The Branson Missouri Blog

Blogging Branson Missouri to Keep You Up To Date!

Sweet Treat Stops in Branson

Most people will admit to having a sweet tooth at one point or another. Some people crave chocolate, some people go for fruit themed desserts, some like cupcakes, and still other people will scream for ice cream. Whatever your sweet treat craving is, there is sure to be a sugary rush waiting for you somewhere in Branson. With such an abundant array of bakeries, ice cream shops, and more, there are plenty of Branson sweets to settle your sweet tooth.

Andys Custard in BransonAndy’s Frozen Custard: For some creamy sweetness that is good any time of the year, stop by Andy’s Frozen Custard on Highway 76! With their friendly service and their made fresh hourly chocolate and vanilla custard, Andy’s Frozen Custard is the perfect stop for some Branson sweets. This location on The Strip features a drive thru, a walk-up window, and picnic tables for your convenience. You can order anything from a Root Beer Float to a Snow Monster Concrete to a Custom Concrete at Andy’s – chocolate custard with brownie bites and raspberry’s, anyone? And if you just can get enough of the smooth, creamy custard that Andy’s is famous for, order a take home pint! Then you can enjoy some Branson sweets for hours to come.

Panera Bread: While you are probably aware that Panera Bread, located on Green Mountain Drive (a convenient jaunt from Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort!), is known for their savory sandwiches, hearty soups and healthy but tasty salads, did you know that they also have a five star bakery counter? Here you can enjoy delicious Branson sweets like Red Velvet Cupcakes, giant Chocolate Chip Cookies, Scones, bagels of all flavors and fruit filled pastries. Try a fruit smoothie or a coffee drink to accompany your tasty baked goods!

Nettie Marie’s Ice Cream Counter: For the freshest ice cream in town, head on over to the Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, MO! You won’t be disappointed. Served by friendly student workers, the ice cream from Nettie Marie’s Ice Cream Counter is made fresh (also by students!) using local milk and cream from the on campus dairy. Visitors can sample the flavors to find the one they like the best, and after purchasing your ice cream, you can walk down the hill to say thank you to the cows!

Northwood’s Candy Emporium: If visions of sugar plums and other amazing candies dance through your head, take a trip to the Branson Landing and head to the Northwood’s Candy Emporium – it’s sure to be the candy store from all your childhood dreams! Sample fudge in flavors like 7UP and raspberry vanilla, browse through bins of old time favorites like jelly beans and candy coated almonds, and even shop the sugar-free section! Be sure to watch for the model train that circles around the ceiling of the store.

With so many sweet treat stops in Branson, you will never run out of places to get your Branson sweets. Start sampling them all today!

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Bison Near Branson

If you are like most people, you probably think that any chance you have of seeing buffalo (Bison in Latin) is limited to nature shows on television or perhaps a summer vacation to Yellowstone National Park. Well, think again – if you are visiting Branson, the chance to see a herd of bison in person is closer than you think! Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch in Bruner, Missouri, just an hour north of Branson, is a working bison ranch dedicated to the preservation, conservation and education of the American Bison – and they would love to share their work with you!

elkhead-ranchWelcome to the Ranch: Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch is owned by Randy and Jane Miller. With roots and a bison business in Nebraska as well as Southwest Missouri, the Millers purchased the ranch to use as a grazing operation for about four hundred young bison. During their time on the ranch, the bison are allowed to roam and graze freely, mimicking their natural habits in the wild. The Millers and Howerton approach the raising and the maintenance of the bison with as much of a hands off approach as possible. In no way do they attempt to tame the animals or remove their ‘wild side.’ This creates a low stress environment for the bison to flourish. Bison are not the only thing flourishing at Elkhead Ranch – wildlife is also an important part of the business. There are several acres of the ranch dedicated to wildlife preservation, including deer, turkey and quail.

