By: Michael Ayo
Fall and winter are absolutely beautiful in Branson. Between the fall colors and the Christmas lights, your senses will be overwhelmed with beauty as you drive through town. Whether you are planning a vacation in November or December, there are a number of fantastic activities and festivities to experience. So much so that it is hard to narrow it down, but Choose Branson did its best.
10. Adoration Parade, Dec. 4
The 68th annual Adoration Parade will take place through downtown Branson on Sunday, Dec. 4. It starts with the annual lighting of the area’s largest nativity scene then the parade follows through town. On this night of celebration, no organization is highlighted and nothing is promoted, it’s just some good, old-fashioned Christmas festivities.
9. Lazy Magnolia Carriage Company
There is no shortage of Christmas lights throughout the city of Branson, and there is no better way to view them than from a horse-drawn carriage. The Lazy Magnolia Carriage Company operates out of downtown Branson and gives you a beautiful and elegant carriage ride through town, making it a great activity for the holiday season.
8. Branson Landing
The Branson Landing is absolutely stunning during the holiday season. Festive decorations line the boardwalk and a 50-foot Christmas tree stands tall in the Landing’s town square. When you make a trip to the Landing, you can take in the beauty of Lake Taneycomo, view the holiday decorations and visit Santa Claus at Bass Pro Shops.
7. Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights and Village
This festive village is located off Buena Vista Road in Branson, and features 200 displays and over 1 million Christmas lights. Paired with the light displays are holiday-themed crafts available for purchase along with homemade fudge, kettle corn, hot chocolate and s’mores. Once you have seen the lights and sampled the holiday snacks, view the life-size nativity scene and be sure to take the kids to go see Santa.
6. Holiday Shopping
Branson is a shopping haven, and it is made even better during the holiday season. Malls such as the Branson Landing and Tanger Outlets have impeccable deals during the holidays, or if you want something directly catered toward Christmas, check out Kringles Christmas Store at the Grand Village Shops. Kringles is the largest Christmas store in the state of Missouri, and features an incredible collection of Christmas decorations including 125 designer-decorated themed trees.
5. Shepherd of the Hills
The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead turns into a Christmas wonderland during the holiday season. Instead of the usual “Roundup on the Trail” show, the “Christmas on the Trail” show plays for eager visitors. While you listen to classic holiday music, you will enjoy a chuckwagon dinner like no other complete with maple-smoked turkey breast, a whole-flame roasted ear of corn, cornbread and Dutch-oven cobbler. Once you have seen the show, be sure to visit the Trail of Lights that features two and a half miles of animated displays, three-dimensional characters and multi-colored lights.
4. Polar Express
Throughout the months of November and December, the Branson Scenic Railway transforms into the Polar Express. This holiday-themed train ride takes you on a magical trip through the Ozarks while supplying you with hot cocoa and freshly baked cookies.
3. Veterans Homecoming Week
One holiday that may not be as important as Christmas to most is an incredibly big deal in Branson. Veterans Day is widely celebrated throughout the Ozarks and there is a whole week of events dedicated to it. Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Weekkicks off on Nov. 5 and lasts through Nov. 11. Events include special performances from “Baldknobbers Jamboree,” “Golden Sounds of the Platters” and more. There will also be special ceremonies and activities for veterans in attendance. The week will conclude with the 83rd annual Veterans Day Parade through downtown Branson.
2. Holiday Shows
There are several shows throughout November and December that put on special performances for the holidays. “It” at the Hughes Brothers Theatre puts on a special show for Thanksgiving along with a wonderful Christmas show. Other shows such as Shoji Tabuchi, “Haygoods” and “Dixie Stampede” provide a completely different performance during the holiday season.
1. An Old Time Christmas Festival at Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City’s “An Old Time Christmas” has been recognized by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America, AOL Travel, Yahoo! Travel and MSN.com as a top holiday celebration in America. This festival includes 5 million lights, 1,000 decorated trees and a five-story special effects Christmas tree. There are also wonderful Christmas shows inside the park such as “The Living Nativity,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol” and the Frisco Sing-Along Steam Train. Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade marches through the streets twice each evening as well.
Article courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.
By: Michael Ayo
Summer in Branson has officially ended and the colors and flavors of fall are starting to take over. Pumpkin-spiced everything has hit store shelves and cold fronts are starting to appear on weather forecasts. It’s always exciting when seasons change, and the best way to celebrate is to try a few activities that are different than what you have normally been doing. Get in the seasonal spirit by trying out some of the following festivities during fall in the Ozarks.
