See What Branson Has to Offer – The Top Sights in Town
There are plenty of things to do in Branson, MO. The challenge is narrowing it down. Discover something new the next time you visit this little town.
Are you looking for something a little different when your next vacation time rolls around? Look no further than one of the “biggest” small towns in the Ozarks.
Located in the middle of the country, Branson has everything you never knew you wanted in a vacation. But it’s most famous for its collection of entertainment theaters.
There’s a reason why they call it the Live Entertainment Capital of the Country. This little town once boasted shows from the most premier country artists in the industry. Nowadays, its entertainment has diversified from Broadway shows to music concerts.
Branson shows aren’t the only thing to see in this town, though.
From breathtaking scenery to quirky attractions, find out why Branson hosts millions of visitors each year.
1. Branson Scenic Railway
Whether you’re a train enthusiast or simply want to relive your favorite moments from The Polar Express, you’ll want to check out the Branson Scenic Railway.
This 40-mile trip takes you through the Ozark foothills where you get to learn about the history of the area. Discover towns long forgotten and take a ride back in time with this unique attraction.
The railway does get a little crowded, especially during peak seasons. So, order your tickets online if possible and arrive early to ensure you get the best seats on the train. You’ll be amazed by the views.
2. Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery
If you’re looking for cheap or free things to do in Branson, MO, put this hatchery on your vacation list.
The state-operated hatchery produces up to 400,000 rainbow and brown trout each year. Get a free tour of the great conservation effort and learn more about the fish at the hatchery’s nature center.
When you’re done viewing and feeding the fish, you can hike on one of the four trails that connect the hatchery to Lake Taneycomo. Remember to pack food fit for a picnic and take advantage of the facility’s tables and pavilions.
Also, bring with you plenty of quarters to buy fish food to feed the fish.
3. Branson Landing (and Fountain Show)
Branson Landing is another place to check out if you’re looking for cheap or free things to do in Branson, MO.
This outdoor area boasts over 100 storefronts that’s perfect for the shopaholic in you. There are also restaurants for every taste and various entertainment options.
But what you really need to stay for is the light show.
Like Las Vegas’ Bellagio, the water fountains at the Landing sync with lights, fire, and music. The fountain shows run all day long, but the best time to see it is after night falls.
4. Ralph Foster Museum and the College of the Ozarks
Why would you want to see a college you don’t plan on attending?
Because it’s the only college in the country that allows students to work campus jobs while attending so that they can graduate debt-free.
This college’s nickname is “Hard Work U”, after all.
The campus also hosts the Ralph Foster Museum for those who want a more in-depth history lesson about the Ozarks. And the museum has a variety of objects and exhibitions representing the archaeology and history of the region.
5. Titanic Museum
Both history enthusiasts and fans of the movie can’t miss the Titanic Museum while in town.
The Titanic experience starts even before you first enter the museum. It’s because on the outside, the ship is a re-creation of the actual ship. It will make you feel like you’re about to board this piece of history.
But the immersion doesn’t stop there.
When you first enter the museum, you get a boarding pass. It’s not just a cool souvenir, though. The boarding pass has the name of a real-life Titanic passenger on it.
Some of the things you can see include a re-created grand staircase and over 400 preserved artifacts from the wreckage.
You can also feel a real iceberg and dunk your hands into 28-degree water, the actual temperature of the ocean on the night of the wreck. Sloping decks that mimic the incline of the ship as it was sinking also help you get some perspective on the passengers’ plight.
Keep in mind that the tours are self-guided so you may need a bit of time to wind your way through all the exhibits.
Lastly, don’t forget to check whether the passenger on your boarding pass survived the sinking that fateful April morning.
6. Table Rock Lake
No discussion of things to do in Branson, MO would be complete without a visit to Table Rock Lake.
The lake is in southwestern Missouri and covers over 50,000 acres. And the lakeside activities range from swimming and boating to fishing and scuba diving. Yes, scuba diving.
If getting into the water isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the scenery of Table Rock Lake. Take a 2-hour cruise around the lake during the day or wait until sunset for a romantic view of the water.
7. Dolly Parton’s Stampede
Nothing says Branson like Dolly Parton’s Stampede show. This high-spirited show features trick riding and competition at its finest, with 32 glorious horses and a cast of expert riders.
You also get to enjoy a 4-course feast along with the pageantry of equine adventure.
If you’re truly a horse-lover, try to arrive an hour early to take a walk along Horsewalk and meet the stars of the show.
Take in the Quirkiness of the Ozarks
Where else can you go on a historic train ride during the day and see a top-tier live show and Vegas-style light show at night?
Branson truly has a little bit of everything for everyone.
And if you visit Branson for one of the shows along 76 Country Boulevard, don’t forget to make time to see at least one other attraction.
Take in the beauty of the Ozarks or a quirky attraction during the day. And when night falls, take a stroll along the Branson Landing boardwalk and check out the lights of the fountain show.
Just remember to bring with you plenty of energy and a sense of adventure.
You’ll need it to see everything Branson has to offer its visitors.
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