Branson, Missouri, is one of the great resort towns of the Midwest and is a perfect destination for weekend getaways and extended stays alike. Many of its attractions are family-friendly and there are plenty of ways to escape into the nature that surrounds the town.
What to do
If you ask anyone what to do in Branson, youíll get a never-ending list. The town is most famous for its Country 76 Boulevard, a five-mile stretch of road that is Missouriís answer to the Las Vegas Strip. Instead of casinos, the street is lined with attractions like the Hollywood Wax Museum and Grand Country Fun Spot indoor amusement park. History buffs (or fans of the 1997 blockbuster) will appreciate the large Titanic museum, which houses artifacts from the ill-fated ocean liner and recreations of its interior.
Branson has its fair share of man-made wonders, but if you want to see what nature has to offer, itís just a short drive away. Southwest of town is Table Rock Lake and surrounding it are parks and natural areas perfect for hiking or camping. Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is home to 10,000 acres of wilderness in the Ozarks with amenities like trails, horseback riding and areas for trout fishing. Donít worry if youíre inexperienced, as the park offers tram tours to see the sights and chuckwagon meals for an authentic experience.
Where to stay
Bransonís popularity as a tourist hot spot means that whatever chain hotel you have a rewards program with probably has a location in town. If youíre looking for something a bit more special, consider the many resorts that offer top amenities and plenty of ways to relax after a long day of fun. Watermill Cove Resort sits right on the lake but is also only 10 minutes away from the bright lights of the main town. Itís perfect if you love to spend time in the water because along with all of the activities on the lake, you can enjoy a 5,000 square foot swimming pool, upper-level infinity pool, water slide, 200-foot lazy river and splash pad.
Another resort near the water is Chateau on the Lake, which has the distinction of holding Missouriís only Four Diamond rating from AAA. It has all of the recreation amenities you want, as well as a spa and world-class dining options, to make a stay there truly rejuvenating.
Where to eat
Picky eaters can rejoice because there are restaurants for almost every type of palate in Branson. One of the best eateries in town, Billy Gailís Cafe, is only open until 2 p.m. but the food served during that short time is well worth getting up early. Itís known for big pancakes, stuffed French toast and fluffy biscuits. The eatery also serves lunch fare such as salads, burgers and patty melts.
Comfort food and good home cooking are available throughout Branson, but if youíre looking for something a bit better for you and your heart, consider the Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks. While it might sound like a dining hall, itís actually a farm-to-table restaurant run by students of the university. Itís a very popular place for brunch, so reservations are a must.
If youíre looking for a place thatís great for both families and adventure, consider heading out to the Ozarks and visiting Branson, Missouri.
This article is presented by Zimbrick European in Madison, WI.