All Posts in Category: Branson Missouri

Hiking the Ozarks

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.

Best Breakfasts in Branson

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.

Branson Café

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.

Billy Gail’s

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.

Grandma Ruth’s

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.

Clockers Café

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.

Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash a Huge Success

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!

Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash 2016 from Choose Branson on Vimeo.

Article and video courtesy of ChooseBranson.com.

Branson Landing to Host First Ever Choose Branson Lip Sync Clash

The following is a press release received from ChooseBranson.com regarding their upcoming event at the Branson Landing.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (August 3, 2016)

Michael Ayo

Choose Branson 

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 kpearson@choosebranson.com.

Branson Auction

Branson Collector Car Auction

Attention car enthusiasts!  The Branson Car Auction is coming to the Branson Convention Center October 16-17.  This is a long standing classic car auction event that has been held twice a year in Branson, MO.  Owner/Operators, Jim and Kathy Cox have one of the most most well respected collector car auctions in the country. This auction will be the 37th annual collector car auction for the Cox’s and Branson, MO is honored to have them back this fall.


The event kicks off Friday October 16th with the first auction at Noon.  Here you will find the Branson Convention Center’s exhibit hall and ballrooms packed full of beautiful one of a kind classics like the 1941 Cadillac, 1951 Crosley, 1931 Chevy Roadster, 1951 Buick and Corvettes from years 1965-1982.  You don’t have to know much about classic cars to appreciate the beauty and sophistication of them.

Saturday, October 17th auction time is 9:00 a.m.

The event is open to the public with a daily pass of $10 or a 2-day pass for $15.  For more information on bidding and consigning, click here.

Fall Fun in Branson

There is something about being in the Ozark Mountains during the Fall.  Luckily,  when you are visiting Branson during this time of year you not only get to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage, you will have some serious fun while you’re at it.

Whether you are travelling as a couple or a family with children, there is something for everyone to enjoy during this season.  Just to give you some ideas, Silver Dollar City offers “National Harvest and Cowboy Festival”, ride on the Branson Scenic Railway , or view the fall scenery as you enjoy a ride at Branson Zipline and Canopy Tours at Wolfe Creek Preserve.  Oh, who are we kidding…do it all!

At Silver Dollar City’s, National Harvest and Cowboy Festival you can expect to find over 125 demonstrating craftsmen, barn dances, Western music performances, special Wild West Shows, and of course delicious food.  While you are visiting the park be sure to check out the all new Fireman’s Landing where you will find 10 new family adventure rides.  This festival runs from September until October 31.

Departing from Downtown Branson, the Branson Scenic Railway will take you on an hour and 45 minute journey into northwest Arkansas and back again.  This is an optimal way to experience the Ozark Mountains and scenery in the fall.

If you have never experienced the thrill of zip-lining this is the perfect time to do so.  What better way to take in the Ozark Mountain beauty that soaring through it?  Branson Zipline offers several different zipline and canopy ranging in time and intensity.  For the less thrill seeking person, take the Wolfe Creek Photo Safari where you can still enjoy all the beauty of the preserve at a calmer pace.

Those are just some suggestions.  With the countless trails and beautiful lakes surrounding the area, you will not be disappointed.  Whatever you you choose to do in Branson this time of year, you are sure to have a great time.  Start planning and have fun!


Photo credit: Phil Roussin PBR Photos / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Top 5 Branson Golf Courses

Fun on the Fairways!


” Are you curious about golfing in Branson area? We’ve got you covered! “



Home to some of the best golf courses in the country, the Branson area continues to surpass expectations by adding and upgrading courses. According to Golfweek Magazine, the area is home to 3 of the top 5 golf courses in the state of Missouri. With an average high temperature of 67 degrees and 42 inches of rain, Branson is the perfect host for golf almost all year long.

The Ozark Mountains have quietly become a popular destination for seasoned golfers and beginners alike. The world-renowned designers Bobby Clampett, Tom Fazio, and Jack Nicklaus have all designed award-winning courses here. With numerous exquisite courses to choose from, there is a course for all skill levels and budgets. To save you time and get you on the fairways faster, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best area golf courses!


Which Courses Are The Best?

In no particular order, below is our list of favorites:


Branson Hills Golf Club

First on our list is the Branson Hills Golf Club, formerly known as Payne Stewart Golf Club. Hidden away in the Ozark hills, this course offers golfers a one-of-a-kind golfing experience. Chuck Smith, with design consultant and PGA Professional, Bobby Clampett, designed the course as a tribute to Legendary Missouri Golfers. Ranked #1 every year since 2012 on Golfweek’s “Best Courses You Can Play in Missouri” list, once you step on this course, it’s easy to see why.


Thousand Hills Golf Resort

Next up is Thousand Hills Golf Resort, located in the heart of Branson. Golf enthusiasts will undoubtedly love this 18-hole course with GPS-equipped golf carts, also has the largest pro shop in town. It offers shoes, shirts, equipment, gifts, and souvenirs. A Robert E. Cupp design located just two blocks from 76 Music Boulevard, Thousand Hills has been voted the Best Branson Course by the readers of The Springfield News-Leader 6 years in a row. It is also a Golf Digest “Places to Play” Award-Winner! Schedule your tee time online to see why this unique course is one of the best in Branson.


LedgeStone Country Club

Located in the StoneBridge Village, this course that has been described by Golf Digest as a “masterpiece of mountain golf architecture.” With 18-holes and par 71, this championship course is surrounded by the Ozark Mountains and is within minutes of downtown Branson. Members and guests continue to praise the course for offering a challenging and rewarding golf experience. A combination of planning and attention to detail helped bring this impressive Tom Clark natural design layout to life. The course features clear-cut elevation changes that require accurate shot shaping and distance control.


Holiday Hills Golf Club

Holiday Hills Golf Club is a beautiful 18-hole golf facility equip with the latest ProLink GPS System. The course has been upgraded to 18-holes with par 68, Bentgrass Greens and 5,771 yards of Hybrid Bermuda Fairways and Tees. There are over 40 large bunkers, and water comes into play on six holes. Guests can expect to find four sets of tee boxes at each hole for different levels of play. With breathtaking scenery throughout, your round of golf at Holiday Hills is sure to be an adventure you won’t forget!


Buffalo Ridge

Finally we come to Buffalo Ridge, a beautiful course designed by Tom Fazio, was formerly known as Branson Creek Golf Club. This course, under the direction of conservationist Johnny Morris, has been redesigned to bring players in close contact with nature, including native grasses and free-ranging buffalo from nearby Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. They have also added new approaches, water features, and bunkers. The course continues to hold a Golf Digest rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.


When you are packing for your Branson visit, don’t forget your golf clubs!