3235 76 Country Blvd.
Branson Missouri 65616United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Authentic artifacts star in a surprisingly sensitive museum set in a replica ship in the heart of Branson's boisterous strip.
It's difficult to take a museum too seriously when it sits on the Branson strip inside an enormous replica of the Titanic, complete with a fake iceberg puncturing the bow and water shooting from the collision point. But the Titanic Museum (sister to a matching museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee) takes guests on a suitably sober tour of history's most famous disaster. Upon entry, visitors receive a card with a real passenger's name on it, giving them the chance to find out later whether their avatar lived or died back in 1912. Exhibits trace the Titanic through construction, life on-board, sinking and rediscovery by explorers. Many of the artifacts (we're trusting the proprietors' guarantees of authenticity) are true treasures. Visitors get up-close looks at a deck chair, menu card, life jacket and other salvaged items. Re-created rooms show the glory of the central staircase, a first-class cabin and the tilt of the sinking ship's deck. One of the final rooms may be too intense for younger guests, as it includes telegrams notifying people of their loved ones' deaths and historical photos of bodies recovered at the accident scene. The museum's meditative mood is broken at the end with a sprawling gift shop full of items such as plastic Titanic models. But this is a for-profit business in Branson, after all.