Ranch Recreation: Elkhead Ranch has many recreational opportunities to offer its visitors. Of course, there is the opportunity to see bison, but what if you have a Wild West urge to hunt one? Elkhead Ranch offers bison hunt packages in which the hunter can stay in a hunting cabin, have a guided hunt to take down a bison, and receive the cape and the meat from the animal. Deer and turkey hunting packages are also available. If you are interested in fishing, the ranch also features a fully stocked fishing pond with a dock! Catfish, bass and bluegill all await your baited hook in this forty foot deep pond surrounded by beautiful Ozarks scenery. Elkhead Ranch offers lots of hiking, ATV riding and even horseback riding opportunities. (Bring your own vehicle or horse!) There are several old homesteads on the property to see, some of them including root cellars and even a cemetery, making for some great photography locations.

Ranch Visits: To come tour the ranch, book a bison hunt, or to plan a hike, visit Elkhead Ranch on the web at www.millerbisonatelkheadranch.com or on Facebook, or call 417-683-7058. The ranch offers individual or group tours, and also hosts field trips. Tour start dates for the ranch will begin in June for the 2014 season. Depending on what you would like to get out of your visit, Elkhead Ranch can help you customize your tour. So make Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch a stop on your summer vacation - you won’t want to miss this chance to see some bison near Branson!

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Kids Love the VisionCon Anime, Gaming, Sci-Fi Convention

 

We all have this inner kiddo in us. Being too serious always is not for the best, so why not try to loosen up a bit and get into the lighter side of life? Reward yourself and the whole family a vacation in Branson Missouri. For sure, they will all enjoy the experience and have loads of fun and memories to bring back home with them.

Branson is most famous for the magnificent live music shows that it always has. Another thing about Branson which has made it into a popular destination whatever time of the year is it is the celebrations and events happening in the area. These events are too exciting to miss! So if you decide to visit Branson this February, make sure that you get to attend the VisionCon Anime, Gaming, and Sci-Fi Convention. This event will be held on February 20-22, 2015 at The Raddison in Branson MO.

VisionCon is one of those events that will surely bring out your lighter side. You’ll be surprised that you will still get amazed by the toys coming to life in this event. As the event has promised, they are going bigger this year with more activities and attractions for everyone. Get ready for an awesome cosplay experience in VisionCon because you can see your favorite anime characters coming to life. Whether you are a veteran or a newbie con-goer, VisionCon 2015 will still be a fun experience. Some of the audience’s favorites from last year will still be back. These are the Slave Aucction, the Best Buy Game Room, Anime Room, and the Masquerade Ball. This year, watch out for new features in the event, and one of these is the Free Photo Booth! Capture the moments with your family, friends, and loved ones in the photo booth in VisionCon 2015.

This year’s guests are also not to be missed. Alaina Huffman, also known as Stargate Universe’s Lt. Tamara Johansen and Smallville’s The Black Canary, will be guesting in VisionCon 2015. Her most recent appearance is in USA’s Necessary Roughness and CBS’s NCIS: LA. She also plays Abandon the Queen of Hell on CW’s show Supernatural. 

The main program for VisionCon 2015 starts on Friday, February 20 at 5 PM for the Opening Ceremonies. There will also be a VisionCon 101 at 6 PM and a Dating Game at 7 PM. Everyone’s favorite Slave Auction comes up at 9 PM and at 10 PM will be the Wheel of Inebriation. Saturday, February 21, starts at 10 AM with VisionCon 101, Bellydancing at 11 AM, Fu Holk Studio at 2 PM, 501st at 3 PM, and a Masquerade at 8 PM. On February 22, Sunday, there will be a closing/charity raffle at 2 PM.

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Make a Branson Condo the Center of Your Next Vacation

There is no shortage of places to stay in Branson, Missouri, if you come to visit the Entertainment Capital of the Midwest for your summer vacation. But what if you could stay somewhere that was (almost) exactly like home? What if you could stay somewhere that had all the appliances, luxuries, comforts and privacy of your usual dwelling? Somewhere that had all that, AND was located in the very heart of Branson? Well, now you can! Book a Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort condo for your summer vacation – you will never stay in a motel room again.