Some of the best fall activities are the ones you couldn’t do in summer because it was too hot. One in particular would be taking a stroll on your favorite Branson hiking trail. There are plenty of places to go hiking around town, from small waterfall trails to large state parks with miles and miles of scenery. Dogwood Canyon is always a favorite among visitors to the Branson area. With its six and a half mile trail, combined with the beautiful wildlife and entertaining amenities, hiking here should be at the top of anyone’s fall to-do list. If you want to hike inside the Branson city limits, check out trails at the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area or the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area.
Sycamore Creek Family Ranch
If your fall vacation to Branson takes place during the month of October, be sure to take a trip out to the Sycamore Creek Family Ranch for their Fall Roundup at the Ranch. This festival takes place each Sunday during the month of October from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free and there will be plenty to see and do such as family games, a gunny sack slide, farm animals and a hay bale fort. For purchase, you can pick your own pumpkin, take a ride in a tethered hot air balloon and go on a hay ride. There will also be bonfires, s’mores, concessions and fall décor to shop through.
McKenna Family Farm
You wouldn’t fully be engulfed in the fall spirit if you didn’t visit the McKenna Family Farm to see a fall harvest up close and personal. However, there is so much more than just pumpkins, tomatoes and cucumbers to sift through here. For a small admission fee you can visit the McKenna Family Farm that is basically a fall-themed amusement park. There are pumpkin patches, hay mazes, bounce houses, baby farm animals, a tricycle race track, hay rides and so much more. If you’re not interested in the attractions, there is also produce, pumpkins, baked goods and fall decorations available for purchase.
There is much to celebrate during the fall season, and that is especially the case for Halloween. There are plenty of things going on during this spooky time of year and it’s highly recommended to experience as much of it as possible. If you’re vacationing to Branson at the end of October, but still want to take the kids trick-or-treating, try making your way to either the Branson Landing or Tanger Outlets. The Landing will be hosting their 10th annual Safe Street Trick or Treat where kids 12 and under can safely stroll down the waterfront boardwalk in costume while interacting with businesses giving out candy. There will also be a Monster Mash Street Dance beginning at 6:30 p.m. that day.
Similar to the Landing’s event, Tanger Outlets will be hosting their Trick-or-Treat TangerStyle. Select Tanger stores will be passing out candy to children 12 and under dressed in costumes from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. For adults, TangerStyle coupons will be given out so they can shop after the Halloween festivities have concluded.
Keeping with the Halloween spirit, one fascinating activity to try out this fall is the Paintball Zombie Hunt. Located at the Branson Cedars Resort in Ridgedale, this interactive and slightly spooky attraction allows you to hunt the undead with a paintball gun mounted on a customized zombie assault vehicle. No protection or eyewear is necessary, and you won’t be getting shot back at. All you do is sit down in the vehicle and shoot some zombies with their “flesh eating” paintballs. Branson Cedars Resort hosts this event each weekend in October from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and the cost is $22 for ages 13 and up and $18 for kids 12 and under.
One other fall activity you can’t try anywhere else but Branson is seeing all the fall-themed and customized shows. TheHughes Brothers Theatre and their “It Show” have shows that cater toward Halloween and Thanksgiving during the fall season. Taking place on Oct. 22 and 26 and Nov. 23 and 24, the Hughes brothers will give Branson visitors incredible shows customized to the holidays. Their “Howling Fun Show” will give attendees a $5 discount if they wear a costume to the show and prizes will be given out for the best costumes. Bags of treats will be given out as well. For the “We’re Thankful for You Show,” the cast will put on a special 10 a.m. show that combines a Thanksgiving theme with their popular Christmas show.
Veterans Day Festivities
Veterans Day is one of the most celebrated holidays in Branson. A great number of visitors come from all over the country to get together and honor those who have served in the armed forces. From Nov. 5 through 11, various events will be held to celebrate veterans and all their sacrifices made in the past. Those events include special shows from the “Baldknobbers Jamboree,” “Golden Sounds of the Platters” and so much more. The events will conclude at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 with the 83rd annual Veterans Day Parade through downtown Branson. If you are a military veteran or just someone wanting to show appreciation, the beginning of November is a great time to check out what’s happening around the Ozarks.
There is so much to do from September through November in Branson, and the beautiful fall foliage can be seen everywhere around the Ozarks. Those two reasons make fall the perfect time of year to take a Branson vacation. No matter what you decide to do, there is always plenty of fun to be had and memories to be made.
