Missouri offers attractions for every age. Ranked among the top ten vacation places in the nation, Branson draws crowds year-round but summer remains the most popular season.
Visitors to Branson can be overwhelmed with recreation options and entertainment choices. Make the most of any visit with the following baker’s dozen (thirteen) choices.
Silver Dollar City is one of the region’s oldest draws. The frontier theme amusement parks offers state-of-the-art rides that include the new roller coaster Powder Keg. This coaster goes from zero to sixty miles per hour in second. Built like a pioneer settlement, Silver Dollar City also offers a chance to view native arts and crafts. Tamer rides that include a vintage steam train, water rides, and Shoot Out In The Lost Mine are also available. Admission includes a tour of Marvel Cave, the original attraction at this site. Many live shows that range from the Purina Dog Challenge to old-fashioned country music are part of daily fare. Food is available – everything from a sit-down meal of catfish or fried chicken to quick burgers on the go.
Celebration City is Branson’s newest theme park. Owned by the same family, who has operated Silver Dollar City for more than forty years, Celebration City celebrates Americana. Route 66, a boardwalk, traditional rides such as Ferris Wheels and bumper cars are all part of the Main Street ambiance. A magnificent fireworks display closes the park each evening.
For land-locked Midwesterner’s, the White Water park is a beach within reach. Pools, kiddie areas, a lazy river, water slides and more keep guests wet on the hottest summer day.
History comes alive at the Shepherd of the Hills homestead. This attraction is on the site where best selling author Harold Bell Wright penned the classic novel the park is named after. Original log cabins are part of the tour and a nightly play based on the book is performed in season. Other attractions include the million dollar Inspiration Tower with a bird’s eye view of the region, horseback riding, craft shops, a smithy, and more.
Movie buffs will delight in the Hollywood Wax Museum. Two floors are filled with almost two hundred life size figures of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Stars depicted range from early movie stars to today’s top names.
Visitors with a more serious mindset will find the American Presidential Museum of interest. The nation’s democratic process is detailed in exhibits and memorabilia from most of the major presidents is on display.
The truth will be tested at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. This unusual attraction is housed in a building that appears to be cracked and contains more than 400 fascinating exhibits. Oddities from around the globe are included along with plenty of fun that features some optical illusions.
Everyone is a child at heart and will be thrilled with the displays at the World’s Largest Toy Museum. Toys are on display from the 1800’s to the present day. Guests of every age will find the toys they once owned or the toys they wished for here. Special displays include the Three Stooges Scooter and some items that once belonged to Harold Bell Wright of “Shepherd of the Hills” fame.
Dazzling displays of water and light can be found at the Waltzing Waters Show. 40,000 gallons of dancing waterfalls, rainbows, and liquid fireworks combine with music every hour on the hour at Frederick’s year round. It’s a unique must-see when in Branson.
Visitors who would rather relax on open water can take a cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle. Meals and entertainment are part of the package on the Belle that travels Table Rock Lake.
See all the sights aboard Ride The Ducks. This attraction combines an intense tour of the area utilizing World War II amphibious vehicles. The tour begins with a ride that takes visitors past local hot spots and to the top of the highest mountain. It ends with a splash down into the waters of the lake and a ride over water.
Dinner at the Dixie Stampede should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list in Branson. Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede is unique. The evening includes a four-course feast served in stadium style seating with a fantastic show that includes 32 horses, ostrich races, Southern showmanship, and the original Stampede of the Buffaloes. It’s a show, rodeo, family reunion, and fine dining in one package.
For details on any Branson attraction, contact the Branson Area Chamber of Commerce – www.bransonchamber.com. Most attractions also offer individual websites.