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Branson Trip Guide

The southwest Ozark town brims with entertainment and lakeside fun.
Silver Dollar City.
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Lakefront lodging at Still Waters Resort.
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Waterfalls and walking paths at Big Cedar Lodge.
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This neon-lit southwest Missouri town is known for its shows—more than 100 playing in some four dozen theaters. But the shows get so much press that the region's natural beauty doesn't always get the attention it deserves. Just beyond The Strip rise mountains of trees and ribboned layers of stone. Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake stretch beside the city, and Bull Shoals Lake is nearby. Another big draw: Silver Dollar City theme park.

What to do

Branson Scenic Railway Take a ride aboard vintage rail cars. Two-hour trips loop south into Arkansas. Seasonal. (800) 287-2462; bransontrain.com

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park In nearby Lampe, visitors can book private off-road tours. The two-hour excursion crosses into Arkansas and includes stops to see elk and bison. (417) 779-5983; dogwoodcanyon.org

Shows More than 100 shows take place daily, and the offerings run from hokey to sophisticated. A few of our faves: Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, The Adventures of Marco Polo, the biblical-theme shows at the Sight and Sound Theatre, and Liverpool Legends. Some hotels and restaurants sell discounted tickets, so ask before you buy. (800) 296-0463; explorebranson.com

Showboat Branson Belle An authentic paddle-wheeler glides around Table Rock Lake. Evening cruises offer dinner and entertainment. (800) 831-4386; showboatbransonbelle.com

Silver Dollar City Enjoy history, traditional foods and crafts along with entertainment, festivals and cool rides at this theme park. (800) 475-9370; silverdollarcity.com

The Titanic Museum Attraction Interactive exhibits, memorabilia and a replica of the ship’s Grand Staircase engage visitors. (800) 381-7670; titanicbranson.com

Where to eat

Billy Gail’s Cafe The pancakes at this popular breakfast and lunch spot are delicious and so big they flop over the ends of the platters. (417) 338-8883

Baldknobbers Country Restaurant Before a show at Branson’s Baldknobbers Theatre, go next door for home-style pot roast or a huge buffet. (417) 334-7202;
bransonsbestrestaurant.com

Devil’s Pool Restaurant At sumptuous Big Cedar Lodge just outside of town, inspired Heartland cuisine satisfies in a dining room filled with antique furnishings. Rooms from $129. (417) 335-5141; bigcedar.com

Level 2 Steakhouse at the Hilton Perfectly aged grass-fed beef steaks appeal; we also love the chef’s butter cake with vanilla ice cream. (417) 243-3433; level2steakhouse.com

Where to stay

Big Cedar Lodge This upscale full-service resort along a quiet part of the lake offers a variety of lodgings, including luxury cabins, as well as a kids' program and other activities. (800) 225-6343; bigcedar.com

Cascades Inn Near the Shoji Tabuchi Show Theater, bargain-minded travelers find a comfortable stay. From $79. (800) 588-8424; cascadesinn.com

Chateau on the Lake Resort and Spa A fine-dining restaurant, spa and two pools make the Table Rock Lake hotel stand out. From $169. (888) 333-5253; chateauonthelakebranson.com

Indian Point Resorts Woodsy-chic condos draw couples eager for quiet weekends along the lake. From $92. (800) 888-1891; indianpoint.com

Still Waters Resort A marina and easy access to Silver Dollar City attract families and boaters. Lodgings include condos or cabins. From $129. (800) 777-2320;
stillwatersresort.com

For information: Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau (800) 296-0463; explorebranson.com

 

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