What are the benefits of staying in a Branson condo and making it your summer vacation home base? There are lots of them – but here are three of the main reasons why staying in a Branson condo will improve the quality of your trip.

Location, Location, Location: If you reserve a summer stay at a Branson condo, you are literally just minutes from all the good things that Branson has to offer. But the best part is…you will never know it! Your condo is situated in a prime location while still maintaining the quiet and the privacy that you would have at home. Once you are ready to leave your quiet haven, though, a world of adventure awaits. Everything from Table Rock Lake and hiking trails, to fine dining and shopping, to shows for people of all ages are just outside your door. Some attractions are close enough to walk to, while others might require the car. Be sure to take a map of Branson when you leave your condo – you will find several hidden routes that will save you time when The Strip has heavy traffic!

Convinient Coziness: When you are at home, chances are that you like to cook a nice meal and watch a little TV or a movie at the end of a long day. With a Branson condo, you can do just that! The Thousand Hills condos come complete with a fully equipped kitchen, TVs in every bedroom and DVD players. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could wash some of those clothes after a day trekking around Branson? You can do that too – your condo also features a washer and dryer, and any laundry soap you may need. The condos come in all sizes, so if you have a crowd, never fear!

Better Benefits: With a Branson condo, you don’t even have to venture into town to have a good time. Thousand Hills offers some great benefits to those who stay with them. When you stay in a condo, you and your family or friends will have access to indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an award winning golf course, fully equipped exercise facilities, and spacious meeting rooms. What more do you need?

A Branson condo is sure to be a great hub for your next summer vacation. Call Thousand Hills to reserve yours today!

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Get a Deal at Branson Outlet Malls

Branson is known for its wide variety of live entertainment including music, dancing and even acrobatics. But the city is also home to a variety of shopping experiences. Whether you’re looking to buy clothing, jewelry, shoes, leather good, glassware, books or even gourmet coffee, there’s a place in Branson for you.

Tanger Outlets ShoppingMany of the products you’re looking for are in outlet malls, and Branson has a number of them with a variety of shops to suit your needs. One of the best known outlet malls in town is Tanger Outlets, which houses more than 60 name brand retailers including American Eagle, Yankee Candle, Bath and Body Works, Coach, Finish Line, Fossil and more. When you shop at Tanger, you can save anywhere from 30 to 70 percent because you’re buying directly from the manufacturer. In addition to those deep discounts, you can also find other coupons and deals on their website at tangeroutlet.com or by downloading their mobile app for Android and iPhone.

The Shoppes at Branson Meadows is another one of Branson’s favorite outlet malls. With twenty different stores carrying specialty items like china and cutlery, you’ll never have a problem finding that perfect gift or special item you were needing. Dressbarn, Hush Puppies, Scuba Sports, and Touch of Class are just a few of the names you’ll find in the Shoppes at Branson Meadows.

While not outlet malls, the next two shopping options are great if you still need a shopping fix. The Branson Landing has become a tourist favorite since it opened in 2007. There are a variety of name brand stores for you to explore, including Maurices, Hollister, Deb and Charlotte Russe. Plus, you can spend a morning or evening on the Landing without having to worry about getting lunch or dinner – the Branson Landing has a number of restaurants at your fingertips so you can enjoy a great meal even when you’re away from home. Black Oak Grill, Cantina Laredo, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Texas Land and Cattle Steakhouse and White River Fish House are just a few of the options you have on a day out.

