Top Things to Do in Branson, Missouri
The Branson Coaster
The double-track Alpine coaster on Branson's Strip lets riders race or glide down the curving track.
The upscale outdoor shopping center at Lake Taneycomo is known for its Bellagio-style hourly fountain shows with fire, lights and music.
Branson Scenic Railway
Vintage rail cars journey from the 1905 depot in downtown Branson for a 40-mile round trip into the Ozark foothills.
Branson Zipline at Wolfe Mountain
Zips, suspension bridges and scenery fill the course north of town. The ¼-mile Blue Streak tour ends with a 100-foot free fall.
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
In nearby Lampe, two-hour tram tours cross into Arkansas and stop to see elk and bison. Visitors also enjoy fly-fishing, biking and horseback riding.
In 2020, the opening of Tiger Woods' Payne's Valley, a tribute to the late Payne Stewart of Missouri, sealed Branson as a national golf hot spot. It opened at Big Cedar Lodge near four other courses designed by some of the leading names in golf.
The clear, cold waters of the man-made lake are ideal for trout. Cast a line off the banks near Branson Landing. Or stroll the waterfront to see cliffs.
The Silver Dollar City theme park grew up around this natural cave, a tourist attraction since the late 1800s. Park admission includes an hour-long cave tour, with highlights like the Cathedral Room and Waterfall Room. Be prepared to tackle nearly 600 steps.
Runaway Mountain Coaster
The double-track alpine coaster, the longest and fastest in town, lets riders race or glide down a curving track.
Showboat Branson Belle
A paddle-wheeler glides around Table Rock Lake. Midday and evening cruises offer meals and entertainment.
More than 100 shows take place daily in summer, and the offerings run from sentimental to sophisticated. A few of our faves: Anthems of Rock with 20th century hits, the biblical-theme shows at the Sight and Sound Theatre, and The Haygoods live music show.
Silver Dollar City
More than 40 rides and attractions keep visitors entertained. Check out the park's Ozarks crafts demonstrations and enjoy Ozarks-themed restaurants. The park hosts special events year-round; check out the Harvest Festival, with Craft Days featuring artisans and Pumpkin Nights with seasonal decor (late September-October).
Table Rock Lake
Behind a massive dam, this reservoir serves as the centerpiece of Branson's outdoors. Known for its clear water and relative solitude, Table Rock provides some of the area's most consistent bass fishing. Also popular: water-skiing, stand-up paddleboarding and cruising the lake in boats like Big Cedar Lodge's Lady Liberty. At Long Creek Marina, rent boats or charter a fishing guide.
The Titanic Museum Attraction
Beyond the man-made iceberg puncturing the bow of the ship-shape building on the Strip, the sober story unfolds about the ship's construction and sinking. See salvaged items from the ship and walk the replica Grand Staircase.
Top of the Rock
The bluff-top destination includes a golf course, Chapel of the Ozarks, a wine cellar, three restaurants, an Ozarks natural-history museum, and Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail.
Eat and Drink
Billy Gail's Cafe
The pancakes at this breakfast and lunch spot are so big they flop over the ends of the platters. Red-checked tablecloths and mismatched mugs look cheery in the former gas station.
Black Oak Grill
A corner spot in the Branson Landing outdoor shopping mall along Lake Taneycomo turns out familiar menu items like burgers, grilled meatloaf and garlicky mashed potatoes.
The old-time diner dishes comfort foods: made-from-scratch biscuits and gravy, plate-size cinnamon rolls, fried chicken, and breakfast ham.
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.
Fall Creek Steak and Catfish House
Guests come to this restaurant for tossed rolls, as well as meals of deep-fried catfish and blackberry cobbler.
The Keeter Center
Students at College of the Ozarks bake, cook and serve hearty fare, such as pot roast and glazed flat-iron steaks, in a dining room accented with stone and wooden beams. Also at the center: a bakery, creamery and student-run lodge with 15 suites.
Level 2 Steakhouse at the Hilton
Perfectly aged corn-fed beef steaks appeal to diners at Level 2; we also love the Missouri butter cake with vanilla ice cream.
Views of a golf course, Table Rock Lake and the Ozark Mountains are the perfect backdrop to meals of tender ribeye and roasted potatoes.
A 65-foot-high fork and meatball form the entryway to this Italian eatery, where the food takes a back seat to the decor. Themed dining rooms and an indoor Ferris wheel keep the atmosphere lively.
Sugar Leaf Bakery
Although it's in a mall, you'll feel like you're in a garden room while eating quiche or a flaky pastry at Sugar Leaf.
White River Fish House
The floating-barge restaurant on Lake Taneycomo offers gator and catfish.
Big Cedar Lodge
The wooded location for this sprawling resort on Table Rock Lake is 10 miles south of the neon hustle of Branson. Amenities include a spa, golf courses, a marina and Fun Mountain, a play complex with attractions such as underwater-theme bowling. Accommodations range from lodge rooms to cottages and log cabins.
Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa and Convention Center
Rooms and suites surround a soaring central atrium. Fine-dining restaurant Chateau Grille, two pools and a marina make the hotel stand out.
Silver Dollar City Campground
Ozark woodlands blanket this property near the theme park. The 38 cabins range from rustic to premium loft.
Still Waters Resort
This resort's well-stocked marina, three swimming pools, mini golf and easy access to Silver Dollar City attract families and boaters.
Thousand Hills Golf Resort
Tee off at an 18-hole course with rocks, forests and streams. Lodging options include newly built seven- and 10-bedroom lodges.
The Village at Indian Point
Near Table Rock Lake's shore, the condos have fireplaces, private decks and great views. Enjoy two pools and access to a boat ramp.