Branson Travel Guide

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In the heart of the Ozark Mountains, Branson is popular for outdoor-oriented vacations, with its three lakes for boating and fishing, its hiking trails, campgrounds and its many golf courses. But it also has a lively entertainment scene. In fact, the city has more theater seats than Broadway. Branson has so many  things to do that it's dubbed itself the "crown jewel of Missouri," touting its glittering lights, music venues, nightlife spots and family-oriented performances.

 

Sights

A lot of what happens in Branson takes place out on the water. Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake have some of the best bass and trout fishing in the U.S. Of if you'd rather not bother with a line in the water, you can do some sightseeing on a Branson Landing Cruise. These depart from Branson Landing, which is a day's activity in and of itself. Set in historic downtown Branson, the Landing has over 100 shops, restaurants and a cool nighttime fountain show with lights, music and fire. Ride the Ducks is an hour-long water and land tour of Branson and Table Rock Lake. For more aquatic fun, have a splash at Branson's biggest water park, White Water. After you dry off, take a tour of the city's many museums and galleries, which include a half-scale model of the Titanic that pays tribute to the ship, its passengers and crew. (Why the Titanic in Branson? Good question.) If you have kids in tow, take them to the Silver Dollar City amusement park, Ripley's Believe it or Not, or the Hollywood Wax Museum. Other fun things to do for kids include the Dinosaur Museum and Promised Land Zoo. Or chill out for an hour at the IMAX Entertainment Complex.

 

Shopping

The center of shopping in the city is Branson Landing, an outdoor mall full of specialty stores, restaurants and more on Lake Taneycomo. The Factory Merchants center is the biggest mall in Branson and has everything from jewelry, clothing and accessories to unique gifts. Other malls in Branson include the Grand Village, Tanger Outlet Center, Victorian Village and the Branson Mall. For independent retailers that are a little more distinctively Branson, try Historic Downtown Branson.

 

Dining and Nightlife

Branson is a metropolitan area built around entertainment of all kinds. Again, Branson Landing is a good starting point after dark, with a number of restaurants and nightlife venues. If you're a history buff, you can get your fill at the Stage Door Restaurant and Lounge, which features American cuisine and a room full of World War II memorabilia. Or try the Chateau Grille on the shores of Table Rock Lake (winner of a Wine Spectator "award of excellence" in 2008). You'll find romantic dining with a nice view of Lake Taneycomo at the upscale-casual Candlestick Inn. If like a little music after dinner, you're in the right city -- Branson claims to be the live-music capital of the U.S. Much of the music can be found on the Branson Strip, which is lined with stage-show venues, bars and nightclubs.

Where to Go in Branson

TOP PICKS BY OUR LOCAL EXPERTS

BUDGET INN CASSVILLE

495 State Hwy 76 West

Downtown Branson

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120 South Business 65

Historic Shops and Lakefront District

Branson Café

120 W. Main St

Hughes Brothers Celebrity Theatre

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3425 Western Highway 76

Complete Entertainment

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