Article courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.
By: Michael Ayo
Fall is fast approaching, and with it comes the changing of colors and temperatures. The heat of summer makes it hard to spend hours outdoors exploring the wilderness. However, the cooling temperatures of fall make it the perfect time to do just that. When the weather starts to cool off, know where in Branson you can find hiking trails to fully take advantage of the crisp temperatures.
There are several parks and areas located throughout the Ozarks that feature some of the best hiking trails in Southwest Missouri. With the large amount of parks, trails and nature areas around town, it’s almost impossible to name them all. There are some, however, that are more popular than the others.
Perhaps the most popular area to hike is also the one with the most activities to try out as well. Dogwood Canyon is located just southwest of Branson in Lampe, MO. This park covers 10,000 acres of Ozark landscape and features a six and a half mile trail that winds past waterfalls, limestone bluffs and spectacular wildlife. If you want to get the experience of hiking without walking all that distance, biking, horse rides, Segways, and tram and jeep tours are available at Dogwood Canyon as well. There are also a number of different spots to fish along with an education center and restaurant onsite.
Branson’s most rigorous hike resides inside the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area. This area’s hiking trail is over four miles long, and features a set of 315 stonework steps constructed in the 1930’s. Aside from the steps, the Lakeside Forest has a number of different things to see along its hiking trail. Those who hike the entire trail will see an old homestead and barn, a grotto, waterfall, two caves, and immaculate views of Lake Taneycomo and the countryside.
Another popular area to go hiking is the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area. This four-mile area includes four different hiking trails, each with its own degree of difficulty. The Homesteader’s Trail is the most difficult, spanning almost three and a half miles long. The next longest is the Glade Exploration Trail, a moderate hike just over a mile long. Another difficult hike is Shane’s Shortcut. While labeled as “difficult,” Shane’s Shortcut is only .3 miles in length. The final trail is the Streamside Trail, a moderate hiking trail that is .4 miles long. These trails cut right through the heart of the Ozark Mountains, providing plenty of incredible views along the way.
Another scenic hiking trail is located along Roark Creek in Branson. This trail spans over three miles long and is mostly paved, except for the last half mile. While this trail isn’t as difficult or treacherous as others you may find in the Ozarks, it ends at a bluff overlooking the creek which provides a great view of the surrounding landscape.
Other hiking trails you may want to visit while vacationing to Branson in the fall are the ones inside the White River Valley Trail System. These trails are located within Table Rock State Park and feature various degrees of difficulty and terrain. The four different trails in the system can connect if you wish to hike the entire 10 miles, and there will be plenty of scenic views of Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake along the way.
While exploring the outdoors there aren’t many sights more beautiful than that of a waterfall. Branson’s newest hiking trail, conveniently named the Waterfall trail, features just that. This two-thirds of a mile long trail is unpaved and runs along an unnamed tributary of Roark Creek. Along with the waterfall, there are also two creek crossings, a dense tree canopy and magnificent rock formations to see while hiking this trail.
Part of what’s great about fall is the cooling temperatures. If you find yourself on vacation to Branson this September through November, make time between show schedules to do some hiking and explore the beauty of the Ozarks on one of these trails. From waterfalls and rock formations to roaming wildlife and old homesteads, there’s plenty to see.
Article courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.
By: Michael Ayo
Vacations are great for a number of different things. You can relax, spend time with family, and maybe even catch a few extra hours of sleep in the morning. However, if you’re more of an early riser or love taking in a beautiful Ozark sunrise, it may be beneficial to know where in Branson you can start the day off right with a delicious breakfast.
Sugar Leaf Bakery and Café
Mainly known for their bakery and desserts, Sugar Leaf Bakery and Café has an excellent selection for breakfast as well. Sugar Leaf varies from day to day on what is served on their breakfast menu, but they always have their quiche to order each day. An open-faced pastry crust with an egg-based custard filling, their quiche features a variety of breakfast fillings to go along with sides such as bacon, eggs and toast.
As one of Branson’s oldest restaurants, the Branson Café offers a delicious menu of breakfast items served all day. Established in 1910, this café in historic downtown Branson has been featured on a number of different television programs such as “60 Minutes” and Fox News Channel’s “Across America.” Their homemade pies have also been featured on the “Today Show.” For breakfast, they offer just about any classic breakfast option you can imagine. From skillets and Eggs Benedict to oatmeal and cornmeal mush, Branson Café has a comprehensive menu you are sure to enjoy.
