Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, Branson has been called the family-friendly version of Las Vegas. Branson offers a plethora of entertainment venues, especially along 76 Country Boulevard, and draws visitors from all regions of the country.
- 1. Stunning Views
- 2. Silver Dollar City
- 3. Marvel Cave
- 4. Old Time Photo
- 5. Steamboat Branson Belle
- 6. Hollywood Wax Museum
- 7. Skysurfer
- 8. Dolly Parton’s Stampede
- 9. Sight & Sound Theatre
- 10. Mel’s Hard Luck Diner
- 11. Branson Landing
- 12. Mount Rushmore with Fake Celebrity Heads
- 13. Enjoy the Airport
- About the Author
1. Stunning Views
Branson attractions include a number of picturesque views, including the Route 165 panoramic overlook at the top of the hill looking down on Lake Taneycomo, Table Rock Dam and Branson.
It’s a 15-minute drive from downtown Branson to the scenic overlook.
2. Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City is the popular theme park in Branson. Set on acres of beautifully manicured grounds, the park offers over 40 different rides, including a number of rollercoasters to satisfy any thrill-seeker. It’s especially festive when lit up with thousands of lights during the Christmas season.
3. Marvel Cave
In 1894, Canadian entrepreneur William Lynch and his two daughters opened the cave as an Ozarks tourist attraction. Many decades later, Silver Dollar City theme park was built around the entrance to Marvel Cave, which made the cave part of the park. A tour of the cave is included with park entrance fee, with tours every 30 minutes going down 300 feet into the wet limestone cave, which still has formations that are alive and growing.
4. Old Time Photo
There are several places in Branson where you can take the ubiquitous sepia Wild West photo. Some shops have binders full of authentic vintage backdrops, costumes, and elaborate sets to choose from. Great fun, whether solo or group.
5. Steamboat Branson Belle
Showboat Branson Belle is a riverboat on Table Rock Lake. The 1800’s revival-style boat conjures the spirit of a bygone era when glamorous riverboat adventures were all the rage.
Performances include live music with a 4-piece band, dancing, comedy, and magic while dining on a three-course meal. For more about the steamboat adventure, check out my review on TripAdvisor.
6. Hollywood Wax Museum
Branson’s wax museum features realistic-looking wax figures of famous celebrities, actors, musicians and singers. Guests can embark on a self-guided tour complete with lots of Instagram-worthy photo ops, such as a selfie with Elvis or Johnny Dep.
You’ve heard of zip lines where you’re strapped into a harness then zoomed along a cable…..but what about flying through the air on a surfboard? The only attraction like it in the entire world, the Skysurfer in Branson does just that!
The high-flying surfboard thrill ride is 50 feet in the air and goes up to 30 miles per hour, offering a hand-free (if you dare) birds-eye view of Branson below.
8. Dolly Parton’s Stampede
The stampede is the most famous dinner show in the United States! A variety of special effects, horsemanship, comedy, patriotism, and western-style entertainment acts take place in the large indoor arena as customers feast on a four-course dinner.
9. Sight & Sound Theatre
See Bible stories come to life in the Sight & Sound Theater. Fascinating reenactments of popular Biblical stories acted out on elaborate stage sets complete with world-class music scores. The shows are a great family entertainment option.
10. Mel’s Hard Luck Diner
This version of “sing for with your supper” is something you should not miss. Mel’s Hard Luck Diner is a 1950’s-style diner with a staff who are also talented singers and musicians, some of which you may also see in Branson’s most popular productions. Waiters spontaneously belt out familiar tunes while you eat. Save room for their famous “Build Me Up, Banana Cup” sundae!
11. Branson Landing
Branson Landing is set against the backdrop of the scenic Lake Taneycomo waterfront in the downtown area. Attractions include an outdoor shopping mall, specialty boutiques, restaurants, miniature golf. It also features a scenic boardwalk along the lakefront.
The fountains were created by the same designers of the iconic fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Fire and water shows with synchronized music run twice a day.
12. Mount Rushmore with Fake Celebrity Heads
A comical take on the iconic rocky formation in South Dakota, the big heads of John Wayne, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and Charlie Chaplin on this quirky roadside attraction will make you slam on your brakes and grab your camera.
13. Enjoy the Airport
You heard that right. Branson attractions don’t stop when you leave the city. Branson has obviously put a lot of thought into what people see first and last when visiting their city. The airport is spotlessly clean and designed to look more like another attraction than just an arrival/departure point.
Check the prices on Branson hotels HERE.
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About the Author
Patti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning blog Luggage and Lipstick. TripAdvisor called her one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials.” Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal.
Read more about Patti Morrow.