A second option for shopping in Branson is the unique and quaint Grand Village Shops. As you walk along the cobblestone streets of the village, you’ll pass by a variety of local shops, some of which featuring products from local crafters and artists. Twenty-six shops await you, along with some great cafes and restaurants. Some of the shops include Grand Glitz, Serendipity, Helwig Art Glass, Kringles Christmas Store, Peter Engler Woodcarving and Design and Mulberry Mill. Grab lunch with the folks at Sugar Leaf Bakery, where they serve up giant BLTs with soups and salads. Or you can get something to eat at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner, home of the singing servers. The diner’s servers, hosts, cooks and cashiers are professional singers and song writers, so when you walk in the door, you’ll get serenaded with a song.

So if you’re looking for shopping, look no further than Branson and it’s outlet malls. From clothing to cutlery and woodcarving to scuba diving, you’ll find everything you need at outlet malls.

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Bored of the Surface? Scuba Dive Table Rock Lake

Almost everyone who comes to Branson falls in love with Table Rock Lake. It’s beautiful, it offers countless recreational opportunities, it’s romantic, it’s full of native wildlife – the list goes on and on. But if you are a repeat lake visitor, chances are that you might find the surface of the lake a bit dull after a time – so what can you do to rekindle your fire for one of the Midwest’s most famous lakes? Why, learn to scuba dive of course! Get ready for an adventure with Table Rock Lake scuba diving.

SCUBA Diving at the Table Rock Logo

So what are some of the things you might find under the surface during your Table Rock Lake scuba diving trip? You will find amazing critters such as bass, giant catfish and spoonbills, crawdads, sunfish that will nibble the palm of your hand and even rare freshwater jellyfish! On the material side of things, you may find a few ‘treasures’ that have been dropped beneath the water by surface explorers over the years. You never know what you might find on the bottom of the lake!

A great place to get the entire Table Rock Lake scuba diving experience (which includes training, equipment and guided trips) is the White River Dive Company. White River Dive Company employs highly-qualified PADI Instructors and Divemasters to instruct everyone from beginners who have never gone underwater to professionals who want a big challenge in their scuba diving career. Classes are one day only, making them a great choice for folks who may not have the time to devote to a three day training program. There is no obligation to go on a dive trip after the class – or if you only have time for the class that day and wish to do the trip separately, you can do that too! This business offers Open Water Diver Courses – this is the world’s most popular diving course – where new and experienced divers can dive with a partner, rent or buy equipment, and dive to depths of one hundred feet. There is also an Advanced Open Water Diver Course for those wanting to build on a solid scuba diving foundation and improve their skills with the assistance of a PADI instructor.

If you are looking for a great skill that can transfer to a career, consider the PADI Rescue Diver Course. You will learn how to expand on your prior scuba diving knowledge to prevent dangerous problems, and how to handle them if they do occur. You can also participate in CPR and First Aid courses with this program. And for a real adventure, try spearfishing! If the thought of bow hunting underwater appeals to you, this is the trip you want to sign up for.

Adventure awaits you below the surface of Table Rock Lake – take a scuba diving class and start your adventure today!

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Find Out Where to Buy Local & Organic Groceries Near Branson

Most people are familiar with the weekly ritual of grocery shopping. Checking the cupboards, making a list, heading to the store and loading up the cart – most people can do that in their sleep. But what if you mixed up your grocery routine? What if, instead of throwing a prepackaged food item into your cart and merely nodding to the clerk who checks you out, you held the food in your hands, admired its uniqueness and actually spoke to the farmer who grew it? Well, with some of these locally grown grocery options in and around Branson, now you can!

College of the Ozarks: If you have spent any time in the Branson/Tri-Lakes area, chances are you have probably heard of College of the Ozarks. It is a small, local work college where students work for their tuition – and if that is not cool enough, they also have some locally grown goodies for you to enjoy! During the months of May through November, the college holds a weekly farmers market on Fridays where visitors can buy student grown and made products. You can purchase everything from green beans, to potatoes, to peppers, to fruitcake, milk and meat – and best of all, the proceeds benefit the college. Now, if you aren’t in Branson during the summer months, have no fear – Edwards Mill carries milk and meat products from the campus dairy, beef farm, and hog farm all year round as well as stone ground grain products and baking mixes, and the Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen is open year round as well for you to purchase fruitcake, apple butter, jams and jellies, and summer sausage.

