Branson

Branson is in the Ozarks and the southwest region of Missouri.

Understand

Branson was named for Rueben Branson, postmaster and operator of a general store in the area in the 1880s. The population was 6,050 at the 2000 census. The Branson Micropolitan Statistical Area embraces Stone County, Missouri and Taney County, Missouri.

Today it is sometimes referred to as a "family-friendly Las Vegas" because of the numerous shows and attractions, as well as the flashy building decorations and neon lights. The "strip" as it has been named, draws people from far and wide.

If shows are not your thing then check out one of the three lakes Branson has to offer. Lake Taneycomo's clear cold waters provide some of the finest trout fishing available anywhere in the world. Table Rock Lake as well as Bull Shoals Lake offer a variety of recreational activities including hiking, sightseeing, hunting, skin diving, fishing, and water sports such as swimming, boating, water skiing etc.

Maybe it is golfing that swings your attention. Branson has an array of golf courses sure to please the newest beginner to the most professional golfer.

Get in

By plane

Other options include NW Arkansas Regional Airport in Bentonville, 97 miles or about a 2-hour drive away though the Mark Twain Nat'l Forest (includes some steep curves over hilly terrain—this is the only airport whose land route is through the forest). The nearest major airports are Tulsa 216 miles, Kansas City 233 miles, and St. Louis (Lambert) 255 miles. St. Louis has some international flights, as well as some major tourist attractions of its own to see.

By car

From most locations, take I-44 to Springfield, then south on US 65 (exit 82A). From the west, use the US 60/160 connector just before entering Springfield (exit 69).

See

Opened in 2006, Branson Landing is mall located in downtown Branson on Lake Tanneycomo. Anchored by Bass Pro Shops and Belk, it contains 100 stores and several restaurants. Check out the huge waterfront fountain in the central square where every 30 minutes you can see choreographed fire, water, and light shows set to music. Also nearby is the Branson Hilton and Convention Center which opened in 2007.

Riding the Ducks is very popular and a favorite with kids. The "ducks" as they are affectionately called are based on the DUKW a World War II amphibious landing vehicle. The tour will take you on a ride through town and then into the lake for a short cruise.

The Branson Scenic Railroad operates out of the historic Branson Train Depot located downtown. The railroad takes you on a 40-mile round trip ride through the beautiful Ozark countryside using vintage train engines and cars from the 1930s through 1960's. They also offer nightly dinner trips and a Polar Express tour during November and December.

The Branson Belle is a recreation of a classic riverboat that has lunch and dinner cruises with live entertainment on Table Rock Lake.

The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama is one of the longest running local attractions. See the events of Harold Bell Wrights classic novel reenacted by a huge cast of actors and stuntmen. During the day you can also visit a recreation of Old Matt's cabin and travel to the top of Inspiration Tower where you can see all the way into Arkansas on a clear day.

If you have spare time between shows or just need to sit and relax, try stopping by the Branson Mall where you can watch a free show or two.

Table Rock Lake

A beautiful stretch of crystal clear blue water, spanning around fifty thousand acres, Table Rock Lake is a reservoir that winds through the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas and southwestern Missouri. A favorite vacation spot for outdoor lovers of all types of activities, it has become a major tourist attraction of one of the hottest tourist destinations in the United States, Branson, Missouri. People from all over the United States come to the area in order to camp, boat, and fish. It is also a perfect spot to enjoy all sorts of water sports activities, including jet skiing, tubing, scuba diving, and swimming. There is no dearth of things to do or see in this place.

Impounded by the Table Rock Dam, which was constructed on the White River by the U. S. Corps of Engineers in 1954 to 1958, the original purpose of the reservoir was to control flooding on the White River, which also flows through Missouri and Arkansas. It had already been established as a prime ground for fishing and recreation as early as the 1930s. However, flooding from the White River had constantly devastated the area. Following the Flood Control Act of 1943, the dam was constructed and the overflow of water from the White River filled the man-made lake now known as Table Rock Lake. The overflow from this reservoir spills downstream into Lake Taneycomo, the cold water of the reservoir creating a trout fishing environment for the lake.

As Table Rock Lake is a big fishing area, a lot of fishermen are attracted to the place. Moreover, the lake boasts a wide variety of fish in abundant supply. Some of these fish include bass, catfish, white bass, crappie, and bluegill. An aggressive fish management program has also been implemented in the area, seeing a resurgence of smallmouth, Kentucky, and largemouth bass of exceptionally large size. This has led to even more fishermen flocking to this site, and not just professional fishermen, either, but pleasure-seeking fishermen as well.

Surrounding the lake are lands for public use, which draw plenty of people who enjoy nature and hunting. Not only is the scenery exquisite, but portions of the Mark Twain National Forest are located on these lands. Table Rock State Park also borders the shoreline of Table Rock Lake. With all its attractions, recreational activities, and natural scenery, the reservoir and its surrounding areas has plenty to offer everybody who wishes to visit this place.

Do

The Branson Belle is a "river boat" that was built next to Table Rock Lake and has lunch and dinner cruises with entertainment.

Riding the Ducks is also very popular. They are WWII amphibious vehicles that take you around town and then into the lake for a short cruise.

Branson has over 50 live entertainment theaters, as well as the largest Titanic museum in the world. Shows range from singing (Andy Williams for example) to Chinese Acrobats. One of the better and more popular shows is SIX, 6 brothers who do a variety show including accompanying their songs with the sounds of musical instruments produced by the voices of the brothers.

Branson Landing is a year old mall on Lake Tanneycomo with 100 stores and restaurants.

Buy

There are 3 outlet malls with over 200 stores.

Eat

Fast-Food

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Branson Missouri is in the (417) area code and the 65616 postal zip code.

And then there are local radio stations to consider listening to.

Go next

Routes through Branson

Sedalia Springfield  N  S  Hollister Little Rock


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.