If you enjoy large proportions, you’ll be hard-pressed to find bigger pancakes than the ones located at Billy Gail’s. This staple of the community is most known for their hubcap-sized pancakes that are guaranteed to satisfy even the hungriest of appetites. Billy Gail’s is also known for their French cakes, which are pancakes dipped in egg batter and cooked like French toast (though not quite the size of a hubcap). Other menu items include regular French toast, breakfast burritos, grits and French cakes stuffed with pecans. Open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., this place gets busy in a hurry so be sure to get there early. It is also a cash-only restaurant so hit the ATM before you leave.
When you’re on vacation, something as quick and easy as doughnuts may be the go-to option for breakfast. But what about cinnamon rolls? They’re quick and easy, and you still get the sugar-induced pickup you’re looking for in the morning. Grandma Ruth’s in the Victorian Village has some of the freshest and most delicious cinnamon rolls you will find in the Ozarks. Conveniently located off Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Grandma Ruth’s is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and offers sweet, cinnamon, caramel and toffee rolls as tasty breakfast treats.
Another breakfast served all day, Clockers Café offers a rather large menu to choose from. If you enjoy pancakes or French toast, get them before 11 a.m. because they’re the only breakfast items not served after that time. If you’re not a big fan of pancakes or French toast, worry not because there are several other delicious items such as Belgian waffles, omelets, and biscuits and gravy. There is also a number of classic a la carte options such as bacon and sausage as well as four different egg platters to feast on.
Dobyns Dining Room at the Keeter Center
Not technically breakfast, but close enough, the Sunday Brunch at Dobyns Dining Room inside the Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks is a must during your vacation to Branson. This brunch gets so popular, it is highly suggested you make reservations at least 48 hours in advance. With the freshest of foods coming from the campus’ own farm, menu options include carved meat, made-to-order waffles and omelets, and various other typical breakfast items. The brunch is Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and provides beautiful views of the college campus.
With so much to see and do in Branson, it’s impossible to get through it all without getting an early start to the day. If you’re trying to jam as much fun as possible into one day, a hearty breakfast is a must and each one the places listed above provide just that. The next time you’re in town, be sure to give a few or all of these breakfast spots a try.
Article courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.
Article By: Michael Ayo
Video By: Bethany Shaw
The first ever Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash took place just over a week ago and we’re still reeling from its success. Despite the hot temperatures, the Branson Landing was more than accommodating when it came to setting up for the event. When 5 p.m. rolled around, comedian Terry Sanders took the stage and kicked it off with some hilarious antics the Branson area has come to know and love from him.
After warming the crowd up for a few minutes, Terry proceeded to introduce the Lip Sync Clash’s inaugural act, Mayor Karen Best going by the pseudonym “Politically Incorrect.” Mayor Best and her backup dancers put on an entertaining rendition of “Dance Pants” by the beloved Branson entertainers Prince Ivan that would make the musical trio proud. Once Politically Incorrect finished their performance, Terry introduced a group from the Branson Convention Center going by the name “The Flashbacks” as the next act. This group of five, dressed in clothes that will make you think you’ve been transported back in time to the 1980’s, rocked the stage to the tune of the classic Journey song “Don’t Stop Believing.”
After the Flashbacks finished their rock and roll performance, Choose Branson’s own Michael Ayo introduced the Lip Sync Clash’s next act. Singing their version of Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” was the event’s host, Terry Sanders, with his “Patsy Cline and Friends” colleague, CJ Newsom. Following them were the winners of Branson’s Best New Show award, Forever Young. These five gentlemen morphed into a temporary boy band to perform One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young.” After some mid-song costume changes and back flips, Forever Young looked like the team to beat in the competition.
That was until the event’s final act, the Titanic Museum, took the stage. The crew members from Titanic started their performance out slow, lip syncing to “My Heart Will Go On,” the classic Titanic song by Celine Dion. After a few verses, the Titanic shocked everyone by switching songs to a mash up of popular hits by Beyoncé. They added a mid-performance costume change of their own and some interesting dance moves that had the crowd falling out of their seats laughing by the conclusion of the song.
In the end, the Titanic Museum’s unexpected performance was enough to sway the crowd and they took home the championship belt for the first ever Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash. If you weren’t able to make it out to the Branson Landing that evening, check out the video of the entire event below. Also, be sure to keep up with Choose Branson on social media to find out when the Titanic Museum will defend their title next year in the second annual Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash!
Article and video courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.
