Branson Tourist Attractions
Branson, in south-west Missouri, with no false modesty, calls itself "Live country music capital of the universe". The "Strip" is crowded with music palaces, where country music greats perform, souvenir booths selling all imaginable kinds of kitsch, motels and restaurants. However, the cinemas run sterile family films and pithy westerns. Every year six million Americans, most of them pensioners in buses, descend on this town of only 4,000 souls. Branson is the epitome of squeaky-clean American culture, even though its most popular entertainer comes from Japan.However Branson is also a good base for excursions into the wild and romantic lake district in south-western Missouri, on the border with Arkansas. Features of particular interest are the dam that has formed Table Rock Lake and the Silver Dollar theme park.
Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City combines a major theme park with crafts and the preservation of 1880s Ozark culture. Nearly 100 craftsmen are in the park demonstrating glassblowing, basket weaving, blacksmithing, pottery, candy making, and candle making. The park also has 17 rides and attractions, shops, restaurants and live shows.
Address: 399 Indian Point Road, Branson, MO 65616-6172, United States
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $56.96, Senior over 62 $54.81, Child 11 & under $46.21, Child 3 & under FREE
Useful tips: Hours vary, call for details.
Marvel Cave is part of Silver Dollar City, the theme park. It carries on the tradition of the 1880's mining town, which once stood at the entrance to the Cave. The cave was first discovered by the Osage Indians in the 1500s, and since that time has attracted explorers looking for the Fountain of Youth, miners of marble and bat guano, and archaeologists.
A variety of water rides and attractions are available at White Water in Branson including a 500,000 gallon wave pool, waterslides, body flume, and children's play area.
Titanic-World's Largest Museum Attraction
Titanic-World's Largest Museum Attraction towers 100 feet above the street level. The museum is a half size replica of the Titanic and visitors are welcomed aboard as guests, complete with a boarding pass that includes the name of an actual passenger on the ship. The showpiece is the Grand Staircase where visitors will experience the beauty of the Edwardian era. This emotional journey allows guests to Walk the Grand Staircase, See a first Class Stateroom, Touch an Iceberg and look back in time through our exclusive Father Browne photographic collection. The final night of the ship's voyage is the focus.On display are over 400 personal and private artifacts from the Titanic.
College of the Ozarks
College of the Ozarks is a liberal arts college that is maintained and staffed by its students in order to defray the cost of education. The campus greenhouse has an orchid collection that numbers over 6,000 and the Williams Memorial Chapel has a 96-bell tower.The Ralph Foster Museum houses thousands of objects highlighting archaeology, history, firearms, antiques, natural history, fine arts, and geology. The Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen started in 1934 and produces more than 40,000 cakes each year.
Hollywood Wax Museum
Throughout the Hollywood Wax Museum in Branson, visitors will see life-size wax figures of movie, television and recording stars all displayed in the authentic scenes that made them famous. From Lucille Ball to Lucy Lui, John Wayne to Johnny Depp and Elvis to Will Smith, visitors will rub elbows with the stars-caught in the act of performing the most famous scenes in entertainment history. Skip down the Yellow Brick Road, sail aboard the Titanic, encounter Frankenstein and Freddy.
Ripley's Believe It or Not
Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum in Branson is one of the most photographed buildings In the world. Missouri holds the record for the worst earthquake. In 1812 an earthquake measuring more than 8.0 on the Richter Scale occurred at New Madrid causing the Mississippi River to run backwards for three days and Church bells to ring In Philadelphia!The foyer of the building is also designed to appear as it would have when the earthquake hit!
Talking Rocks Cavern
Talking Rocks is a living crystal cave with formations of many different kinds, colors, and textures growing closely together. Professional guides lead visitors 100 feet deep along historic lighted paths, through millions of glistening crystalline formations. In addition to the cave tour, there is a one-mile nature trail that winds through a portion of the 400-acre wildlife preserve, complete with a lookout tower.
Address: 423 Fairy Cave Lane, Reeds Spring, MO 65737-8363, United States
Opening hours: 9:30am-6pm
Always closed on: Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $16.95, Child 12 & under $8.95, Child 3 & under FREE
Facilities: Gift shop
American Presidents Museum
The American Presidents Museum in Branson allows visitors to spend time in the Oval office and learn about the West Wing, as well as tour the Hall of First Ladies is filled with memorabilia from Grace Coolidge through Laura Bush. The Freedom Shrine provides photographs of original documents such as the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and Roosevelt's Four Freedoms Speech.
Roy Rogers - Dale Evans Museum (closed)
ATTRACTION IS CLOSED.The larger than life statue of Trigger greets visitors in front of the Roy Rogers -Dale Evans Museum. The museum highlights the personal and television life of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Exhibits include personal items, photographs, colorful costumes, parade saddles, as well as memorabilia from the silver screen and television.
Shepherd of the Hills Homestead
Shepherd of the Hills Homestead is a working homestead featured in Harold Bell Wright's novel of the same name. The site contains one of the leading character's homes, Old Matt's Cabin and most of the original furnishings.The Shepherd of the Hills complex features an outdoor drama, dinner show, homestead tours, horseback riding trails and Inspiration Tower.
Table Rock Dam and Visitors Center
Table Rock Dam generates hydroelectric power for several nearby states. The Visitor Center has many exhibits and displays that tell how the dam was constructed as well as provide information about the dam's inner workings. Various artifacts reminiscent of the construction of the dam plus an exhibit displaying the wildlife that make Table Rock Lake their habitat are found within the center.
Harold Bell Wright Museum
The Harold Bell Wright Museum contains the original manuscript for the novel, The Shepherd of the Hills, along with first editions of all Wright's books. The museum features a 24-minute film produced by Wright's son, Norman, who was a director for Walt Disney Studios for 32 years.
Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Theatre
The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Theatre features America's longest running outdoor drama. The drama involves 80 actors, 40 horses, an actual burning log cabin, and a vintage 1908 DeWitt automobile. The drama was taken from Harold Bell Wright's epic story.
Celebration City (closed)
ATTRACTION IS CLOSED.Celebration City has amusement rides, games, an emporium with a variety of food and the Ozark WildCat, a wooden rollercoaster that reaches speeds of 45 mph.
Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery
Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is a cold-water facility used to raise rainbow and brown trout. Exhibits describe trout spawning, egg development and fish rearing.
Address: 483 Hatchery Road, Branson, MO 65616-8971, United States
Opening hours: May 26 to Sep 3: 9am-6pm
Sep 4 to May 25: 9am-5pm
Sep 4 to May 25: 9am-5pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Useful tips: Guided hatchery tours are provided at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. weekdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Piano virtuoso, Frederick, plays music on two concert grand pianos at the same time! He is surrounded by 40,000 gallons of dancing, shimmering waterfalls, spinning rainbows and spectacular lighting.
Branson Scenic Railway
Ride the Duck Amphibious Vehicle Tour
This narrated tour is offered aboard a restored WWII amphibious vehicle known as a duck. The tours are a combination of Branson, Baird Mountain and a lake tour.