These are some of the best of the best places to visit in beautiful Branson, Missouri
After growing up in the Ozarks and eventually opening businesses and starting a YouTube travel channel devoted largely to this wonderful region, I'm often asked my opinion on the must do's of Branson.
Of course, it must be said that no one article will ever cover the remarkable, fun and memorable attractions in Branson. I could easily have made the list much larger and any of the included suggestions would have made great vacation choices. For the sake of simplicity let's talk about ten (plus one bonus) that many consider to be can't miss additions to any vacation schedule.
SILVER DOLLAR CITY
It always blows my mind when people visit Branson and choose not to visit the nation's number one theme park. My wife and I have season passes and we walk the streets of this very special place several times a week. There truly is no place in the nation, or the world for that matter, like Silver Dollar City. The beauty of this park is second to none, the entertainment is phenomenal, the food is delicious and, yes, the rides are some of the very best you can find.
Be sure to visit during one of the festivals if at all possible. The music and entertainment goes up several notches during the Street Fest, Bluegrass and Barbeque, Pumpkins in the City and, of course, the record setting Christmas festival that will simply blow your mind.
Your first moments inside of Dogwood Canyon make it clear that you have ventured into a magical place. Nature is on full display with stunning ponds, creeks, waterfalls and immaculate grounds. Take the tram tour for a fun, informative and leisurely trip through the park. If you'd like to investigate on your own, you can rent a bike or simply hike. The trails are paved and easy to navigate.
TOP OF THE ROCK
A sister park to Johnny Morris' Dogwood Canyon is Top of the Rock. The beauty continues here with remarkable views of Table Rock Lake and a one-of-a-kind golf cart tour over majestic waterfalls and through a cave. Top of the Rock offers some amazing dining, golf and a truly incredible history museum.
SIGHT AND SOUND THEATER
No production anywhere compares to what Sight and Sound Theater produces every year in Branson. The theater is absolutely massive and awe inspiring. The set, no matter what show is playing, is overwhelming as it encompasses the entire theater. The productions themselves will have you laughing, crying and asking, “How did they do that?” as some of the most creative technology and visual trickery I've seen is played out befor you.
If you are looking to experience non-stop energy, technical brilliance, unbelievable talent and adrenaline-peaking fun, then The Haygoods show is the place to be in Branson. From guitar players flying above you to a hovering rock star robot to tap dancing and beautiful harp playing, The Haygoods know how to entertain. Their shows most always sell out, so book early!
SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS
The history of the Ozarks unfolds before you at The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama. A trip to Branson would feel incomplete without experiencing this legendary story, famously written by Harold Bell Wright. From gun fights to fist fights to dancing to a real, raging fire as Baldknobbers rush by on stampeding horses, the action never stops. In addition to the play, Shepherd of the Hills offers indoor shows and entertainment, an incredible restaurant, shops, Inspiration Tower, zip lines, ropes coarses and a brand new mountain coaster!
SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN
One of our absolute favorite shows in Branson is Smoke on the Mountain. Set in a quaint theater, the audience becomes the congregation of a historic church. The traveling gospel band will leave you belly laughing throughout!
It's not uncommon for me to hear people mention they had no idea there were lakes in Branson. Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo are cornerstones of this area, providing world class fishing and fun! Table Rock Lake is massive and the perfect spot for water skiing, tubing, swimming, scuba diving, fishing and more! Lake Taneycomo is a cold water lake that flows right by Branson Landing (another great spot to visit on your vacation). The trout are just begging to be caught!
Kids of all ages will be thrilled and stunned by magician Reza. This is cutting-edge entertainment and a must see on your next Branson trip. They mystique and atmosphere of the production provides the shock and awe experience your family will be talking about long after the show is over.
DOLLY PARTON'S STAMPEDE
Dolly Parton's Stampede is an annual visit for many repeat families and groups to the Branson area. You will enjoy an incredible meal delivered by some high energy, hard working servers (be sure to tip them well!). The show is filled with fun with horses, riders, comedy and a bunch of audience participation.
As I said above, there are many other attractions that could have made the list. You'll enjoy places like The Track, The Showboat Branson Belle, Fritz's Adventure, Wonderworks, Beyond The Lens, The Butterfly Palace, hiking trails, unique shopping, delicious restaurants and so much more!
My wife and I would also like to invite you to our businesses, Escape Code, The Axe Game and Sagas Mysteries. These are unique, fun and highly rated family attractions!
Whatever you choose to do when you are in Branson, Missouri, you are sure to have the time of your life. You'll be ready to return the moment your vacation is over!