I was invited to participate in a promotional tour of Branson, Missouri through US Family Guide’s Blogger Network. All opinions are my own, all experiences are my own, and I am so excited to share my experiences with you!
Update: It’s been three years since I wrote this post, and my kids are STILL talking about Branson, Missouri!
Last week, I had a random lifetime wish come true. I saw the Ozarks. I kid you not, I have wanted to see them since my third grade teacher read us Where the Red Fern Grows, one chapter at a time, after recess each afternoon. When we moved to Texas and I realized that we were within driving distance of the Ozarks, I started bugging Charles to go for a visit. But it wasn’t until last week that we finally made the trek to Branson, Missouri. I had heard that Branson was a great place to take the family, and WOW…it really was the perfect destination for a family vacation.
Over the next week, I’m going to share details on all of the places we visited. But to start, I wanted to do a little trip recap and Branson overview for anyone who is unfamiliar with the area or thinking about visiting.
Where is Branson?
Located in southern Missouri, Branson is less than a day’s drive away for one-third of Americans. It took us eight hours to get from our Dallas suburb to Branson, and that was with, oh, a trillion gazillion stops along the way. I noticed lots of visitors were from Oklahoma, Kentucky, Illinois, and Kansas.
If you’re driving from Dallas, you have several routes to choose from. We chose the shortest route for our trip there, and took the longest one home (because I wanted to drive through Arkansas). We had fewer bathroom breaks on the way back, but both trips took about 8 hours. So if you are an adult that doesn’t have to stop and pee every hour, you could probably make the trip pretty quickly by taking the route that bypasses Arkansas…but then you’d miss out on the gorgeous scenery.
What is Branson famous for?
Branson is famous for the entertainment! They have tons of shows going on every day and night, and first-class performers. You can also expect good food, pretty views, and lots of hospitality. Seriously…everyone was SO NICE…and that’s coming from someone who lives in Texas (where people are nice, y’all).
Why would I want to visit Branson?
Branson is *extremely* family-friendly. You won’t find a lot of bars (I brought my own wine, so it was cool…kidding/not kidding) or adult-themed entertainment. You can expect most events to be kid-friendly to some degree (I’ll go into more detail in the individual posts for each attraction). If you live in North Texas, or any other flat place in America, you’ll be excited to see honest-to-goodness hills and valleys. They also have a really gorgeous lake called Table Rock Lake that is totally worth checking out. I love lakes, in theory, but I am not even a little bit interested in swimming in the local Texas lakes. Table Rock Lake, however, was clear and STUNNING…I wanted to dive right in.
Branson is also really, really convenient. Every activity we did, with one exception, was no farther away than 15 minutes from our hotel. It was more like a 7-8 minute drive to most places.
Even Silver Dollar City, a large amusement park, is only a short drive away!
Where should I stay?
There are so many places to stay in the area, you can really take your pick. We stayed at the Grand Country Inn, and you can read about our experience here. You can check out the US Family Guide for great deals on Branson hotels and attractions.
What should we do in Branson?
There are SO many things to do, and because everything is so close, it’s easy to pack a ton of activities into one day. We arrived on a Thursday and went home on a Sunday morning. In those four days (which were really more like 2.5 full days), we visited eight different attractions. Here’s everything we did (I’ll add all of the links to my posts on each attraction as I write them):
- Dinner cruise on the Showboat Branson Belle
- Silver Dollar City Amusement Park
- Jonah the play at Sight & Sound Theatre
- Breakfast at the Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks
- White Water water park
- Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure
- Ride the Ducks
- Titanic Museum
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg (I know, bad joke after mentioning Titanic and all…). You can read about other attractions, and get coupons, here.
Where can I get more information about Branson?
You can find coupons and attraction information here.
You can find information about the city of Branson, you can check out the Explore Branson website here.
If you are making the drive to Branson, be sure to check out my Ultimate Family Road Trip Resource Guide here.
Our trip was awesome. I saw the Ozarks, the kids got to experience a real vacation, and I’ve checked one more state off my list (I want to visit all 50 states with the kids…it’s kind of another random dream of mine). OH…and we had a great time as a family, which is what a family vacation is all about.
I’d love to hear about your favorite Branson locations and attractions, too! What do you love to do when you’re in Branson?