The following is a press release received from ChooseBranson.com regarding their upcoming event at the Branson Landing.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (August 3, 2016)
Branson Landing to Host First Ever Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash
The Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash will be held at the Branson Landing Fountain and feature Mayor Best along with several local entertainers.
Branson, MO (August 3, 2016) – The first ever Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash will be held on Friday, Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. in front of the Branson Landing Fountain. This unique event will be hosted by Terry Wayne Sanders, a Branson entertainer/comedian most known for his roles as a crazy German inventor by the name of Doc Harris and prison warden at Silver Dollar City. He also stars in the show “Classic Country’s Patsy Cline and Friends” at the Americana Theatre.
The Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash will feature five groups made up of Branson entertainers and public officials battling it out to see who reigns supreme at the art of lip syncing. These groups will mouth the words to some of the most popular songs throughout the last 20 years of music along with some original songs by Branson artists.
“We are thrilled to be hosting this event that is completely new to the Branson area,” said Kerry Pearson, social media specialist for Choose Branson and event coordinator for the Lip Sync Clash. “We have some big names participating and they have all promised to put on a spectacular show that everyone is sure to enjoy.”
“Dublin’s Irish Tenors and the Celtic Ladies” at King’s Castle Theatre have split into two separate teams to compete against one another. The men who make up the five Irish Tenors have a team of their own while the four Celtic Ladies make up another to add a friendly rivalry to the event.
One of Branson’s newest and most exciting shows will also be featured in the Lip Sync Clash. Currently performing at the Hughes Brothers Theatre, the five men from “Forever Young” will lip sync together to try to compete with the rest of the field. The Titanic Museum will round out the groups of local entertainers and attractions competing in the event. The Titanic will include three of their most energetic crew members to try to add the Lip Sync Clash trophy to their impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits.
The final group performing in the Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash will be headed by the mayor of Branson, Karen Best. Mayor Best will have two friends at her side as she lip syncs a song that is yet to be revealed.
The Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash will take place before an 8 p.m. concert by The Adam Capps Band. It is a free event open to the public, and the winner will be chosen based on crowd applause. To see some exciting and comedic lip syncing by popular Branson entertainers and public officials, be sure to come out to the first ever Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash on Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. in front of the Branson Landing Fountain.
“We are excited to welcome our local Branson talent and community members to Branson Landing’s stage, as they battle it out in the new and exciting Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash,” said Branson Landing Director of Marketing and Entertainment Tammy Scholten. “Following what is sure to include some hilarious and very entertaining performances, our guests are invited to stay and enjoy The Adam Capps Band as they rock Branson Landing in a LIVE concert from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.”
About Choose Branson
Choose Branson is a leading travel resource company in the Branson area. Founded in 2005, Choose Branson has spent the last 10-plus years providing the highest quality of up-to-date information and unsurpassed deals on shows, attractions and vacation packages. The easy to navigate website offers information on everything from shows and attractions to hotels and lodging, as well as news, discounts, maps, free vacation guides and more. To find out more information or to purchase tickets, visit ChooseBranson.com.
About Branson Landing
Branson Landing is a $435 million – 95 acre public/private project spanning 1.5 miles of waterfront on the beautiful Lake Taneycomo, adjacent to historic downtown Branson, managed by Bayer Properties. Branson Landing is home to over 100 shops and restaurants, as well as the Hilton Promenade Hotel and a $7.5 million water and fire spectacular, anchored by Bass Pro Shops and BELK.
For additional information about the Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash, contact Kerry Pearson at (417) 243-8017 or by email at email@example.com.
By: Michael Ayo
Cold, sweet treats go together with summer like Branson and music. It is almost unheard of to have one without the other. A vacation to Branson isn’t complete without seeing a show and it’s near impossible to make it through summer without enjoying ice cream or snow cones on a regular basis. Whenever the sun gets a little too hot, it’s important to know where some of the best sweet treats in the Branson area are in order to cool off.
A favorite among Branson locals, Yeti’s Shaved Ice and Ice Cream is one of the best options around for beating the heat with a sweet treat. Residing in the parking lot of the Sun Fest Market on Cross Creek Boulevard, Yeti’s serves the usual summer snacks: shaved ice, ice cream, soda and bottled water. However, they are most known for their Yetis. This treat features ice cream on the bottom and shaved ice on top. There are a number of different flavors offered, with the most popular perhaps being the Shark Attack. This Yeti, located on their “Specials” menu, includes blue raspberry, cherry and sourshot flavors along with a gummy shark and Sour Patch Kids. Yeti’s is usually open through the first of August, so be sure to stop by and see them while you’re in town.