Farmers Market of the Ozarks: For a huge variety of locally grown, raised and made products all year round, head to Springfield on a Thursday from 4pm to 8pm or a Saturday from 8am to 1pm to check out the Farmers Market of the Ozarks in Farmers Park! Farmers Market of the Ozarks was created to bring together the community by providing local food and products while educating people about where their food comes from, and why living a sustainable lifestyle is both important and necessary, on a local and global level. With over one hundred vendors, there is something here for everyone’s weekly grocery list. Vendors like PT Gardens and Milsap Farms offer herbs, veggies and other fresh produce. Springhill Dairy and Terrell Creek Farm offer great selections of cheeses and dairy products. You’ll also find a wide array of meats, breads and sweet treats here too!

Amish Country Store: To support a great local business that has a variety of unique groceries in Branson, check out the Amish Country Store on Gretna Road. Here you will find a great selection of spinach noodles, pickled eggs, biscuit mix and more to fill your shopping basket with!

So grab your list and your reusable shopping bag and get some great local groceries in Branson and beyond!

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A Drive Down Branson’s Most Famous Road – Country 76

One of the most famous roads in Missouri is Branson’s 76 Country Boulevard. Along this road are a variety of shows, attractions, hotels, and other adventures for you to take while on vacation in Branson.

Start your vacation with a tropical adventure at the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure, where you can step into the rainforest with thousands of tropical butterflies. You get all-day admission to the palace, which includes a video about the monarch migration, along with interactive exhibits in the Living Rainforest Science Center. You get unlimited access to all of the exhibits and attractions in the Butterfly Palace. For more information, visit thebutterflypalace.com.

As you travel down the historic Country Boulevard, you’ll also find multiple Track Family Fun Parks, including the Track 4 featuring the Heavy Metal Highrise. All of the Track Family Fun Parks feature go-kart tracks, but some of the locations also include bumper boats, the Skycoaster, batting cages, and kiddie rides for the little ones. The Track Family Fun Parks allow you to purchase go-kart rides as well as Go-Cards, which can help you save money on your vacation. If you’re looking to have some family fun, visit bransontracks.com.

Aside from these attractions, White Water, the Presleys, the Baldknobbers, and Andy Williams’ Moon River Theatre. But while you’re out, don’t miss some of Branson’s amazing scenery. The rolling hills of the Ozarks surround Branson, so you’ll never miss out on the beauty of the Ozarks. Although it’s off the beaten path, you can see the beauty of Table Rock Lake while on your trip and experience it firsthand through boating, fishing, and swimming.

At the opposite end of the famous road is the historic downtown area of Branson on Lake Taneycomo, another one of the Branson area’s amazing lakes. In downtown Branson, you’ll find the perfect quaint atmosphere among the antique shops and homey cafés scattered throughout the area. Locally owned shops line the main street, and you’re not far from big city life at Branson Landing. With a fiery water feature, you can enjoy top-notch cuisine and excellent shopping at this open air mall.

So if you’re in Branson, take a cruise down the famous 76 Country Boulevard and enjoy seeing all that Branson has to offer you and your family!

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Have A Romantic Moment this February in Branson

 

Are you looking for that perfect vacation date with your sweetheart this February? The place that you should consider for the ultimate fun and romantic vacation experience is Branson Missouri. Known as the Live Entertainment Capital of the World, Branson has also become of the most popular and thrilling vacation places in the Midwest. For this month of February, Branson is the perfect place if you want some laid back and romantic date with your special someone.

