Branson is one of those places that has so much, we could probably do ten different blog posts on our adventures. We’ve shared some of the local spots so far (Table Rock Coffee, Mel’s Hard Luck Diner, Branson Farmer’s Market, and America’s Best Campground), but we wanted to offer the town as a whole in a post, also. We packed so much into a couple of days before we moved onward to Kansas, so here’s our wrap of Branson!
Everyone in the family loved this place; it reminds us in many ways of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Dolly Parton is very prominent here, you’re surrounded by beautiful mountains, there are shows at every turn, and kids of all ages will find something fun to do. After we visited the farmer’s market, we strolled into the Branson Landing mall, which is an awesome outdoor mall that runs along Lake Taneycomo. They have another Smith’s Creek Moonshine, just like the one we stopped at in Nashville, and plenty of other neat stores and celebrity-owned restaurants.
Branson Landing is also where we went zip lining across the lake, which was such an amazing, beautiful experience. Plus, it was neat because you didn’t have to get completely strapped into a harness to ride, they simply sat you in a seat with seat belts and you just relaxed as you flew over the water.
One thing we definitely learned about Branson, however, is that if you want to even have a chance of getting a seat at most of the restaurants, you need to either go very early or call ahead. Be prepared to wait, too. The good thing about Branson Landing is you can get your name on the list and then enjoy the mall while you wait. One of our favorite sightseeing opportunities was the synchronized water jets and light show that sit on the shores of the lake. Every hour they have a quick show for free, and it’s similar to what you would see at somewhere like the Bellagio in Vegas, just smaller.
When most people think of Branson, they think of the main strip with all the buildings and shows. That’s actually where Mel’s Hard Luck Diner sits along with the rest of the Villages shops, but you could spend over a week there trying to take everything in. They have a Wonderworks (we went to the one in Myrtle Beach, SC, and loved it), an aquarium, shows, a Titanic museum, a Hollywood Wax Museum, shows, a ferris wheel, go-karts, mini-golf (or putt-putt for those of us who grew up in the south), shows, a roller coaster, and so much more. And shows.
One of our favorite spots in Branson, however, was the scenic overlook. It was gorgeous. You can see the surrounding mountains, the clear, meandering waters of Lake Taneycomo and the massive Table Rock Lake. The city is sprawled out below, and it kind of reminded me of being on Lookout Mountain gazing at Chattanooga. The overlook was one of the first places we visited, which was perfect, because it gave us a good idea on the layout of the town.
No doubt we will be back in Branson, and we plan on spending so much more time there. I’d love to get out on both of the lakes and do some fishing and boating, not to mention participating in even half of the attractions on the strip that we just didn’t have time for. The whole place is very family oriented, which is part of why we chose to visit in the first place, so if you have kids it’s absolutely worth the drive or flight. And shows.