Cakes n Cream Dessert Parlor
With “dessert parlor” being in the name, you know for certain you’re in for some tasty treats when you visit this place. Cakes n Cream is a 50’s-style diner that has an incredible menu filled with various types of ice cream, including malts, shakes and waffle cones. There are also cakes, pies, funnel cakes and plenty of sugar free options to satisfy every kind of sweet tooth. If you’re wanting to enjoy dessert after a meal, there’s a lunch and dinner menu featuring burgers, brisket and pizza available as well. With it being conveniently located on Highway 76, any vacation is made better by stopping here.
Another great option for snow cone-type treats is Sno-Angels Sno-Balls. Normally located on Mall Road in nearby Hollister, Sno-Angels also travels around Branson for events and sets up shop every Tuesday for the Farmers Market at the Branson Landing. This source for sweet treats brings New Orleans-type sno-balls to the Ozarks. Several different flavors are offered, including French vanilla, tropical punch and watermelon, and most flavors are available sugar free.
Mr. B’s Ice Cream
Branson’s oldest ice cream shop, Mr. B’s Ice Cream Parlor is one of downtown’s most popular places to visit during the summer. Mr. B’s serves all your favorite flavors of shakes, malts and ice cream along with cobbler, old-fashioned sodas, and homemade lemonade and limeade. You can also stop by for lunch or dinner and enjoy hot dogs, sandwiches and pretzels. This small parlor on 2nd Street is a little slice of Branson history, and serves up some great summer treats.
One of the newest setups at the Branson Landing for the summer, Maui Wowi Aloha is a vendor stand near the fountains serving some of the most delicious smoothies you will find at the waterfront shopping mall. Maui Wowi will operate under the same business hours as the Landing, and will remain open through Aug. 31. All smoothies are gluten free and made with real fruit, and six different smoothies are generally offered on their menu. Strawberry, mango orange and pina colada are the basic flavors on the menu, along with mixed flavors such as the popular Wistful Waikiki. This smoothie combines strawberry and pina colada into one delicious drink.
Vacations are meant for fun and trying new things. There are plenty of new and unique things to try at each of these locations. Don’t let the summer heat get you down, cool off and relax while sampling a sweet treat from one of these great spots around town.
Article courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.
By: Michael Ayo
Every vacation destination in the country has attractions and restaurants that are by far the most popular in town. Likewise, each tourist spot has their hidden gems that only locals and a few visitors know about. When you begin planning your next vacation to Branson, be sure to keep in mind this list of little known treasures located in the “live music capital of the universe.”
Branson is filled with great places to eat. Whether you’re looking for fast food, barbecue, buffets, steakhouses or any other kind of restaurant you can imagine, Branson is sure to have it. There are several places around town to grab a bite to eat, but only a few you may not have heard about yet. Three in particular would be Yeti’s Shaved Ice and Ice Cream, Billy Bob’s Dairyland and Whisker’s Country Corner.
Located in the parking lot of Sunfest Market on Cross Creek Boulevard, Yeti’s puts a delicious spin on a classic summer treat. They serve up unique flavors of shaved ice such as pineapple upside-down cake, root beer float, and peaches and cream while having several flavors of their own concoction like the Iron Man and Sabertooth Tiger. Billy Bob’s, located on Highway 76 near the Grand Country Music Hall, serves up juicy hamburgers of different sizes along with other options such as hot dogs and salads. Locals tend to rave about the desserts here, especially the peanut butter milkshake.
The Ozarks are great for dining on some old-fashioned, down home country grub, and it’s hard to beat the deliciousness found at Whisker’s Country Corner. Located on Fall Creek Road, just off Highway 165, Whisker’s offers several fresh and homemade options to choose from. Shop through delicious treats such as cookies, cinnamon rolls and fudge or take home some tasty smoked sausage, pork rinds or wine jelly. One visit here and it’ll become a tradition to stop by each time you’re in Branson.
Most visit Branson for the live entertainment and attractions, but the outdoor beauty of the Ozarks shouldn’t be ignored. One place in particular that you need to know about is the Shepherd of the Hills boat ramp, located near the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery. This area of Lake Taneycomo has a small, one lane boat ramp and parking for 20 rigs, but is a great place to fish for trout.