During February in Branson, the crowd and traffic is at its minimum, so you can enjoy more time to shop, dine, and enjoy the sights and activities in Branson. No need to endure long lines as you can breeze through the whole city anytime you like. Branson still remains to be a family friendly place, with activities and attractions for people of all ages. But Branson also becomes a haven for couples during February. You can celebrate the month of romance and Valentine’s Day in Branson. the place has the best theme parks if you both want a thrilling date, or you can go to the nature parks in Branson if you both want a relaxing date with the breathtaking view. And why not take your date out to a nice dinner in a Branson restaurant after watching one of the famous live music shows in Highway 76?

Branson also offers you affordable and romantic lodging options especially for your celebration of the love month in Branson. The perfect lodging place in Branson is one that is close to restaurants, theme parks, theaters, and malls. For your vacation, choose to stay in Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort. Thousand Hills gives couples a very romantic time in Branson by offering them King suites and log cabins with huge Jacuzzi tubs. Staying in Thousand Hills lets you stay minutes away from Highway 76, Branson’s entertainment district. You are also very near Silver Dollar City, which is Branson’s world-famous theme park. These lodging options in Thousand Hills exclusively for your sweetheart already have top-of-the-line amenities ready for you to use. You also get to have a very dreamy view no matter what Branson lodging you choose in Thousand Hills. Choosing a Branson log cabin gives you the view of the Ozark woods; a golf front condo unit gives you the view of the award-winning golf course of Thousand Hills; a lakefront condo gives you a very peaceful and calming ambiance with the view of Table Rock Lake, one of the pristine lakes of Branson.

February in Branson may be a bit cold, but the activities and attractions in the place makes this one a hot month to be in Branson. Make Branson your romantic getaway this February. For reservations and inquiries on lodging reservation in Thousand Hills, dial 1-877-262-0430.

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Stay in a Four Bedroom Branson Cabin for a Big Family Vacation

 

Going to Branson with a large group of people? If you are, then you are in for the best time of your life with your loved ones. Bring along your entire family and friends for a grand, fun time in Branson. With a wide variety of things to do and sights to see in the area, a Branson vacation will truly be a memorable and exciting experience for everyone.

Known as the Live Entertainment Capital of the World and the premier vacation destination in the Midwest, Branson promises you fun family moments with its live music shows, theme parks, theater plays, museums, outlet malls, restaurants, and a lot more. With all these things to enjoy and with a big group of people with you, you might think that it would be difficult to find a lodging place in Branson where all of you can be together. Renting multiple hotel rooms can be really expensive, not to mention inconvenient for everyone. Branson’s leading lodging place, Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort, gives you a homier place for your stay in Branson. A Branson cabin is cozy enough to make you feel like you have never left home at all.

A four bedroom Branson cabin is one of the largest individual lodging options that you can find in Missouri. The size of this four bedroom Branson cabin makes it the best choice for family gatherings, or bonding with a large group of friends. These big Branson cabins are also ideal for a meeting place with your colleagues at work. Each cabin also has a unique decoration to give you a memorable experience for the duration of your stay in Branson. This lodging place has more than 2000 square feet of space and can accommodate up to 12 people.

This Branson cabin in Thousand Hills has four private bedrooms, and three to four bathrooms. If you need more sleeping space, there are also two sofa sleepers in the cabin. The cabin’s spacious living room is also very ideal for family bonding activities, meetings, and the likes. The living area is fully furnished with a large TV and a DVD player for your movie nights. There is also free high-speed wireless internet so you can stay connected with your social media accounts and for you not to miss on an important email. Screened porches in the four bedroom Branson cabin lets you see the beauty of the surrounding Ozark woods, too. Thousand Hills is located near the best restaurants in Branson, but if you want to give your family their favorite home-cooked meals, the fully equipped kitchen in the Branson cabin will let you do just that.

Staying in Thousand Hills is being near Branson’s entertainment district, so you can all enjoy your favorite shows and be in the comforts of your Branson cabin in just a matter of minutes. This is the perfect addition for your grand family vacation in Branson. Book your stay now at Thousand Hills by calling 1-877-262-0430.

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