If you don’t own a boat or fishing doesn’t interest you much, Branson’s waterfall hiking trail is another great way to experience the town’s beautiful scenery. Waterfall Trail is one of the newest hiking trails in Branson and runs along an unnamed tributary of Roark Creek. The trail is roughly two-thirds of a mile long and features a dense tree canopy, rock formations and a waterfall. Located just north of the intersection of Roark Valley Road and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Waterfall Trail is a great option for a peaceful day of enjoying the outdoors.
There are several attractions throughout town that provide plenty of fun for your entire vacation. But did you know there are some attractions designed to challenge and make you think? The Escape Branson and Escape Code Branson are two options for fun and excitement you should try on your next vacation.
Located on Commercial Street in downtown Branson, the Escape Branson has two different rooms filled with clues and riddles they can lock you in. It’s up to you to figure out the clues inside their soviet bunker or alchemists study room in order to get the code to unlock the door and escape. Escape Code Branson is similar to the Escape Branson, but offers four different rooms to escape from. A military warehouse, mysterious cottage, a trap set by a revenge-seeking stranger and the laboratory of a mad scientist are filled with puzzles designed to make you think as you try to work your way out.
If scrambling to unravel clues inside a mysterious room doesn’t intrigue you, try taking a tour at Table Rock Dam. You’ll get to see the ins and outs of one of Missouri’s largest dams, including the generators that help the structure section off the lakes in Branson. You must be at least six years old and an American citizen to tour the dam, and cameras, cell phones, purses and backpacks are not allowed inside.
Shoji Tabuchi is one of Branson’s most popular entertainers, and his show definitely would not be classified as a little known treasure. However, the restrooms inside the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre may be one of the town’s best hidden gems. The men’s restroom features a marble fireplace, black lion head sinks imported from Italy, black leather chairs and billiard room with a mahogany pool table. For the ladies, their restroom contains granite and onyx pedestal sinks, chandeliers, stained glass and a ceiling reproduced from the 1890’s Empire Period. This level of dedication and design earned Shoji Tabuchi Theatre the title of “America’s Best Restroom” in 2009.
Another interesting sight you might not know about is located inside the Titanic Museum. Throughout the dozens of artifacts recovered from the ship’s wreckage sits the only life jacket that can be directly tied back to a passenger on the ship. The life jacket belonged to Madeleine Astor, the wife of the richest man aboard the Titanic, John Jacob Astor. This artifact is one of the most intriguing displays at the museum, and is valued at over $1 million.
Visiting all the popular Branson attractions are great during vacation, but every now and then you need to get off the beaten path. The next time you’re looking for something new and exciting to check out, try one of the little known treasures listed above.
Article courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.
By: Michael Ayo
Videos By: Bethany Shaw
The summer months bring a wide variety of things to the Branson area. New shows, open attractions, warmer weather; just about anything you can imagine in order to have a great vacation. However, this also means the town gets busier. Much busier, in fact. At any point during the peak season there can be up to 100,000 visitors in Branson. That is nearly 10 times the number of residents Branson normally has. Those residents know how to maneuver around town when traffic gets bad, and it’s about time you did too.
Throughout many parts of the day, especially around the time shows let out, Highway 76 can get backed up for miles. From downtown Branson all the way to Silver Dollar City, the stop and go, bumper to bumper traffic can be unbearable. To avoid chaos, accidents and the occasional road rage incident, Branson has three separate routes to diverge traffic from the Strip while still taking tourists to their desired location. The Blue, Red and Yellow routes are designed to relieve traffic congestion and any Branson local must know them and various other back roads well in order to get anywhere in a timely manner during the summer. Locals aren’t exactly lining up to chauffeur visitors around all day during their vacation so it’s essential for you to know these routes as well. Check out the videos below so you can drive like a local on your next Branson vacation.
The shortest of the routes, the Blue Route begins and ends where Highway 76 intersects with Gretna Road and again with Roark Valley Road. The route takes travelers behind popular theaters and attractions along the north side of the Strip. Some of the more notable sights you will see are the future sights of Fritz’s Adventure and Ballparks of America along with Tanger Outlets and the Titanic Museum. See the video below to find out more about the Blue Route.
Where Highway 76 intersects with Shepherd of the Hills Expressway and West Main Street runs into Branson Landing Boulevard begins and ends Branson’s longest alternate route, the Red Route. Like the Blue Route, the Red Route also resides on the north side of Highway 76. It runs through downtown and crosses over Highway 65, passing by the Choose Branson Discount Ticket Center and popular attractions such as the Yakov Smirnoff Theater, Sight and Sound Theatre andBranson Landing. For exact details of the Red Route, see the video below.
The Yellow Route is the only route in town that runs on the south side of Highway 76. It begins and ends where Fall Creek Road intersects with the east side of the Strip and Highway 376 meets the west end of 76. This route takes you by a few mini golf places such as Dinosaur Canyon, along with the back side of theaters such as the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center,Dutton Family Theater and Caravelle Theater. See where else the Yellow Route will lead you by watching the following video.
Don’t let your next Branson vacation be hindered by wasting time in traffic. You need to know exactly where the town’s alternate routes are and be able to breeze past all the backed up cars. Once you’ve watched these videos, you’re officially ready to drive like a local.
Article courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.
By: Michael Ayo
From steakhouses and barbecue to pizza and Mexican food, there’s no shortage of dining establishments to go along with the variety of live entertainment in Branson. Several places in town are popular among tourists, especially the unique ones likeMel’s Hard Luck Diner or the ones associated with shows such as the Grand Country Buffet and the Baldknobbers Country Restaurant. However, these places can get pretty crowded at the height of show season, so check out these hidden gems that offer some of the best food in Branson.
A definitive favorite among locals in Branson, East Coast Subs is a great place to find some of the best sandwiches in town. Located on Highway 248, roughly a mile away from the Branson RecPlex, East Coast Subs is open until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is perfect for a Reuben or baked Italian sub lunch date. Since this place is popular among Branson residents, it can get fairly busy from time to time. We highly recommend stopping by to pick up a menu and calling ahead to place your order.
Billy Bob’s Dairyland
There are several places in Branson to get a burger and fries, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one better than what is served up at Billy Bob’s Dairyland on Highway 76. You can order a normal hamburger, or if you’re feeling adventurous you can add a few more patties and some cheese to that order. Billy Bob’s also serves hot dogs, corn dogs, salads and other delicious options. After you’ve enjoyed your meal, be sure to stick around to try one of their tasty desserts. A favorite among visitors tends to be the peanut butter milkshake.
NOTE: Billy Bob’s only accepts cash as payment, so be sure to stop by the ATM before you go.
Mr. Gilberti’s Place
It’s almost a custom that one vacation meal involve pizza. If you’re looking for a friendly and unique atmosphere paired with delicious Chicago-style pizza, make the short trip to Hollister for Mr. Gilberti’s Place. Here you can find pizza unlike anything you’ve tried before along with salads, sandwiches and pasta. Located a few minutes from the College of the Ozarks campus, Mr. Gilberti’s is great after a day of fishing on Lake Taneycomo or if you’re just wanting to escape the city for a little while.
Mitsu Neko Fusion Cuisine and Sushi Bar
Everyone should strive to try something new while on vacation. Mitsu Neko Fusion Cuisine and Sushi Bar on Highway 76 near the Apple Tree Mall can be that “something new” on your trip to Branson. With its modern look and city-like atmosphere, Mitsu Neko is great for a dining experience you’re sure to remember. All their ingredients are healthy, fresh and natural, and you can order anything from steak and duck to smoked salmon and tuna sushi.
Whether you want breakfast or just trying to satisfy your sweet tooth, Grandma Ruth’s has exactly what you need. Located in the Victorian Village off Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Grandma Ruth’s has some of the best cinnamon rolls around and delicious sugar cookies made from scratch. They’re open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, so be sure to stop in while you’re in town.
Popular dessert places in Branson such as Andy’s Frozen Custard can get extremely busy during peak season. When that happens, you’ll want to make the trip to Scoopsin nearby Hollister. You can enjoy your choice of ice cream cones, shakes, sundaes, banana splits and various other sugary treats along with a scenic overlook of the Ozarks. Located on Highway 165, a few miles southwest of the College of the Ozarks campus, Scoops is a great way to beat the heat during the summer months.
Another great place to go to cool off during the summer months is Yeti’s Shaved Ice and Ice Cream. This place takes shaved ice to the next level with their unique flavors and ways of preparing them. Enjoy flavors such as banana split, blueberry cobbler and cherry cheesecake, or expand your taste buds with flavors such as the Iron Man and Lu’s Luau. Located in the parking lot of Sunfest Market on the east side of Lake Taneycomo, passed Mount Branson and near Ozarks Memorial Park, the family is sure to love digging into one of these sweet treats.
Whether you just got out of a show and looking for a good place to eat or in the mood to try something different, this list of hidden gems will certainly provide you with a few great meals. From sandwiches and burgers to sushi and ice cream, anything you order from these places will leave you wanting more after you return home.
Article courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.